The Watch List: Justice League: Doom

By Joe Strange

Now, like I said in my article earlier in the week, I’m a big superhero fan and will take the chance to experience any outlet or interpretation of the genre. Way back when I was at University, my house and I sat down to watch Justice League Doom one lazy Sunday morning, and we were really impressed.

Animated films are often overlooked as being childish, or immature, but as anyone who’s seen any studio Ghibli, or has experienced just how heart breaking and terrifying anime can be, (Yes, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, I’m looking at you.) will tell you, that’s not always true.

While Doom doesn’t quite live up to the maturity of other those animated shows it is a nice change from the convenient plots and exposition heavy story lines that’s seen in many shows made for kids, because at heart Justice League Doom is made for a younger audience. You can tell by the avoidance of curse words and the ‘killing humans is bad, but tearing the head off an android is totally cool’ that’s abundant in U’s and 12a’s.

But while the action is family friendly, with people being thrown about but never really hurt, the storyline has some pretty dark and adult moments, that have the potential to go over the younger audience’s head without alienating them.

The story’s basic premise is this; the Justice League, which in this film consists of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash and Green Lantern, are each taken out in the most effective way by a nemesis of their own. This is the first step in immortal Vandal Savage’s scheme to ‘reset’ the world and become conqueror of the new world he’s made.

The best part of the film is this first half or so, when the league is each neutralised in a personal and specific way. Some of them are typical, like Superman’s weakness to kryptonite being used in the form of a bullet, and Martian Manhunter’s terrible reaction to fire (which is nicely prefaced by a birthday cake full of candles), while others take advantage of the heroes’ psychological weaknesses; The Flash’s hunger for a challenge, and Green Lantern’s burden of power.

Batman’s at the helm of the film, and fans of the incredibly broody, I’m the best, Dark Knight won’t be disappointed. Between announcing, after a particularly rough fight, that he ‘doesn’t need sleep’ and his general douchiness towards Alfred, it’s all there.

In all, Doom is a great example of showing a team of superheroes working together and conquering ever increasing odds without spending millions on Robert Downey Junior alone, and is great for fans of fun superhero action, with a few darker moments and some oddly inspirational messages that you can take away and at just over an hour long, it’s a definite addition to the Watch List.



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