Just Recently I had the opportunity to check out one of the most anticipated DC Universe Animated movie this year, Justice League Dark. Now I do not know much about the branch of the Dark arts section of Justice except for two characters such as John Constantine, still mad they cancelled the tv show, but also Zatanna, and also I have seen Etrigan off and on. Now many of us we were hit with a trailer for this movie during comic-con which had the internet and all the comic book fans buzzing. This movie definitely got me excited because the trailer right off the bat shows you, the Justice League is not going to be apart of this mission, that it will take other Justice League operatives and people with special abilities to take on this task,will show you the trailer, and we will get back to this.
This movie does have an R rating, but there is no need for it except for a few adult jokes, and maybe more blood then usual, but I would like to say I do enjoy that Comic book movies more and more are getting that R rated feel, you can tell it lets the creators branch out a little more and even give each character more dialogue to work with. Before going into this I was already going in knowing I wouldn’t see as many regular justice league characters, but this movie will surprise you, but in a good way.
We first start off this movie, with a woman driving her car, and randomly seeing Demons, which at first you really think are demons, but they are average people she is hallucinating towards, she even thinks Wonder Woman is a demon. All over the DC universe people are hallucinating and seeing demons, or committing crimes that seem even unusual for the citizens of Gotham. Justice League comes together to figure out this is too big for them and they need the help of John Constantine. Might I add I am so happy they asked Matt Ryan the actor who played Constantine in the TV show to voice Hellblazer himself. I have to add it was also great to see a younger version of John Stewart Green Lantern, which makes me wonder this must have took place way before a lot new people were added to Justice League, and there’s another line at the end that makes you see this movie takes place early in the timeline of things to come. Or maybe this movie comes out of the works of the New 52 DC Universe, because Green Lantern looks really young.
We find Constantine and Jason blood aka Etrigan in a heated poker battle with 3 other demons who have this magical stone named the Dreamstone which John says is harmless, but later on becomes very powerful
While watching this movie, I did not know how much magic would be installed in this, but why wouldn’t I expect that like come on Zatanna and John Constantine are in this. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed seeing each person use their abilities especially when the team came together with Boston Brand and Etrigan. One Scene that I really enjoyed seeing is when Batman joined the team and they all went to see Constantine’s friend Ritchie, outside his house were these things called Shrouds, and can only be seen when Death is near. The Shrouds then saw Batman and said “this one has escape us many times” and they looked deeply into Batman’s eyes and in classic Bruce Wayne fashion he replies with “boo”.
After the team goes to see Ritchie, he tells them to go see Swamp Thing because he is the only one who can honestly give them answers and get them to the person is creating all of these magical things occur. I have to say they did an amazing job with Swamp thing, I have never been a huge fan of him, but with that animation I would love to see more of him and more of his story and fighting style. But before the team could meet up with Swamp, they had to go to the woman who we see in the beginning of the movie and figure out what kind of magic they were dealing with. I won’t get into full detail about a lot of the scenes of this movie, but this part was also really dope in how they created the hospital scene with John Constantine having to go into the woman’s mind, just the way things were moving, and seeing different realms. Zatanna was very skeptical of john going into the woman’s mind, a lot things they tiptoed around, but we saw that Constantine and Zatanna had a relationship and have studied magic together.
One thing I can say that’s always hilarious, no matter if it’s the Constantine show itself, Arrow, no matter what crossover, or movie or show Constantine is in, he always manages to step on someone’s toes, or someone always has some vendetta against him. I think there has to be many reasons why John is constantly getting in fights it’s because even with his knowledge of the underworld, and magic and many other things, he chooses to do things his own way, and not go by the book unless he has to which makes everyone mad. Or John already knows a faster way to get something done, but it’s always more dangerous if it is done incorrectly, while everyone wants to take the long course. Now after the team meets with Swamp we learn that Felix Faust is supposedly behind everything, and the team has a heated battle with him that is so dope and amazing. We get to see Zatanna use her powers, like really use her magic, I have only seen her use her magic in doses between other Justice League movies and also when she was in the Young Justice show, sidenote we need Season 3 of Young Justice already. It really amazing that we even get to see more of Etrigan also during this fight.
At this moment I want to speak on the things, that I like and didn’t really like about this movie, and also the things that surprised me. First I was very surprised that Batman stuck around for as long as he did, I honestly thought Bruce would just gather information and report back to the League, and let Constantine, and Zatanna and everyone do their thing. I think maybe this is to show kind of like Batman’s kind of darkness, that he isn’t afraid to get involved even magical things, or this could be classic detective Batman in wanting to collect things for his database of information. I really enjoyed that we got to learn more about Etrigan, all I knew was Jason Blood, and Etrigan, and that they were one person, but I never knew how the formation of them occurred or why it happened. Learning about Boston Brand was very cool also, I have seen him in multiple pictures, but never took the opportunity to go into his story, and I know in a lot of these movies and shows, the origin of most characters is probably twisted just a tad to help viewers understand better. Loved all of the magic in this movie, I didn’t expect there to be as much magic, but there was so much used in so many different ways from different realms, to defeating the enemy.
There are not too many things I can say that I didn’t like about this movie, I think the only thing is maybe, you were looking forward to seeing more of the Justice League. I think as fans of the DC Universe especially if you haven’t indulged in a lot of the characters, you are constantly looking for the regular league members to be that shoulder to lean on. I think maybe that’s why Batman was a constant, like you saw Superman, Wonder Woman all of them, but I think Batman’s presence reassured you like this could get more interesting with him still around.
Overall, I thought this movie was really good, different then having the classic Justice League film, seeing the same characters, I think that was a big strength for the film, and seeing many of the low-key League members have shine, and contribute, and make fans who aren’t really aware them, actually research now. With Justice League Dark being rated R, you knew that the creators wanted to branch out and make this animated movie darker and have a darker tone, and bring in more stories that made you go damn that was crazy. I recommend this movie to anyone who is really looking for a good animated movie to watch, and sit down and enjoy. DC has been doing an amazing job with their animation over the years, and I can only see it going up from here and getting better.
Riceball Rating: 8 out of 10