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‘Justice Society: World War II’ – Blu-Ray Review

I’ve always been fascinated by the Justice Society of America. The precursor to the Justice League, it featured a number of heroes who have since fallen by the wayside—or taken wildly different forms. Not to mention superheroes against the background of World War II. This film gives us a glimpse into that world, from a modern perspective. It also includes time travel, so, of course, I was excited to review it.

Barry Allen/The Flash (Matt Bomer) has brought long-term girlfriend Iris on a trip to Metropolis, where Barry is thrilled for the opportunity to meet the one and only Superman. Iris is less thrilled when what was supposed to be a romantic getaway is marred by Barry’s inability to separate his personal life from being The Flash.

When Brainiac attacks, Barry rushes in to help the Man of Steel fight him off—until a strange energy surge sends The Flash hurtling backwards in time to the middle of World War II. There, he meets an elite team of heroes, assembled by the Allied Forces to stop the Nazis and win the war. Led by Wonder Woman (Stana Katic), the team includes Hawkman, Hourman, Black Canary, and even their own speedster, Jay Garrick.

Can The Flash convince the team that he’s on their side, in a world where they’re surrounded by enemy spies? Can they help him get home to his own time? Do they have any hope of winning World War II? These are the questions that form the basis for this story.

While this was a good movie, I have to admit that I was expecting to like it a lot more than I did. A lot of story elements seem kind of thrown together, and certain things seem to be done simply for their convenience to the plot, even though they don’t necessarily make sense.

For example: When Flash first encounters the Justice Society, they immediately assume he’s a Nazi until he can prove himself otherwise. This leads to a great scene wherein he risks his own life to save someone else, as only a hero would do, thereby finally earning the team’s trust.

However, before we get to that scene, as they’re arguing over whether or not to believe his story, someone turns to Wonder Woman and asks, “Why don’t you just use your magic lasso and see if he’s telling the truth?” The comment is completely ignored, and the magic lasso goes unused.

Granted, saving innocent lives is a much more dramatic way for Flash to prove himself. But they go out of their way to acknowledge the fact that there’s an easier way to clear everything up right from the beginning—and then they don’t use it. This is perhaps a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, but the problem is that my more significant gripes are also significant spoilers.

Still, there’s also plenty to like about this movie. There’s some great action, along with great characters. I particularly liked Chris Diamantopoulos as Steve Trevor. A hotshot pilot and devil-may-care adventurer, he’s also a hopeless romantic who recognizes that Wonder Woman is better than him in every conceivable way and loves her passionately for it.

While the last few DC Universe Animated films I’ve reviewed have been fairly lighthearted and fun, this one is a good bit heavier and even a bit depressing in places. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was expecting.

The 4K/Blu-ray includes a number of great special features, including some featurettes and behind-the-scenes looks, as well as previews of other DC Universe Animated films, plus a couple of of my favorite episodes from the Justice League animated series (Legends, parts 1 and 2).

All in all, even though this is a flawed movie, it has a lot going for it. Though it could have been better, it’s generally worth watching. If you enjoy superheroes, time travel, and World War II, you’ll want to check out this movie.

Creative Team: Jeff Wamester (director), Jeremy Adams and Meghan Fitzmartin (writers), Stana Katic (Wonder Woman), Matt Bomer (The Flash), Omid Abtahi (Hawkman), Matthew Mercer (Hourman), Elysia Rotaru (Black Canary), Armen Taylor (Jay Garrick), Darren Criss (Superman), Ashleigh LaThrop (Iris West), and Chris Diamantopoulos (Steve Trevor)
Production Companies: Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
Click here to purchase.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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