Review - "Injustice" Animated Movie

Release Date: October 19, 2021

SCREENPLAY BY: Ernie Altbacker
DIRECTED BY: Matt Peters

Justin Hartley as Superman
Anson Mount as Batman
Janet Varney as Wonder Woman
Brandon Micheal Hall as Cyborg
Kevin Pollak as Joker & Jonathan Kent
Anika Noni Rose as Catwoman
Reid Scott as Green Arrow & Victor Zsasz
Edwin Hodge as Mr. Terrific & Killer Croc
Gillian Jacobs as Harley Quinn
Oliver Hudson as Plastic Man
Laura Bailey as Lois Lane & Rama Kushna
Faran Tahir as Ra's al Ghul
Derek Phillips as Nightwing & Aquaman
Yuri Lowenthal as Mirror Master, Flash & Shazam
Zach Callison as Damian & Jimmy Olsen
Brian T. Delaney as Green Lantern
Fred Tatasciore as Captain Atom
Andrew Morgado as Mirror Master Soldier

Reviewed by: Steve Younis

4Rating - 4/5: Based on the story from the "Injustice: Gods Among Us" video game and comic books, "Injustice" the animated movie deviates slightly from the source material, while remaining true to the cautionary tale's intent.

The 90 minute framework might seem restrictive for a story of this scale, but the animated film doesn't suffer at all, and feels grand in scope and execution. The initial 10-15 minutes do seem somewhat overly condensed, but the true story of "Injustice" isn't in Joker's initial plan to kill Lois and blowup Metropolis, but in what happens because of those actions... and the film doesn't hold back on that front.

Having said that, the initial set-up of the story is shocking in its brutality and finality. However, as an audience, we feel more shock at the deaths of Lois Lane and her unborn child, as well as Jimmy Olsen, than we do for the entire city of Metropolis, which is destroyed in a devastating blast, killing 11 million people. After all, the story if about the personal impact on Superman than the over all impact on the world.

Interestingly, with a cast of this size, while the focus is mainly on Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, the entire Justice League are given a chance to shine to varying degrees. Even though we only get a glimpse at some characters, others like Plastic Man, Green Arrow, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn are heavily involved and play very important roles.

The character who probably comes out looking the best is Nightwing. I don't recall how heavily he was involved in the original comic book story, but Derek Phillips does a great job of voicing a very likeable character, who acts as an important middle-man between Bruce Wayne and his son Damian... and then plays a pivotal role in a more spiritual form later in the film.

Superman's journey, while shocking and disturbing, is mostly believable. Interestingly, Wonder Woman plays an important role in the actions he takes. Diana probably comes out looking even worse than Superman in the movie, as her motivations aren't based in loss (as Superman's are), but due to her own personal beliefs and infatuation with the Man of Steel. It's not a good look.

Make no mistake, while this is a "cartoon", this is not a kid's movie. The killings are brutal and frequent.

The art style is crisp, but I felt the animation lacked fluidity. Character movements seemed somewhat unnatural (especially when walking), but the action sequences were very well choreographed. The soundtrack, while not memorable, worked well, building the emotional beats of the story.

The voice acting was superb. I couldn't pick Justin Hartley's voice as Superman, but he did a great job. I actually preferred him in his alternate Superman role. The fact that he was able to differentiate between the two was well done.

All in all, I would highly recommend "Injustice" to any DC or Superman fan (of the appropriate age). I sat down and watched this with my wife (who isn't necessarily a fan), and she enjoyed it. For those who may be sick of the "Superman goes evil" trope, this film still has something for you. The fact that they explain the Multiverse and make it clear that this isn't the "real" Superman helps in that regard.

"Injustice" is well worth a watch.

"Injustice" is available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray and Digital from Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.