‘Injustice’ Fails to Do Justice to its Source Material

Julien Neaves, Editor

Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

After the excellence that was The Long Halloween Parts 1 and 2 Warner Bros. completely phones it in with its newest DC animated film Injustice. When the cutscenes from your video game source material has a better and more coherent story than your film you know something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Let’s talk about the positives first. The animation is very good. The voice cast is pretty solid, with Smallville’s Justin Hartley and Anson Mount (Inhumans, Star Trek: Discovery) both doing justice as the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight respectively. My favourite was actually Community’s Gillian Jacobs, who delivers a pitch perfect Harley. The joke that Green Arrow’s “Arrow Cave” should really be called “The Quiver” was priceless. Oliver Hudson (Nashville, Scream Queens) was also a lot of fun as Plastic Man and I was glad the film gave him a plenty room to shine. There is some decent action, with a few moments of Mortal Kombat-esque blood and gore thrown in for some reason. And the opening scenes are faithful to the source material and very well done. Sadly, that is where the kudos end.

What did you say about our mommas? Hmm?

The biggest issue with this film is its contrived, overstuffed mess of a story. For some reason the writers decided to just use the set-up of the video game and the prequel comic (Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois, his unborn child and nuking Metropolis, Supes murders Joker and then becomes a power-mad tyrant) and then just do their own thing. Big mistake.

Superman’s turn from boy scout to dictator is written so blandly and so clumsily that it not only feels unearned, but there is zero emotional connection to the character’s rise and eventual fall. And while one can understand why Wonder Woman and Damian Wayne are following him no reason is given for Cyborg nor the mute Hawkman. And speaking of Damian, the whole side story with him killing Nightwing in the dumbest way possible, Nightwing being reincarnated as “Deadwing” and then Deadwing/Damian fighting Ra’s Al Ghul felt like an unnecessary detour into tedium.

How do you know that name?! HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT NAME?!

And Injustice detours a lot and has enough subplots for five films. Mirror Master capturing Pa Kent. Mister Terrific exploring the Multiverse. The assault on Arkham. Ra’s still-unexplained Amazo plot. Not one, but two scenes of the two sides joining forces to fight a greater evil. It feels like the film was written by a ten-person committee (it was just one person, Ernie Altbacker) and everyone wanted their ideas used. And because of this the story just jumps all over the place from set piece to set piece without any real through thread. Then to add insult to injury the climax pulls alternate universe Superman right out of its anus and then pulls a Justice League (2017)/ ZSJL with alternate reality Lois talking him down.

Man this movie is lazy. The source material deserves better and fans do as well. An injustice indeed.

Editor Jules’s Score: 5.5 out of 10

You can check out more DC animated content below:

‘BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART 2’ DELIVERS A COMPELLING CONCLUSION WITH BRILLIANT TWISTS
‘SUPERMAN: RED SON’ QUICK BITE
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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.