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Review: 'Injustice' (2021) Dir. Matt Peters

Justin Hartley, Anson Mount, Laura Bailey, Kevin Pollak, Gillian Jacobs, Yuri Lowenthal, Brian T. Delaney, Brandon Michael Hall, Zach Callison, Reid Scott and Janet Varney

 

Based on the franchise spawning 'Injustice: Gods Among Us' video game of 2013, this new offering from Warner Bros. Animation takes is to an alternate reality of DC heroes and villains...


The villainous Gotham City supervillain Joker (Pollak) presents his greatest crime yet by having Superman (Hartley) inadvertently cause a catastrophic tragedy, killing 11 million people and even those closest to him.


Superman struggles to accept the consequences of Joker's actions, despite Batman (Mount) trying to keep the Justice League together. But Superman sets out with the help of Wonder Woman (Varney) to take justice into his own hand and wiping out all means of war.


With the Man of Steel going above and beyond his limits and thrusting the world into panic and hostile fragility under his new regime, it's down to Batman and those who survive the actions of Superman to stop him before it's too late and more people lose their lives...

Superman has stood strong for years in the face of adversity, always seeking truth and justice. But when he suddenly has 11 million deaths on his shoulders, the loss of those closest to him and even some of his fellow Justice League members, it doesn't take much to break the Man of Steel. And when the strongest superhero in the world suddenly seeks his own brand of "injustice", just who can stop him?


Based on the Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game, 'Injustice: Gods Among Us', this fleshed out story sees Justin Hartley's Superman call a world-wide ceasefire, going from dictators to terrorist cells and everyone in between; good or bad, military might come crashing down thanks to Supes and Janet Varney's Wonder Woman acting as the "world's police force", splitting the Justice League in a clash of ideals and morals that threatens the peace and balance of the entire galaxy. Yet this drastic action is all born from the actions of one DC supervillain; The Joker, voiced with great relish by Kevin Pollak. Bar Pollack, and Anson Mount as Batman, there seems to be a little less than the usual passion in our voice talent. Compared to recent offerings, and with the context of the story, the overall performances are acceptable but lack...something.

This is a story set outside of the DC universe as we know it, and so takes drastic twists and turns to present another darker Warner Bros. animation for mature fans to enjoy.

This is a story set outside of the DC universe as we know it, and so takes drastic twists and turns to present another darker, mature animation for fans to enjoy. With as many heroes and villains as you can shake a stick at such as Mirror Master, Shazam and Plastic Man, all with plenty of bloody battles and fighting, this may not replicate the 2D bash-fest of the platform console game, but certainly expands an interesting storyline to experience with heroes and villains not reaching the end credits.


Setting up two sides of confrontation makes it clear to see how this works in a video game pitting heroes and villains against each other on both sides, but this is a very analytical, slow burning story that evolves the motive and methods from Superman taking justice into his own hands, and Batman trying to set things right. It's a nice pre-curser to the DCEU Batman v Superman lore. But away from this hinted battle that never really comes, there is some humour injected from the likes of Green Arrow and Harley Quinn forming their own alliance to seek justice, and these two are the most entertaining characters which is a nice surprise, but sad that they overshadow the lumbering, ho-hum portrayals of Supes and Batman.

It's a quality production, with slick animation as per, rich colours and effects used for battles and locations, but it feels a wasted opportunity focusing on the video game threads over the original comics, which could have fared better. It feels like a simple "spin-off" movie looking at drastic actions and drastic measures from our heroes, but it's not brought to the boil in a satisfying way like previous animated efforts.

The production of the Warner Bros. animation is second to none, especially with the DC material. However, there is something lacking in this adaptation for such a story that should feel more powerful and exciting than this does.





'Injustice' is a co-production between Warner Bros. Animation and DC


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