A Quick Tip by voilodion2012
I don't want my opinion to have too much weight on this matter as I'm no expert on these action-packed direct to DVD animated films. During the Christmas season, me and my folks were exposed to a bunch of them courtesy of Netflix and, for the most part, they have all been incredibly entertaining with some compelling stories. BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD: Wonderfully twisted story, beautiful (low budget) animation. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN: Brilliant animation, good story. SUPERMAN/BATMAN PUBLIC ENEMIES: Again incredibly entertaining, good animation, Clancy Brown steals the show. SUPERMAN vs. THE ELITE: Art style was a little funky, but the story was pretty good, and the villain was a lot of fun.
But then we get to this one and expected it to be just as entertaining as its predecessors and...it's not. First of all, the animation seems to have taken a step back from the likes of ALL STAR SUPERMAN with a dark and muddier, more bland style that looks a lot more like something more like you would find on TV instead of a movie you paid for. And the story...what a horribly predictable tale in the comic book universe. The bad guys discover each superheroes' weakness and go out of their way to exploit them JUST SHORT OF KILLING THEM (!!!??). Why?? Some of these methods (such as burying Bruce Wayne alive next to the corpses of his parents) are pretty grim while others (such as the kryptonite bullet and the facade created for Green Lantern) had me scratching my head and wondering "Why would that work this time?" or "Why didn't they think of that before?" Anyways, since none of our heroes are brought to death, you can easily guess what happens. And this all leads to a terribly predictable climax and a clean resolution with Batman preaching about the potential horrors of a "Justice League gone out of control." You mean like WATCHMEN or an alternate universe where the heroes are all villains (CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS)? Suffice to say, I've heard/seen Batman's prophecy before. So even that's nothing new. One of my relatives, who had very eagerly and attentively watched all the other shows in their entirety, walked up and left about midpoint through this film. I tried to enjoy the whole show, but at the end I was falling asleep. It just wasn't that compelling. The thing felt like the writers had just run out of ideas and were recycling old tropes in the comic book universe. I understand though that the problem is more likely the result of trying to force a 2 hour adaptation out of pieces of a much a longer story arc (thanks to Woopak the Thrill for pointing that out). But I guess instead of taking the standout elements of that story arc, they borrowed the routine elements and tried to go off that. Bizarre..
Anyways...like I said, I'm no expert on the history of these animated movies. I only know that out of the handful we watched during the holiday season, this one was easily the most disappointing. If this had been the first animated film DC had ever released, it might deserve a lot more praise. But research shows that this came after pretty much all the other ones we had seen, so that's not the case. If you're a completist, there's some visceral entertainment to be had here. But for others, I would just recommend something like UNDER THE RED HOOD instead.
Now if some comic book expert can explain to me new ideas the story of JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM does bring to the comic book universe, I would love to hear it.