Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

We all have types of stories that we like to hear told and retold. Me, I'm a sucker for a tale of redemption as well as for a certain story that doesn't really exist outside of sci-fi and soap operas, that of the evil twin.

Of course in science fiction it often takes the form of a counterpart from a parallel univers. I loved Grant Morrison's JLA: Earth 2 and I was expecting the awesomely made but lamely titled Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths to be essentially an animated version of the comic, and I was pretty pleased to see an extensively reworked story!  I loved the characters design. Better than JLU series where everybody seemed to be built like a Gorilla Grodd.

The beginning is pretty much the same. Good Lex Luthor and his pal the Jester are stealing some technology from the Crime Syndicate, the evil version of the Justice League. The Jester is killed by evil Hawkgirl, which causes him to die again, this time of embarrassment, and Luthor escapes to our world, where he beseeches the Justice League to help him.

So the League, minus Batman goes to Earth 2 where the learn the base is compromised They fight Z-listers like Evil Vibe and Evil Gypsy. I mean, there are demi-gods like Superman who thunder across the globe and then there are the "Why are they on the team again?" heroes characters like Vibe of whom I wrote in another JLA review:

And it was nice to see some of the B-listers. (A C-listers. And you too, Vibe. I'm not sure which list you're on, but I'm pretty sure we'll need a letter from Grant Morrison's 64-Letter alphabet to describe it. Hey-o! Invisibles Shout Out!)

Despite the lameness of their opposition, the JLA is forced to flee when they the little leaguers call in the big guns. I loved the Made Men. (The mafia metaphors in this movie are not what I would call subtle. Ultraman in particular is unable to complete a sentence without using "dis" dat" "dese" or "dose".)

I guess the Made Men were supposed to be the Marvel Family (judging by the names in the credits) , but they reminded me of the Three Storms from Big Trouble in Little China. Our heroes evade the villains, and the chameleon Circuit on Owlman's jet was cute. (It gets stuck in the on position and the plane becomes permanently invisible. Wonder Woman steals it for her invisible Jet) and go to Lex's pad.

President Deathstroke was a bit of a tool, which seems to be a constant no matter what universe you're in. His daughter really reminded me of Zoey Bartlet. She falls in love with J'onn J'onzz, and he with her. Who knows why?

Flash seemed barely faster than I am. Fucking feet of clay, man. His role seemed to be run around and then get cold-cocked as he gawked at something s*l*o*w*l*y coming towards him.

The heroes split off into pairs and attack the opposition. Lex and Superman go to the Daily Planet and call out Ultraman, the evil Superman. I really loved Jimmy ("Ultraman's pal") Olson as a superpowered goon. It seems fitting somehow.

I enjoyed seeing Batman getting his ass kicked. I think I'm going to dedicate an entire post to how much I hate Batman. And I think it's a tribute to how good the movie was that I liked it even though it was the goddamn Batman who saved the day (as usual).

Ultraman shows up and Superman is ready to throw down but Lex stops him, saying that he has to be the one to do it if it's going to mean anything after the heroes go home. There are lots of superpowered brawls, and Owlman puts his plan in motion. Owlman is the nihilistic evil counterpart to Batman (though Owlman is not Bruce, but Thomas Wayne.) I was texting my friend Eric when I started the movie and I mentioned that I wanted to have Owlman's owl babies.

Pictured: Awesome

He texted back saying "James woods as owlman" and I replied to that with "That sounds like it could be the first line of a haiku".Hmmm... Let's see what we can do!

James woods as Owlman
He's a nihilist. What? That's
no ethos, asshole.

Big Lebowski shout out!

Owlman was the best part of a really good movie. He reminded me of the Batman analogue in Soon I will be Invincible, who was explicitly autistic.  His last words, "It doesn't matter" will stick with me long after the movie has ended.

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