Every time a new DC Animated Universe movie is released, I always get excited to see what it’s all about. The newest one from our friends at Warner Bros. is Justice League Dark, their second rated R animated film that’s a different take on the league and a most welcomed change from the capes and tights crew to a more dark and mysterious group that takes on supernatural threats, with Batman’s help of course.
The plot has some evil magical force possessing people and making them see others are monsters and demons, causing them to harm or kill others thinking they’re hurting or killing evil creatures. Even worse is that some of the Justice League have become infected by this magic as well, prompting Batman to seek out help from those specializing in the magic realm of things. This leads him to the lovely Zatanna who in turn seeks out John Constantine (voiced by Matt Ryan who starred in the ill-fated TV series) and Boston Brand, a ghost that can possess people and solves paranormal crimes. They also get some help from Jason Blood, an immortal that shares his body with the demon hero Etrigan, and even the legendary Swamp Thing makes a guest appearance to lend a vine…err hand. As they band together to fight off the demonic creatures attacking them and the world, the mystery of who is behind all of this leads them to a betrayer from within their ranks.
It might not be as exciting as some of the previous DCAU features, but I did have a good time watching this entry. The characters are fun and witty (even Batman, go figure) and the action is spot on when it starts going down with the baddies. It was also a nice touch bringing Matt Ryan back as Constantine after the live action series tanked on NBC. He’s also set to reprise the role in an animated series on CW Seed, so that’s another thing to look forward to. The visuals and audio are brought to demonic life thanks to them being in high definition which come through nicely. After the demons have been bound and laid to rest, there’s a few special features you can take a look at such as “The Story of Swamp Thing” the talks about the origins and adventures of the famous superhero. There’s also other extras like “Justice League Park at NY Comic Con 2016” that shows off a little of what went down with the cast and crew discussing the film there, and there’s two Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes from the “DC Comics Vault” that feature some supernatural action with the caped crusader.
If you love the DCAU or comics like I do, or if you’re just looking for something different to watch, you can’t go wrong with Justice League Dark. Don’t let the R rating scare you away, as it’s only for a swear here and there and most likely for the plot being about demons and such. If you’re tired of the same old capes and tights fighting supervillains, you’ll want to let this film cast its spell on you for a magically good time.