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JUSTICE LEAGUE THE NEW FRONTIER, 2008
Starring: David Boreanaz, Miguel Ferrer, Neil Patrick Harris, Lucy Lawless, Kyle MacLachlan, Phil Morris, Jeremy Sisto
In the early 1950's, the new generation of superheroes (including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and more) join forces with the U.S. Military to fight an ancient creature called The Center, determined to eradicate the human race. REVIEW:
Based on the comic book mini-series of the same title, this may be one of the most accurate to source material adaptation ever put to the screen. There were some moments where the scenes in the film were literally frame-by-frame identical to the comic! Which is awesome, because this is such a unique reboot on the formation of the Justice League of America.
A voice tells the audience that it is The Center, an ancient creature of Earth that was formed before the dinosaurs. It witnessed the death of the dinosaurs from a meteor, as well as the rise of humans and their evolution from caveman to modern (1953) man. The Center has decided that humans must be wiped out. All of this is being written down by an unseen author who then commits suicide after finishing writing the book.
Meanwhile, Hal Jordan is a fighter pilot that just heard the announcement of a cease-fire. The Koreans didn't get the message however and attack Hal and his wingman Ace. Hal is forced to eject from his plane, and must kill a ground trooper in self defense once he lands.
Meanwhile, at the Gotham City observatory, a scientist dies of a heart attack after accidentally teleporting a Martian to Earth. The Martian shape-changes to look like the scientist and leaves.
A year later, Superman finds Wonder Woman celebrating with a hut full of Vietnamese women she rescued from military imprisonment. The women had then armed themselves and wiped out all the men. Superman reprimands Wonder Woman for standing by and allowing it to happen, to which Wonder Woman argues back the difference between her world and a man's world and that she did what she felt was right. The two part ways, at odds with one another.
In Las Vegas, Captain Cold makes an attack on a casino where The Flash's girlfriend Iris is. The Flash rushes to the casino and defeats Captain Cold. Later, in Central City, the government will trick and capture The Flash, insisting he's government property. The world's fastest man escapes, and announces to the world that he is quitting as a super hero.
The Martian, J'onn J'onzz becomes a detective named John Jones. He and his partner investigate a lead that brings them to a cult group. J'onn J'onzz and Batman rescue a child from the cultists and agree to aid one another in finding out more about this “The Center”.
Hal Jordan becomes a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft where he's put through many tests before being offered the chance to go on a manned craft to Mars. One night, while on the testing site's grounds, a green light overtakes him and brings him to the dying alien Abin Sur. The alien gives Hal his green power ring, making Hal a Green Lantern.
J'onn J'onz learns of the trip to Mars and tries to get on board, but is captured and put into captivity. Superman reprimands the Martian's captor, saying the difference in treatment between him (a Kryptonian and thereby also alien) and the Martian is racists due to their appearance. Farraday, the captor, ends up forming a bond with J'onn and invites him along when The Center finally reveals itself.
The Center is a giant, living, floating island that spawns dinosaurs and other hellish looking creatures while also being able to fire intense blasts of energy, control people's minds, and devour full aircraft carriers. The superheroes of Earth join forces with the military to fight this enormous threat to mankind!
“Justice League: The New Frontier” has both moments of awesomeness, and moments of dull slow story progression.
The story itself is awesome, but the back and forth from one hero's story to another makes the film feel like it drags about twice as long as it's actual run time of 75 minutes. The main focus of the story seems to be split between Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz), The Flash, and Hal Jordan (The Green Lantern). It makes a couple of seemingly unneeded stops off in the feud between Superman and Wonder Woman as well. I know that this is part of the comic book (as I mentioned before, there are parts that are lifted directly from the comic), but I feel like Superman (my personal favorite superhero) and Wonder Woman were both useless to this film. Their parts in the story didn't really matter much in the grand scheme and were essentially just there to appease the fans of those two characters. However the stories of Martian Manhunter, The Flash, and The Green Lantern all are very well told and make this movie almost deep- a great feat to see in a superhero movie.
The voice acting in this film was brilliant by all involved... EXCEPT for Batman. I don't know why Jeremy Sisto was chosen to play the role of the Dark Knight, but he does not at ALL sound like Batman. His voice is too low-pitched and normal sounding... not the raspy and intimidating voice we all have come to expect from someone portraying the Caped Crusader.
The animation here is stunning. It's a great cross between modern day animation and the animation of early studios like Fletcher's. And it looked so close to the art style of the comic series that it helped to make it feel like I was seeing the comic in motion.
“Justice League: The New Frontier” doubles as a superhero origin story and a deep, emotional tale of people being brave enough to do what's right even when it seems at first like there's no real reason to fight.
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