Review: Justice League VS The Fatal Five (2019)

Synposis: The Justice League is attempting to train new team members Limelight (Jessica Cruz Green Lantern) and Ms. Martian while several key members of the league are on other missions. This gets even more complicated when Star boy shows up in current time followed by the Fatal Five. The Fatal Five try to release one of their own so they can complete their plan of universal domination.

The Good: Bruce Timm is fully back in this movie. This means what we have is a film that feels like a direct extension or continuing adventure from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series. Even some of the cast have returned. The character designs are slightly updated but nothing to drastic so the mainstays of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are just like the original series. New members get updated looks to match the Timmverse.

I also greatly appreciated the idea that the tone has matured slightly but not over cranked. We don’t have heroes dropping F-bombs but there is some pg-13 language and themes for several characters. Jessica Cruz herself is dealing with some mental health along the lines of PTSD which was present before she becomes a Green Lantern.

The action is a bit more violent to the point of some deaths. I appreciate the stakes being raised without the gore that usually goes along with that kind of thing. Because of this the threat the villains pose is more real which puts the heroes in actual jeopardy.

The Bad: Slight Spoilers here, but it’s called Justice League VS the Fatal Five. For 70% of the run time there are only three of the bad guys running around. Not that it isn’t an interesting part of the story but I just felt like I was waiting a bit too long to get to the villain storyline.

There was also a lot of explaining why some characters weren’t present. That isn’t a bad thing but when it’s not explained organically it feels shoehorned in to help get new team members into the movie.

Speaking of new characters, of the three new heroes introduced (I don’t count Mr. Terrific because he had been in the series) two of them have some kind of mental health issues. These issues are what brings two characters together but it just feels very crammed in.  Maybe one character with a mental issue that could be explored more would have been better. I appreciate  trying to diversify but it comes across as overloaded.

Bottom line: The good outweighs the bad so I would suggest checking out this release. The last few DC Direct DVDs have been a bit lackluster but this one is a huge step in the right direction. Fans of the Timmverse will enjoy being transported back to that world. Newcomers will be fine as well as the story doesn’t hinge on knowing anything about the previous series.

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