26 March 2010

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths


Voices of Mark Harmon, Chris Noth, William Baldwin, Vanessa Marshall, Gina Torres, Jonathan Adams, Josh Keaton, James Woods
Written by Dwayne McDuffie

Directed by Lauren Montgomery, Sam Liu

Release: 23 February 2010

DC Comics/Warner Premiere, 75 mins., Rated PG-13

Plot: Parallel Earth Lex Luthor arrives on the newly erected outer-space Watchtower in our dimension to ask the Justice League to say his world from the sinister crime syndicate who threaten to destroy all realities.

Crisis on Two Earths
was exhilarating. It's not as O-M-G!!! awesome as, say, Wonder Woman, but it is quite spectacular. Initially, I thought this whole thing was Clark having to deal with his arch nemesis Bizzaro, and the other members of the League would have to get into the groove to save humanity. Turns out that wasn't so much what they were getting at. Instead, it's a really awesome, complex-ish tale about multiple realities, cause and effect, making a choice as opposed to not making a choice, and some other stuff that gets meddled by a lot of punching and lasers.

The whole movie is full of cool. First cool thing - alternate dimension Lex Luthor being a good guy, and not only that, but the last living member of his Justice League. Probably a running reversal through several billion comics, but considering that my main dose of comic book geekdom is Batman and Ultimate Spider-Man comics, I appreciate these things I didn't know and other blokes who watch these flicks are probably bored of. Second cool thing - although Batman (my favorite character of all time) is left in the shadows for the first 50 minutes, the final act more then compliments the Caped Crusader: in fact, he's quite instrumental in the whole world-saving part. His intelligence is on full display here, as he's completely out of his league in reference to strength, seeing as the baddies this time around are super-powered honchos. Really, it's just awesome watching this guy work. Third cool thing - the Justice League members are literally fighting to save all universes, and it's jaw-dropping to watch. It's not just a punch-punch-ouch (!) thing, it's a true slugfest. Totally awesome.

But at the same time, it's a little unfortunate that a lot of the movie is action-heavy, although I wager I shouldn't be so surprised since a lot of animated hero movies are exactly that. I guess I was spoiled by Gotham Knight's extensive depth into the Batman psychology, and Wonder Woman's excellent story that offered so much in characters, story, and mythology.

However, there is one extremely notable character and storyline that is well written and very intriguing. The Owlman, voiced with chilling subtlety by James Wood, is a frighting, intelligent character who sets his sights on the destruction of reality itself. I could literally watch a entire movie with this character. Every time the Owlman was onscreen, I was always on edge. The Joker may be a brilliant maniac, but he's not as cold and calculating as Owlman, and that's entirely freaky. Also really cool is the killing-happy Superwoman, who just relishes the idea of universe-wide death.

Overall, a very good installment in DC's animated film line, and I'm extremely excited for their next project, Batman: Under the Hood, which appears to be going even deeper into Batman's psychology after his failure in saving his apprentice (scheduled for July). Crisis on Two Earths was epic, and featured multiple characters that had their own agendas, their own personalities, and it was spectacular to watch this Armageddon-scenario unfold and the Justice League doing their damnest to stop it. Very much recommended for any fans of superheroes in general - Crisis on Two Earths is a buffet of awesomeness.

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