Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010) - Recap and Review

Batman Superman Wonder Woman Justice League poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (JL: CoTE) is inspired by “Crisis on Earth-Three!” (written by Gardner Fox) and JLA: Earth 2”, the graphic novel by Grant Morrison.

As the movie's title indicates, there are alternate earths, each with its own version of our DC Comics heroes and villains. Of course, in other realities, the roles are reversed.

In one such alternate universe, Lex Luthor and Joker are the good guys in charge of the Justice League. The villains are bad guy versions of our regular Justice League members. We have Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Power Ring and Johnny Quick. These super villains are members of Crime Syndicate”.

In one such encounters between the heroes and villains, the Joker sacrifices himself in order to save Lex Luthor's life. Lex travels to our Earth and requests our set of Justice Leaguers to help save his planet. The rest of the movie is about how our regular heroes fight their evil counterparts and save the alternate Earth.

This is a movie that gives equal  importance to all Justice League members. This means in addition to Supes, Bats and Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern, we get a good look at the most (criminally) underused Justice League member of all time: J'onn J'onzz, better known as the Martian Manhunter (MM).

Jonn Jonzz Martian Manhunter Justice League poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

MM is one of the coolest and the most powerful heroes among the entire lineup of DC Comics characters.

To give an idea of the insane arsenal of powers that MM possesses, I have also mentioned another Comic Book character who has the same power:
1. Intangibility (Kitty Pryde)
2. Shape-shifting (Mystique)
3. Super-strength (Superman)
4. Telepathy (Professor X)
5. Flight (Wonder Woman/Rogue)
6. Martian Vision/Optic Blasts (Cyclops)
7. Telekinesis (Jean Grey)
8. Invisibility

It is almost impossible to best him in a physical confrontation and deserves top billing in any DC Comics adaptation (animated or real life). But fate has dealt the Martian a cruel hand and he still lingers on the sidelines, waiting for his spot in the limelight.

MM has not got much of exposure except for a few rare animated movies like this and the Justice League series that ran from 2001 to 2006. Phil Morris played J'onn J'onzz with a healthy dose of humor, intelligence and the requisite air of mystery in Smallville. His MM had an excellent chemistry with Tom Welling's Clark Kent and this remains one of my favorite parts from the TV show.

Getting back to the movie under review, MM gets enough moments to showcase his amazing powers. Credit to Dwayne McDuffie for his script that helps MM get his much deserved screentime.

Batman Owlman Justice League Crisis on Two Earths poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

Obviously, any DC Comics adaptation cannot do without the Batman and this movie is no exception. The Dark Knight and his evil doppelganger, Owlman arguably have the best written parts. Owlman is a nihilist and his motto is Nothing matters. He means to destroy Earth-Prime and with that, all life that exists on various alternate universes (including our Earth).

Other Crime Syndicate members that get to leave an impression are Superwoman and Johnny Quick, the alternate versions of Wonder Woman and The Flash. Another common feature to these three characters is that they get to bash around Batman quite a bit. The Caped Crusader gets even with a couple of them and I will leave it to the readers to enjoy these surprises for themselves.

Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery have co-directed this movie that stars the voice talents of Mark Harmon as Superman, William Baldwin as Batman, James Woods as Owlman, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, Gina Torres as Superwoman and others.

The direction and voice acting is the kind of work that makes DC Animation stand heads and shoulders over their competitors. Lauren Montgomery has also helmed Justice League: Doom, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Green Lantern: First Flight and Wonder Woman. Sam Liu has Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and The Batman vs. Dracula to his credits. Goes without saying that these are some of my favorite DC Comics adaptations.

Owlman Superwoman Johnny Quick Ultraman Crime Syndicate members Justice League Crisis on Two Earths poster wallpaper image picture screensaver

The acting ensemble does a good job. I personally liked James Woods (Owlman), William Baldwin (Batman) and Jonathan Adams (Martian Manhunter).

The animation quality ranks among the best in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Hats off to the animators and other artists who have worked on the movie. The output is top-notch.

The action/fight sequences in this movie are just amazing. There are a bunch of them and each and every one of them have been lovingly choreographed and executed.

Click on the link below to buy your copy:

Like the other alternate universe movie, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, this one too features familiar characters in a different perspective. I particularly liked Harley Quinn and Jimmy Olsen of the alternate Earth. Jimmy is referred to as Ultraman's Pal, in an obvious reference to “Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, the famous comic book series that ran from 1954 to 1974.

This is DC Comics at its peak, right on par with the Christopher Reeve movies and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Needless to say, a must watch for fans of DC Comics.

Check out the trailer below:

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Image Sources: Warner Premiere, DC Movies Wiki

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