tek's rating: ¾

Justice League: War (PG-13)
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Caution: spoilers.

This is based on a graphic novel that I haven't read. The movie came out in 2014, but I didn't see it until 2022. It's the second film in the DC Animated Movie Universe, but I think it must be set before that movie, because the Justice League already existed in the first film, but not in this one. Which is weird, because the post-credits scene from that movie seemed to be setting up the story for this one. Anyway, this movie continues the tendency toward darkness that started in the previous movie, if to a lesser degree. And there's certainly some adult language.

People are being abducted, and it looks like Batman might be behind it (at least in Gotham, but this is going on worldwide). Green Lantern (aka Hal Jordan) investigates, and gets attacked by a Parademon from the planet Apokolips. Batman shows up to fight the Parademon, and sort of teams up with GL, but the two don't trust each other and bicker constantly. They eventually find a device (a Mother Box, as we'll learn later) that had been planted by the Parademon, and determine it to be of alien origin. They suspect Superman may be involved, because he's an alien, so they go to Metropolis and pretty much get their butts kicked before figuring out that Superman isn't responsible for the device, and he's investigating them, too. Meanwhile, another Mother Box is being studied at STAR Labs, by a team led by Silas Stone. It had been recovered and turned over to them by the Flash. Silas misses his son Victor's football game to continue studying the device, and Victor shows up at the lab afterwards to confront him about this. It turns out that in a world with an increasing number of metahumans, Silas believes sports are obsolete. Anyway... the Mother Box eventually blows up (sort of; actually it just opens a portal), causing Victor critical injuries, and Silas takes him to another part of the lab to use some other alien technology to try to save his life. Victor ends up becoming a cyborg. And he fights off a bunch of Parademons that are pouring through the portal (or boom tube) that had been opened by the Mother Box. Flash eventually shows up and also helps.

Elsewhere, Superman, Batman, and GL fight Parademons that have come through other boom tubes to invade the Earth. And a lot of other stuff happens, and eventually the three of them team up with Flash, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Shazam (who in other incarnations is called Captain Marvel, but not in this one, apparently). Shazam is actually a teenaged orphan named Billy Batson, who can transform into an adult superhero. And he's a fan of Victor Stone as a football player. And eventually the leader of the Parademons, Darkseid, comes to Earth to complete the invasion. He is much bigger here than I've ever seen him depicted before. And the seven superheroes have to put aside their differences and work together to stop Darkseid, which takes a lot of work. But eventually they manage to send him and all his Parademons back to Apokolips. It is expected that they'll return again someday, but probably not for some time yet.

By the end of the movie, the heroes still haven't decided to form a group, let alone come up with the name "Justice League". But the public, who have gone from distrusting them to celebrating them for their defeat of the aliens, already thinks of them as a team. Anyway... there's also a mid-credits scene that sets up the fourth movie in the series, that is, the one after the next movie. And I don't know what else to say. I thought this was a pretty good movie, though not as good as the first one. I look forward to seeing more of the series.

DC animated index

DC Animated Movie Universe
DC Database; DCAMU Wiki; TV Tropes; Wikipedia

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox * Justice League: War * Son of Batman * Justice League: Throne of Atlantis * Batman vs. Robin *
Batman: Bad Blood * Justice League vs. Teen Titans * Justice League Dark * Teen Titans: The Judas Contract * Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay *
The Death of Superman * Constantine: City of Demons * Reign of the Supermen * Batman: Hush * Wonder Woman: Bloodlines *
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War