Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just Sayin'--JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM (2012)

You know, I wonder sometimes if, just like Larry Niven probably wonders if people ever really figured out that "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" was supposed to be a joke, does Grant Morrison ever regret that people apparently took the wrong lesson from the hyper-competent Batman he first wrote in JLA?

I bring this up because this here movie is based on Mark Waid's "Tower of Babel" storyline in JLA and . . .you know, generally I like Morrison, and I like Mark Waid, but uh. . .guys? All that shit with the OMACS and Batman being clever enough to launch a satellite without anyone knowing? This. . .kinda came from that.

I also wanted to say that because I feel bad saying this, but I hope Dwayne McDuffie is remembered more his adaption of "All-Star Superman" than this, because it's . . .well, it has major problems.

The opening fight with the Royal Flush Gang is pretty awesome, and yet . . .no other action set piece after that feels like it has that level of intensity and action to it, and this is a movie wherein the Justice League fights the Legion of Doom and flies to the sun and shit.

Worse still, even thought Batman tried and nearly succeeded in killing the League with his contingencies, he's. . .well, nothing super-bad happens to him. Hell, Superman even says "Oh yeah man, you're probably right. here's that Kryptonite bullet you shot me with! Hang on to it in case you need to shoot me again, dude!" and Batman is all like "OK I will."

And. . .hm. Doesn't so much end as stop, really. Because I kept waiting for something else to happen and it never really did. And no, Cyborg joining the league doesn't count, because it has the same problem as putting him in the Justice League--he just kinda shows up and pitches in entirely accidentally.

While I appreciate that they want to bump him up to the top of the card, and I totally agree it's a worthwhile thing, the problem you have is that he need to do something to justify his presence. Every other member of the JLA got to show up and be all badass without a lot of "what am I doing here" hand-wringing, and it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy: they come off as Bad Motherfuckers because they act like Bad Motherfuckers the minute they're on the scene. So treat him like he belongs there and he'll belong there.

Lest you think I totally hated this, however, there are a couple things I liked in this one--there were some unlikely choices for the Legion of Doom, I liked that they used a version of the theme from Crisis on Two Earths, and the disc has a great documentary/tribute to McDuffie, who damn sure deserves his accolades.

So while this wasn't a complete waste of time, it wasn't as good as it could have been either. I can't really recommend it as such, and would suggest Young Justice as an alternative, but it's really spinning its wheels since they've come back on and that's a whole other rant besides.

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