Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy
By Steve Anderson
April 1st, 2015

Justice League: War

Directed by Jay Oliva
Written by Heath Corson, Bill Finger
Starring Sean Astin, Alan Tudyk, Michelle Monaghan
79 mins

We all know that Warner does superhero cartoons. We all know Warner does superhero movies, too. What happens when the two combine? We get stuff like "Justice League: War," and for our special cartoon issue, it's a great time to check out one of Warner's finest bits of adult-grade animated fare.

"Justice League: War" gives us an unconventional Justice League--Hawkgirl and the Martian Manhunter are out and replaced with Teen Titans alumnus Cyborg and Captain Marvel (or Shazam, if you prefer the more current version)--and puts the lot against an alien invasion of Earth. At the forefront of that invasion is a familiar face, and one that will make for one of the greatest tests the Justice League has ever seen.

Those familiar with the various Warner series involving these characters will have a bit of culture shock at first. Any time I hear a non-Conroy Batman I tend to get a little on edge. No disrespect to Jason O'Mara, who does the job just fine, but he is no Kevin Conroy. This is also largely pre-Justice League; it gets assembled over the course of the movie.

The characters and their voices may not be exactly what we've come to expect over the years, but the replacements are more than serviceable. The plot is sufficiently exciting to keep interest, and features plenty of melee and ranged combat to satisfy all sides of the equation.

The ending is about as big as you'd expect something like this to be, and wraps up most of the loose ends sufficiently to not insult its viewers. Stick around after the credits; there's a bit of a connection here to what I think is "Justice League: Throne of Atlantis," and that's not a bad shout-out.

Special features include your choice of English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and the same in subtitles with the addition of what looks to be Chinese and possibly Arabic. I don't read those particularly languages any better than I speak them. Additionally, trailers for "The Lego Movie," "Son of Batman," and a sneak peek at the latter as well.

Fair Warning: "Justice League: War" will be different from what you're used to. The differences don't really make it worse, just different. Warner has historically done a good job with these brief vignettes, and I find myself looking forward to each new one. "Justice League: War" is one among many, and well worth a look.