Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010, animated)
Plot: A Lex Luthor (Chris Noth) from an alternate Earth enlists the Justice League to help defeat the evil reign of the Crime Syndicate, a group of villains who hold similar powers to the Justice League, but use them for power and selfish gain.
There are a lot of cool concepts and ideas here. Some live up to its potential, others do not. The movie begins with a shock to the system as we see alternate versions of Lex Luthor and the Joker (but named Jester here) as good guys. Especially seeing a Joker like character be good was really strange, and freaked me out to be honest with you. It was kind of unsettling. I thought it was interesting that the good Lex Luthor kept the same name, but Joker’s was different. It was like the writers knew they couldn’t call a good guy in a superhero movie ‘the Joker.’ It’s just not going to happen. One of the disappointing aspects is the voice acting, especially among the Justice League. No Kevin Conroy this time around as William Baldwin takes on Batman. He wasn’t terrible, but it just wasn’t Batman. It might be more the way the character was written though. I didn’t like a lot of the dialogue for Batman, and he was a little too jokey for my liking. Mark Harmon voices Superman, and I’m sorry, but Superman was a super dick in this movie. He really bitches out the good Lex Luthor a lot. And then we have Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern…they were pretty much generic and uninteresting. What actually worked was the voice acting for the alternate ‘heroes.’ They all had very distinct voices and personalities. I especially like Ultraman, the opposite Superman. His voice is basically stereotype Italian Mafia. I love this because Italian Mafia is the last thing I would expect Superman to sound like, so it worked. They do go a little overboard at times though. Check out this line:
Ultraman: Did you forget who I am? How I got to be the boss of bosses? I’m here because I’m the baddest of the bad.
Superwoman (the alternate Wonder Woman) is also an intriguing character, mostly because she’s just a complete whacko. I wished her and Wonder Woman had more scenes together though. The best voice over, and easily the best part of this entire movie was James Woods as Owlman, the bad guy Batman. This was a very interesting/dark character, and Woods’ voice fit the tone perfectly. The character also had tremendous dialogue, so that helps. What’s so scary about Owlman is that he is capable of accomplishing anything Batman can…but evil. His way of looking at all the parallel worlds and his ultimate plan was comic book villainy at its best. And it gets really good towards the end when he and Batman finally collide. Their interaction together is truly fascinating. While there’s a lot to like in this film, the fight sequences go on a little too long, they could have fleshed out more of the good guy characters, and I didn’t like how the Justice League ended up treating a few of their evil doppelgangers at the end, but more on that later. But what elevates this film significantly is the Owlman character. If you’re a big Batman fan, I think he alone instantly makes this film worth checking out.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Very Good)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: James Woods as Owlman
-Just perfect…so calm, cool, and collected, but just the right touch of pure evil. And the fact that it’s James Woods impressed me even more, because he’s got such a distinct voice, yet he was able to give this character so much originality. I’m also surprised I never laughed at his voice, only because he’s been in Family Guy so many times.
Worst Performance: William Baldwin as Batman
-He does get a little more comfortable as the film goes on, but it’s just not Batman. As I said before though, the writing may be more to blame.
Best Line: “There is a difference between you and me. We both looked into the abyss. But when it looked back at us…You blinked.” –Batman to Owlman
-I’m not happy about a lot of Batman’s dialogue in the movie, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with this line…bad ass.
Worst Line: “Maybe you should surrender. We’ve taken down dozens of you. And now the odds are 6-to-3.” –Batman
-This just isn’t a Batman line. He wouldn’t say this before a fight. He’d just stare quietly and be ready for the first attack.
-We finally get to see everyone go up against their opposites, and it’s pretty much just powers galore. This is basically like a Mortal Kombat mirror fight in which the characters battle themselves.
-Batman has to call reinforcements up at the Justice League space headquarters, and one of the guys he calls is Aquaman…really? What’s he going to do in space? Poor Aquaman.
-The final confrontation between Batman and Owlman on Earth Prime was truly riveting. First of all, the setting is perfect, just completely desolate and empty. And the exchange of dialogue they have is spot on. The only issue I have is that Batman sends the bomb rocket to another world with Owlman attached…so yea, Batman practically kills someone. I’m a little uneasy about that.
-Luthor takes the Justice League to the Jester’s old place and he’s got a monkey named Harley…Come on, was that necessary?
-So there was this whole sub-plot about Martian Manhunter and a romantic interest with the President’s daughter. Ultimately, Manhunter chooses to go back to Earth. But here’s the exchange of dialogue between Wonder Woman and Manhunter after he leaves her:
Wonder Woman: Maybe there’s another one like her back on our Earth.
Martian Manhunter: With my luck, she’ll be evil.
Bad Ass Moment:
-The opposite Flash (Johnny Quick) vibrates at a ridiculous amount of speed to produce a portal so Batman can go after Owlman in Earth Prime. He goes so fast, that when he stops, he’s an old man on death’s door. So the Flash originally volunteered to do this, but Batman lied and said he wasn’t fast enough so Johnny Quick would have to do it. Batman was the only one who knew the aging thing would happen. Wow…that was really dick on Batman’s part.