Justice League: Crisis on Two EarthsAnimated Superhero Movies & TV)
Simple put, Lex Luthor is behaving a little strangely as of late. He steals a diminutive power source from an underground bunker with the Jester. He transports himself from one place to another, only to give himself up to authorities somewhere else. Plus on top of that, he tells the Justice League a very odd tale indeed.
You see, this Lex Luthor is from a parallel world run by a tyrannical version of the Justice League called ‘The Syndicate’. And he needs ‘our Justice League' to help him turn the tide of battle.
The Justice League agree's - exempt for Batman of course.
However, once they zap over to Lex’s world, I am sure that they wished they stayed behind with Bat's. Well, nigh on straight away, the Justice League is met with some resistance from Owlman and his group of ‘Outsiders’. Moreover, after this long and drawn out battle resolves itself, the League decide to hit The Syndicate on multiple fronts. Flash and Martian Manhunter attack a compound belonging to Johnny Quick. Wonder Woman and Green Lantern demolish a drug shipment owned by Power-Ring. And Superman and Lex capture Ultraman too.
Granted, by in large most of these attacks do prove somewhat successful in execution. Though I am afraid to say, that at the end of the day, all of this is for naught. The Syndicate have a hold over President Slade Wilson – to the chagrin of his daughter, Rose.
Meanwhile, in Owlman’s den, Owlman and Superwoman have devised a simple plan to build a doomsday machine, called the QED, and use it to blow up the Multiverse by targeting ‘Earth-Prime’. But for them to be able to pull this off, Superwoman has to transport herself to the ‘Justice Leagues’ Earth, and then find a diminutive power source that Lex hid there previously.
So what does she do? Correct – she zips off to the Justice Leagues Watchtower with a handful of ‘made men’, and gets her hands on just what she wanted just before returning back home again. Plus Batman as well. Which is a good thing really. Because on this ‘other Earth', the Dark Knight can see for himself what is really going on.
Martian Manhunter is having feeling for Rose. The Justice League is becoming frustrated because of the difficult situation they're placed in. And the Syndicate is growing weary of their strangle hold upon this Earth.
Ouch! Still, this is most probably why what next transpires is didactic, everlasting, and fateful for all in sundry. As the Justice League fights the Syndicate mono-a-mono – the QED is primed and ready to do blotto – and worlds are saved, destroyed, and carry on as normal. Perfect-a-mondo.
Or do they?
Now before I commence my review on this bold and brash cartoon, please allow me to tell you a little bit of back-story first. In 1930, DC comics started to produce superhero publications. In 1950, DC decided to reintroduce new heroes again with old names. And in 1956, DC wanted to justify to their readers how this 'new for old' thing worked.
So what was their justification? Issue #123 of The Flash – a story called "Flash of Two Worlds" – and a concept called the Multiverse. In this story, the new Flash, Barry Allen, used his powers of super-speed to vibrate from his Earth (Earth-One) to another Earth (Earth-Two) where he then meet the ‘Golden Age’ Flash, Jay Garrick.
Unfortunately, though, from then on in, DC went a bit crazy with this concept, and other ‘alternate’ Earths popped up left right and center. There was ‘Earth One’, which was the Earth for ‘our’ heroes. ‘Earth Two’, the Golden Age Earth. ‘Earth 3’, the Crime Syndicates Earth. ‘Earth Prime’, the original Earth. ‘Earth S’, for the Shazam Characters. ‘Earth X’, for the Freedom Fighters. Plus many, many more.
Eventually, DC had to rethink this concept, because it was getting very confusing for their readers. This resulted in the 12-issue mini-series called ‘Crisis on Infinite Earth’ – that blew up the Multiverse and made them all into one again. Since then however, the Multiverse has come back in the form of 52 parallel universes – a concept that DC have managed to have some control over – within reason of course.
OK, so now you know that ‘Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths’ did actually come from some historical precedence, do you think that this aided it or hindered it, huh? Personally speaking, I do not really think that the film-makers took any of this into consideration really! Instead, they took a Grant Morrison graphic novel called ‘Earth 2’, and then tried to make this movie into a facsimile of sorts.
And were they successful in doing that? Simply put – no way – this film is hindered greatly by three factors – the story – the action sequences – and the overall clumsy approach that it took.
Where the story is concerned, it is a simple story presented with a lot of inane and drawn out interruption. Mainly the action. Well, this bold 'punch and grab' is just too over the top at times, and does not appear to go anywhere! One minute there is a bit of exposition. And then, POW! A ten-minute action sequence in futility. Granted, some of these fights are fairly nice to watch on first viewing. Because if you are a comic book fan you can't help but play the game of ‘name that superhero’. To juxtapose this stance though, I was not too keen on how Batman was used as ‘punching-bag-man’. He really did seem to get beaten up quite a lot in this film.
Now I want to say something nice about this film, I really do. But apart from liking James Woods playing Owlman, and how Batman was utilized in the end-sequence, I am afraid to say that overall this was a pretty strained piece of pampered celluloid.
Maybe this is because I was expecting too much from this film? Maybe this is because I wanted ‘Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths’ to have a historical perspective rather than a big colorful brawl? It is highly possible that these two statements are true you know, which is why I was not too keen on the fights and the simple way that the story seemed to progress. Anyway, I am sure that there are some people out there who would like to see there battles tinged with multi-colored fury and a simple premise.
People whom like cartoons and wresting perhaps?
Overall, a so-so piece of polished animation, with a sprinkling of story for good measure.
THE RATING: C+