What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Justice League Dark: Apokolips War! I have to say, this was the first time where I wasn’t as excited as I should have been for something Justice League Dark. This is one of my favorite series, but I don’t feel that outside of the books DC has put the effort into giving you what you invest in. By that I mean a team made up of just the supernatural beings. No Justice League, and no Darkseid. The only person we should have ever seen close to this was Wonder Woman based off of the current JLD run.
With that said, that is not the Justice League Dark we have here, so I will try to see this for what it is. For what it was, this tuned out to be a thrilling movie. Not only does Apokolips War serve as the official end to the New 52 animated universe, it also serves as an intersecting point for all of those animated movies. It was creative to see just how everything could come full circle and acknowledge the existence of one another.
Where this movie did not disappoint was the fact that like some of the other movies, this was was dark, gritty and full of gore. They called this a war, and that is exactly what we got from the minute the war began. There could have been a lot of build- up to this too, but I appreciated that they wanted to hit the ground running with the bad, and jump into how things could get worse from there. I mean, if there was one problem I had with the initiating of the war, it was definitely the idea that the Justice League didn’t consider every possibility where they were not as ready as they thought. The flaw was a smack to the face because even the viewer could have seen it coming a mile away. After that, the story was easier to jump into because from one scene to the next we were touring a broken world. A good amount of time was put into letting us experience the aftermath, the build-up of a plan to take the fight back to Darkseid, and of course the execution in their second go.
The second half of the movie was a thrill ride. I was not ready for how action-packed this was going to be when all the pieces were put into place. Whether it was the battle on Earth, or the battle on Apokolips, you were knocked at the edge of your seat because it was anything goes at a point. Knowing how this was going to ultimately end did not change the intensity or the motivation that went into defeating Darkseid. Every loss hit, not to mention every unfortunate development which made it seem like all was lost. This was what it looked like to challenge heroes who under different circumstances would not have had this much trouble.
The casting for this movie was great as well. I enjoyed the fact that on top of this movie trying to center around a story which connected the other animated movies, they also found a way to give those characters relevance whether hero or villain. There was some from the JLD who had a part to play, some from the Titans, not to mention the Suicide Squad. There was no stone left unturned which made it easier to connect with and invest in everyone involved. Constantine was pretty much the star of this one and surprisingly shined well. It’s not very often when he will be given the opportunity to actually prove that he is someone formidable as a sorcerer. He was fun when it counted, as well as tragic considering the shame he carried with him. Though what caught me off guard was seeing so much of Raven. I was very grateful that she was also given the room to show why even someone like her is considered an expert in magic. Her relevance is never wasted when she is doing more than the usual tricks.
When it came to the animation for movie, there wasn’t too much I could say here. All of these DC animated movies look the same since they share the same style. Everything after that comes down to how they proceed with the action, effects, and smoothness in the transition between scenes. That much does stand out in this movie considering there was a lot more going on here than the first time the League dealt with Darkseid.
Now I know there will be some out there who think that the gore and what not is too much, though to me it felt like they would have been pulling punches if they did not go all in. Things could have been a lot worse, but the message sent was always that this was a life or death situation. The stakes were set in every scene where you were seeing what remained of some of these heroes who tried to put up a fight. With that said, credit where it is due to the animators for the fact that they did not shy away from he detail either. This part is always rough since there is a line you don’t want to cross, and they walked that line well.
At the end of the day, some will find it debatable to say that it is sad to say goodbye to the New 52 animated universe, but this was an excellent Justice League movie. However, this is not Justice League Dark. You can’t just slap some magic folk together and call it that. If you can overlook that? Justice League Dark: Apokolips War wasn’t bad at all. It had all the makings of a movie that took careful planning and execution.