Let me start off by saying that I love the Injustice series. Gods Among Us was great! It set the stage perfectly for the world and DC’s Injustice comic books filled up the years in-between the games. With Injustice III unannounced (yet), Injustice (DC Animation) wants to fill in the void left by our yeaning for more from the series.
Now that I’ve watched the animated film from beginning to end…is it worth it?
Read on and you’ll find out.
What is Injustice?
Injustice is a DC Animated film by Warner Bros Animation. It’s based off the Injustice video games (and comics) but isn’t a direct translation of them. It has a runtime of about 80 mins and is available on video on demand.
In Injustice, Superman enforces a worldwide police state after Joker tricked the Man of Steel into killing Lois Lane and his unborn baby, while simultaneously destroying Metropolis with a nuke. Pissed off with Batman’s reluctance to stop the Clown Prince of Crime once and for all, Superman kills the Joker and gives the world at large an ultimatum; stop all violence and crime or he’ll do it for them.
Batman and some heroes stand against Superman and his supporters, which is no surprise considering how anti-killing he is. The movie tries to blend elements of the original game, along with Injustice Year One and some elements of the general Injustice universe.
Unfortunately, Injustice has an uphill battle to convince everybody that it’s a good movie.
Here’s the cast, because I’m too lazy to type out every single name.
The voice actors don’t really inspire confidence. I don’t particularly like the voice actors for Batman and Superman.
As a hardcore fan of both Batman and Superman TAS (The Animated Series) from the 90s, my ideal Batman has always been Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly as Superman, Mark Hamill as the Joker and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn. None of the voices seem to particularly fit the characters in the movie all at.
Joker’s voice is especially bad. It’s clear the actor was trying to channel IT’s Pennywise. It’s pretty obvious with his tone, cadence and inflection. Unfortunately, that makes the Joker come off as goofy, not malicious and takes out all of the bite of his heinous acts of murder and mayhem.
Voice issues aside, Injustice tries valiantly, succeeding mostly in the first half but then rapidly collapses under the weight of fans’ expectations in the second. Eventually, it devolves into an uninteresting mess with an immensely unsatisfying ending.
There are multiple deaths that make zero contribution to the story. In fact, heroes and villains who are alive in the games (and comics) get killed off in the animated movie. That includes a pivotal character from the Injustice II game, who gets killed off mere minutes in the movie. What’s worse, nobody mentions or even cares the person died!
Once the plot deviates from the comics/games, it’s all over. You’ll be able to see the ending a mile off. I can’t even make a good case for the action scenes…there’s just not enough of them.
Apart from some set pieces (which are also waaaaay too short), there aren’t a lot of action scenes. What little action there is is also boringly choreographed. You have people like Clayface, Mirror Master and Solomon Grundy but the fight’s over in just a few moves. That’s not even a tease! That’s just plain boring.
Thankfully, the animation as a whole is decent, and the art style harkens back to DC’s ill-fated New 52. I’ve always loved Superman’s collared suit, so to see it in the movie was awesome.
The rest of the characters look like a mishmash between the old Justice League (and Justice League Unlimited) cartoons and their comic counterparts, but they’re pretty identifiable so I have no issues with that too.
The Bottom Line.
As a fan of the series, I’m totally disappointed by Injustice. I was already expecting to be disappointed coming in (considering how much material it had to adapt to fit its runtime) but the end result was worse than even I thought it’d be.
There are a couple of highlights though. The art design is ok (if a bit uninspired) and the animation is smooth enough. The plot is also passable for the first half.
Other than that though….it’s pretty bad.
The plot is severely underwhelming and definitely could use a lot of fleshing out. The movie’s runtime of around 80 minutes is to blame for this one. Injustice could certainly use more minutes, or even be broken up into two parts like a couple of DC’s animated movies. The voices aren’t anything to write home either and the lack of action in the movie is embarrassing.
Unless you’re a hardcore fan of the DC Animated movies, I suggest skipping this altogether.
Only the first half of the movie’s worth watching.
- Decent animation.
- Good art design.
- Voices don’t really fit the characters.
- Too little action.
- Boring second half.
- No character development.
- Predictable ending.