Written by Heath Corson, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott WIlliams
Directed by Jay Olivia
Warner Home Video
I picked up this animated film on DVD recently, it’s based on the comic-book JUSTICE LEAGUE: ORIGIN by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee which, if you read the link, you’ll note that I wasn’t particularly impressed with. But this film makes a significant change to the story in that it includes my #1 favorite superhero Captain Marvel, although now they call him Shazam for reasons which can only be explained as stupid, in the place of Aquaman. And that makes sense because Aquaman is pretty lame.
Well, okay, maybe he’s not that lame. But a character whose primary domain is the ocean does feel limited in a group like the Justice League. Anyway, the story is a pretty straight-forward retelling of the comic-book. So, just go ahead and reread my review of that if you feel like it. Captain Marvel, I mean SHAZAM, fits into the story pretty well, even though his role as the newbie superhero is slightly redundant by the appearance of Cyborg, who was meant to be the POV character in the comic and sort of plays that role again here. The story of Cyborg is the only slight improvement in the story, as it feels more effective in this film. He’s a gifted athlete named Victor, playing high school football, but doesn’t get any support from his father who is a scientist. At one point when they argue the father points out that the emergence of superhumans will make Victor’s abilities obsolete. After getting almost fatally injured during the an attack by the parademons, Vic’s father has him quickly rebuilt as a cyborg, which understandably freaks Victor out, so he’s trying to come to terms with this while being inadvertently drawn into this big superhero battle.
Ultimately this was a waste for me. It’s not bad, the animation is nice, but I didn’t find it much more compelling than the comic-book story that it was based on. If I forced to choose between rereading the comic-book or rewatching the movie, I guess I’d pick the movie. But other than that I don’t anticipate ever rewatching this. But if you are a fan of DC’s recent animated features, you’ll probably enjoy this.