Monday, March 24, 2008

Movie Review - Justice League: The New Frontier

WB Premiere's DC Universe animated adventure, Justice League: The New Frontier is based on the graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke. I'd read the original mini-series years ago and was very much looking forward to this film - it did not disappoint! It may be the most faithful comic book adaptation I have ever seen. Sure, a lot of material was cut - there's just no way to squeeze 400 pages into just under 70 minutes. But the core of the story remained intact and there are a lot of character elements that were great to see: Wonder Woman vs Superman, Batman vs an extremist cult, Flash in action in Las Vegas, the origin of Green Lantern, the acclimation of Martian J'onn J'onzz into life on Earth, etc. And all the while bridging the gap between the Golden Age and Silver Age of comic superheroes.

I thought the voice casting was spectacular. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many recognizable names cast in a cartoon:

David Boreanaz as Green Lantern
Miguel Ferrer as Martian Manhunter
Neil Patrick Harris as The Flash
John Heard as Ace Morgan
Phil Morris as King Faraday
Joe Mantegna as Crooner
Keith David as The Centre
Vicki Lewis as Iris West
Kyra Sedgwick as Lois Lane
Brooke Shields as Carol Ferris
Jeremy Sisto as Batman
Kyle MacLachlan as Superman

and in my favorite bit of casting...

Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman

If it were up to me, Lucy would voice Wonder Woman in every project that DC animation develops! It is always odd for me hear any voice coming out of the mouth of Batman other than Kevin Conroy, but Sisto performed well as a younger Bruce Wayne.

I'm not sure this movie would appear to everyone. It is especially not for little kids (the first DC animated film to get a PG-13 rating). I also think that if you are not familiar with the original graphic novel or many characters in the DC Universe, you may not be able to follow some of the story. I would have preferred they added more footage to really do justice to the comic (pun intended), but as it stands it is still one of the best animated superhero movies I've ever seen.

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