Injustice animated film review – a chaotic mess
Is it a bird? Is it an airplane? No, it’s Emo Superman and he’s taking over the world. So it fits Injustice, DC’s latest animated film to grace home media and it’s wide open for review.
Now, I have never read the comic that this movie is based on, but I am aware that it is held in high regard. “This first year of the Injustice series completely blew me away. So many philosophical questions have been raised here ”, a surfer on Good reading enthusiastically claims. Well, I can confirm that few philosophical questions are raised in Injustice, the film. However, a question constantly comes to my mind: “WTF”?
The plot is a bit crazy
It’s a shame that the Injustice animated film has made me ask this question so often since it should made me ask the philosophical questions that Good reading enthusiastic opinion. The story revolves around a heartbroken Superman, who turns radical after the Joker leaves his beautiful girlfriend and future mother Lois Lane. Ol ‘Supes hastily throws “You Won’t Kill” from his superhero bible and begins to gank dictators while confiscating nukes and forcing the world to play by its rules. This splits the Justice League in half and the old allies lock the horns.
On paper, the premise is fascinating ground for intriguing and thought-provoking storytelling. What would have would it happen if the most powerful man in the world stopped obeying human laws and instead made the world live on his own? The problem is with a movie that seems too loaded for its own good. Superman’s dictatorial trajectory is hampered by twists and turns out of left field, unnecessary characters, and terrible resolve.
Do an injustice to the context
Maybe what hurts Injustice the best part is that he tries to tell a good multi-comic story in an hour and eighteen minute film. There are a few deaths in this movie, but we can’t deal with them properly because the movie is moving forward at a rapid pace. The fact that we spend little time connecting with these characters beforehand (due to the movie’s superhero overload) doesn’t help that.
The fast pace also means Injustice leaves a lot of explanations. For example, we’re led to believe that a notable hero dies during the movie only to travel to a celestial afterlife, meet a goddess who gives him a new nickname and the ability to own bodies. In his very limited screen time, he uses this power to help his friends, but I still have no idea who this goddess was and why she gave him these powers. Or indeed, why she has such a bad taste in superhero alias names. One can only assume that’s explained in the comics.
Take a page from Marvel’s book
Sometimes watching Injustice, you don’t know if you are watching an adult movie or a kids movie. I say this because of the humor of the film. The writers obviously checked out the Marvel Handbook of Mood Whiplash, as it uses a few “jokes” to cut the tension in certain scenes.
I give the example of one of the first scenes of Superman and Batman. After taking out a group of armed thugs, the couple indulge in classic jokes. Bats states that Lois is pregnant and Supes asks how he knows it. The Dark Knight responds that he is shaking, something he has never done when fighting Doomsday. Replica scene cut off at Superman’s shaking (and silly grin) hands. Maybe I’m just Scrooge, but that kind of humor is childish at best and causing moaning.
Another example of this is Harley Quinn. Again, the movie tries to break some stage tension with jokes, but this character only gets in the way. There’s an attempt to make her and Green Arrow something of a comedic duo (Ollie being the straight man, Quinn being the madman) in a way that’s not unlike the mediocre. Batman and harley quinn. It’s a shame because Gillian Jacobs is great at Community and underrated comedy I used to come here. However, the script and direction of the voice is designed to make it as unnecessarily loud and boring as possible. It’s even worse since his character offers little to the actual plot.
Out of the phantom zone
As mentioned before, so many twists come out of left field without any configuration. I hope I don’t spoil it too much by saying that a “multiverse” element plays into the story. However, this element is established as a one-to-one conversation between Mr. Terrific and Superman halfway through before coming to prominence again towards the end of the film. This is not the best example of the “Chekhov pistol”.
But at the same time Injustice is a chaotic mess of the ghost zone, there is some good things about it. Some of the animations used in the fight sequences are impressive, with the characters moving gracefully like dancers. It’s a stout reminder that 2D animation still has a lot to offer, recreating the feel of comics in a way that 3D can’t.
Also, speaking of animation, at least kudos can be given for the visual style. The off-putting thick lines of the characters in The man of tomorrow and Along Halloween were dropped in favor of clearer lines and more character detail. I always thought that the visual styles of the aforementioned DC movies made their respective stories appear as well. Archer-y. Hopefully they stay on this road for good.
It’s an injustice
To end this review, there is certainly a lot of injustice here in this animated film, but it’s not entirely in the story. Rather, its presence is more evident in the film’s rushed execution, which does too much for its own good. The end result is a film that appears to be trying to win the Guinness World Record for the most DC characters in a movie, instead of telling a cohesive, engaging story. You’d better leave this one alone and get your superhero animation bindings somewhere else.
Are you a fan of the Injustice comic book and video game? What is your opinion on the film? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
On an alternate Earth, the Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane, which sends the hero down the path of destruction. Superman decides to take control of Earth and Batman and his allies must try to stop him.
- Smooth animation in combat sequences
- Satisfying visual style
- Some decent voices here and there
- Seems too rushed and overloaded
- Too many plot holes
- Too many undeveloped characters
- Jokes rarely land