Movie Review: Justice League Dark

If you have read any of my movie reviews for Warner Brothers Animation's Justice League series, then you will know that I love all of them. The animation studio has been successful where Warner Brothers film has failed. It has created distinct entries inside a shared universe. Each movie builds off the previous but can stand alone. The latest entry, Justice League Dark, deals with the magical side of the DC Universe... and that side is... well... dark, hence the R rating.

Now, normally I spoil the heck of things in my reviews... and I even started this review deciding to go in that direction, but part of me felt that some of you out there might take some of the this I describe as a reason to not watch this movie. Let me tell you this now in the second paragraph. WATCH THIS MOVIE. It is well worth the price of admission and worth watching over again (which I have, twice).

So here is my spoiler-lite review of the Justice League Dark:

Batman is out of his element. Zatanna is a bad ass. Swamp Thing can cry. John Constantine is an asshole. 

But, you really don't want to know much of the details. The movie is graphic. It starts off with a couple of gut wrenching scenes which helps establish the setting and builds from there. Despite the dark nature of the subject matter, the tone is often light and humorous. While Deadman's sardonic wit may get a bit grating after awhile, I never failed to laugh at a befuddled Batman grunting after something magically weird happens. You often forget that you just watched some people die in terrible and disgusting ways... and that is not easy to do.

Despite all the nice things I can say about this movie, my biggest drawback with this film is the soundtrack; not as a whole, but certain parts. The mysterious and spooky bits by Robert J. Kral fit nicely and add great ambiance, but the action sequences leave a bad taste in my mouth. A cross between frenetic dub-step and traditional symphonic movie orchestral, they never quite mesh and is more distracting than it is excitement inducing. I'm sure Kral wanted to give the audience a "heart-pounding" experience (and they will get that if they have a sub woofer), but it just made me angry that this is the music to which Swamp Thing goes completely agro to.  

What both scares and excites me about this film series is that the recent ones are set in the "New 52" era of DC Comics. While I grew to enjoy "New 52" after it's slow start, most of us welcomed "Rebirth" after all the "Convergence" bullshit. I want to see a "Rebirth" in the film series... I really do... but it is so good right now and I don't want what is going on right now in the films to end by going through a "Convergence." Maybe just give us OG Supes back (and fire Jerry O'Connell as the voice of Superman).

As a result of my slight nit picking, this might be my least favorite of the Justice League movies, but I still really liked this movie allot. That just goes to show how high the bar has been set. That shouldn't stop you from seeing this film. It's great... just don't let your kiddies watch it unless you want to explain why Superman is looking at a shed full of bodies. 

Rating: 9/10 Demons Three Incantations