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Review: 'Justice Society: World War II' (2021) Dir. Jeff Wamester

Stana Katic, Matt Bomer, Elysia Rotaru, Chris Diamantopoulos, Omid Abtahi, Matthew Mercer, Liam McIntyre, Keith Ferguson, Darren Criss and Darin De Paul


The 41st film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series sees our favourite red-suited speedster going back in time to meet a very different Justice League during World War II...

In 2020, Barry Allen (Bomer), also known as The Flash, helps Superman (Criss) battle Braniac (De Paul) in Metropolis, but in doing so rips through the Speed Force and travels back in time to early 1940s America.

He arrives back in time at the turning point of World War II, and discovers a new era of familiar faces; a group of heroes serving America to fight back back against the Nazi powers across Europe and their powerful, secret weapons.

Barry joins the fight with Wonder Woman (Katic), Black Canary (Rotaru), Hawkman (Abtahi), Steve Trevor (Diamantopoulos) and others to not just save the world at a crucial point in the past, but also help preserve it's future...

A host of familiar faces, and some new ones, come together for an original story set across the frontline of France in World War II. Exploring the early assignments of the Justice Society, led by Wonder Woman sporting an authentic Israeli accent mirroring Gal Gadot, we see it all through the eyes of "future boy" Barry Allen, aka The Flash.

Gone are DC stalwarts such as Batman, The Joker or Cyborg in favour of faces such as Hawkman, Hourman and Steve Trevor. It channels the much loved World War II themes of Wonder Woman to see a true mix of international heroes taking on the Nazi powers in Europe, battling to stop Hitler's experiments with secret weapons that pose a threat to the entire world.

It's always exciting and interesting to see new angles on World War events and themes, and it works across any media such as TV, film or video game. Seeing early DC heroes taking on the Nazis and exploring top secret threats and dangers otherwise unknown is always good for a story such as this. It ticks the boxes for questioning humane themes of where do people belong in uncertain times, what keeps them going and what blurs the line between good and evil.

Yet it doesn't delve into dark territory too much, thanks to our skilled voice cast brimming with great chemistry and humour when needed. Bomer's Flash is a wonderful lead, coming across totally likeable and focused without being egotistical or cocky when faced with such a change of situation. Each DC / Warner Bros animation aims to add little developments to heroes we've known for so long without changing the entire lore, and they succeed again here by changing the timeline for a new look and style but never losing the core characters and message.

The animation is slick and stylish, as is expected from Warner Bros and DC. Subtle computer animation is used to bring war to life, in terms of Mustangs and Messerschmitt dog-fights, and when magical power zaps and streams and swarms in battle.

For authentic action, we have it all in terms of what to expect from a war story. The heroes take to avoiding Nazi ships in a rickety submarine, engage in shoot-outs with tanks in villages brought down to rubble and lead covert rescue missions into gloomy forts surrounded by cracking thunder and lightning.

This story is fused with classic comic-book daring do and superpowers on land, sea and air to remind us this is certainly an age of heroes, but not without a few twists and turns along the way!

Nazi Aquaman, anyone?

Fresh, exciting and wonderfully animated to tell a story set across one of the most dangerous and darkest moments in mankind's history. Does the era, and the DC heroes, justice.

'Justice Society: World War II' is a Warner Bros. Animation / DC Entertainment production

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