This is what we want from a DC animated movie. The movie opens by showing the different members of the Justice League from Batman's files in his computer. We then see Batman investigating a break in using stealth the way Batman should and he soon finds himself fighting the Royal Flush Gang.
We're used to Batman being able to fight everyone but he has a hard time against the tech of the Gang. Because this is a Justice League movie, this is where everyone else comes in. Not only is it great to see Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter and Cyborg all fighting side by side. There is plenty of group action as well as many scenes with solo action. Besides all our favorite DC heroes, we also have the return Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Nathan Fillion and others.
The premise of the movie (similar to the comic book arc) has Batman's Bat-computer get hacked into. Because Batman is always on edge, he kept contingency plans on everyone. With his files being compromised, Vandal Savage's plan (instead of Ra's al Ghul) against the Justice League just might be enough to finally put an end to the team.
Seeing each member systematically broken down and taken out is not something we're used to seeing. This movie clearly stands out from the other DC Universe original movie.
Mirror Master is able to hitch a ride in the mirror of the Batmobile. It's a great way to catch Batman off guard but was a little odd since the security systems immediately recognized Batman as an "authorized" user yet Mirror Master was able to enter and leave without a problem. It turns out this is later explained so apparently Batman doesn't actually think of everything.
It is a little weird to see Cyborg on the team instead of Aquaman. Also it's great to have Barry Allen in the movie but of course Wally West fans will be disappointed. Kyle Rayner was in the comic book version but here we get Hal. We're getting a bit of a mix with the pre-New 52 versions and the current status of the characters. Barry and Cyborg seem to play into that but other elements such as Lois knowing Clark is Superman. It's a whole different continuity and we just need to accept it and enjoy the movie.
There are interesting deviations from the original story. Because of the nature and format of the movie, the 77 minute running time makes it feel as if the story gets a little short-changed. A lot of the movie deals with each member getting taken down. The resolution in dealing with the villains feels a little rushed. If only we could someday get a DC animated movie that was over 80 minutes.
Watching this movie is a little bittersweet. It's a great story but being reminded that this is the final DC Universe film script by the late Dwayne McDuffie makes you think how much he contributed to comics and how much he will be missed. It is a great way to pay tribute to the man.
Seeing each of the members of the League in action makes you wish we could get more. Wonder Woman kicks butt here yet her (great) solo movie wasn't considered a success. Flash zipping around taking out villains in the way only he could would be great to see more of. The unfortunate nature of the buying public's taste is apparently you have to have Batman or Superman in the movie.
- A League of One: The Dwayen McDuffie Story (36:35) Friends and family of the late Dwayne McDuffie, including Stan Berkowitz, Matt Wayne,Charlotte McDuffie, Andrea Romano, Denys Cowan, Sid Jacobson, Bruce Timm, Joe Kelly, Dan DiDio and many others talk about his brilliance (he went to college at age 10) and everything he contributed to comics (from his work on Deathlok, Damage Control, Milestone and more).
- Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA (18:54) A look at Batman's decision to keep safeguards against each member of the Justice League. Writers, authors, professors and others talk about the idea of "absolute power corrupting absolutely." How do you keep the power in check?
- Sneak Peek at 'Superman Vs. The Elite' (6:32) The next DC original animated story is based on the story of Superman taking on the Elite (beginning in ACTION COMICS #775). What happens when Superman is called into question? The movie will be released Summer 2012.
- Cyborg: His Time Has Come (6:08) Geoff Johns, Mike Carlin and Marv Wolfman talk about his creation and why now is the time for him to be a bigger part of the DC Universe.
- Justice League Unilimited Episodes ('Wild Cards, Parts 1 & 2).
- Audio Commentary.
- DC Digital Comic Book - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: TOWER OF BABEL (JLA #43)
This may not be the perfect DC animated movie but it comes pretty close. It has pretty much everything you'd want. We get to see many of our favorite heroes and villains fighting each other with plenty of time together and on their own. The idea of the Justice League being defeated to this extent isn't something we normally see. Comic fans should enjoy this movie and those with a passing familiarity should become fans themselves after seeing this. Because we do not have half stars, I'd have to give this a 5 out of 5. There's action, humor, darkness and plenty of superhero butt-kicking and you'll want to watch it over and over.