DC animated movies have evolved themselves to a level where they keep setting benchmarks for live action movies. Previously, Batman: Attack on Arkham, created this benchmark that raised hopes for a live action Suicide Squad movie. Sadly, when the same was adapted in live action, it failed miserably.
Setting a new benchmark in filmmaking, DC animated universe has come up with Justice League Dark.
DC has been trying to come up with a Justice League Dark’s live action adaptation since 2014. Earlier, Guillermo Del Toro was attached to the project. It didn’t get past writing room because executives at Warner Bros were unsure about how the film will perform. YES, THE SAME WARNER BROS WHO GREEN SIGNALED BATMAN v SUPERMAN.
Justice League Dark is the first outing for DC’s supernatural heroes and antiheroes. Consisting of John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Swamp Thing, and Etrigan, alongside Batman as the ‘outsider’, the team faces an ancient evil threatening to destroy both life and afterlife alike.
Matt Ryan absolutely steals the show in his return as John Constantine. John is every bit the loveable bastard we’ve grown to love from the show, and his lines are sharp as ever. Jason O’Mara provides the straight man to the rest of the craziness as Batman, Camilla Luddington brings a balance to the team as backwards-talking magician Zatanna, Nicholas Turturro is annoyingly yet endearingly chipper Deadman, Ray Chase plays both man and rhyming demon Jason Blood and Etrigan, and Roger Cross rounds up the main cast as the protector of the Green, Swamp Thing. Jeremy Davies also makes a return as John’s friend Ritchie Simpson, and Alfred Molina is Destiny, the main villain of the piece.
Justice League Dark brings out its characters in a very strong way. While, most of the main cast connects extremely well off of each other, somehow it becomes evident that Batman is shoved in the movie just for marketing purposes. In my opinion, the movie could have worked without his presence. John Constantine is easily the best part about this movie, which is exactly what most of us came here for. If this is the direction for John we’re going for in the CW Seed series, then this is going to be fun.
This movie was directed by Jay Oliva, a DC animation regular. And since this is an animated movie… how is the animation? It’s actually really good, I mean… for a DC animated direct-to-video budget. But while the animation isn’t the most detailed, it flows very well and looks really good, especially in the action scenes.
Justice League Dark serves as a solid introduction for DC’s supernatural team. If made properly in live action, it can be DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The animation team and the voice cast have done a great job, while the length of the movie at 1hr 15mins was just perfect.
Final Rating – 4 out of 5