Justice Society: World War II review: A new DC movie universe begins

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War brought 7 years of the DC Animated universe’s interconnected plotlines to a conclusion in 2020, when the Flash reset the entire timeline in the hope of developing a much better future. The Flash-centric Justice Society: The Second World War appears to be the very first significant action at establishing that brand-new connection, however at the hinderance of its pulpy, satisfying facility.

The needs of constructing a franchise pull the 90-minute animated function in a lot of instructions to concentrate on its objectively amazing facility: Marvel Female in the function of Indiana Jones.

Justice Society: The Second World War opens with Wonder Female (Stana Katic of Castle) leading a group of superheroes to stop Hitler’s pursuit of wonderful artifacts that might provide the Nazis an edge in The second world war. However after an intro to the titular characters and a captivating black and white credits series set to stirring orchestral music, the movie makes its very first of a number of extreme pivots in tone and plot by heading to modern Metropolitan area, where Barry Allen/The Flash (Matt Bomer of Doom Patrol) is dealing with relationship problems that might have been pulled directly from an episode of The CW’s The Flash.

Barry’s girlfriend Iris West (Ashleigh LaThrop of The Handmaid’s Tale) is annoyed that he’s too busy being a superhero to spend time with her. But like Flash himself, the script by Meghan Fitzmartin and Jeremy Adams rushes headlong towards something new without concern for what’s being left behind. Mid-argument, the Flash zips off to help Superman (Darren Criss of Glee and American Crime Story) fight a particularly dull version of Brainiac, and during the battle Flash runs so fast that he winds up fighting the Nazis in France.

The Justice Society of America appeared in the second season of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow as a model of competence and cooperation meant to inspire that show’s squad of perpetual screw ups to do better, and they serve the same purpose in Justice Society, by inspiring the Flash to go back to his time and form the Justice League. But by centering the narrative on Barry’s journey instead of the JSA, the movie fails to really develop any of its characters.

There’s strong groundwork laid, especially in the charming romance between Wonder Woman and Colonel Steve Trevor (Chris Diamantopoulos). Both are trying hard to imitate the performances of Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in Wonder Woman, down to Katic’s solid impersonation of Gadot’s accent. They manage to capture some of the same chemistry while touching on the real conflict created by Wonder Woman’s hesitance to love a mortal man and Steve’s desire to embrace the moment in the uncertain future created by war.

Kneeling, Steve Trevor holds a box with a shining diamond ring in it out to Wonder Woman in Justice Society: World War II.

Image: WB Animation

There’s plenty of drama to mine in the rest of the Justice Society cast, as well. Hourman (Critical Role’s Matthew Mercer) feels inadequate because he only has powers for an hour each day. Hawkman (Omid Abtahi of The Mandalorian and American Gods) and Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru of Arrow) replicate the season one Legends of Tomorrow Hawkgirl plot, focused on the challenge of having a romance with anyone else when you’re aware you have a literal soulmate.

But just when it seems like the it’s about to get into some good Nazi-punching fun with a The Dirty Dozen-style raid on a castle, Justice Society expands its already large cast to unwieldy numbers of heroes to focus on, and then swerves its plot entirely to feature Aquaman and an absurdly generic villain. The logic here might be that the live action Wonder Woman and Aquaman films did well, so fans must want to see more of those characters, but the portrayals remain lacking.

A big ‘ol tentacled sea monster towers over an amusement park and roars in Justice Society: World War II.

Image: WB Animation

The “Savage Time” episodes of the Justice League animated series proved that having modern-day heroes travel back in time to World War II can provide an excellent mix of pathos and adventure, while Wonder Woman and Captain America: The First Avenger showed you can get plenty of thrills and foreshadowing of future superherics with a directly period piece. The writers and director Jeff Wamester seem to have needed to use the film to introduce most of the Justice League, but the result is an overstuffed production.

It feels like three movies crammed into one, and none of them are good. The creators of Justice Society: World War II managed to mess up the simple joy of having superheroes battle Nazis, by lacking anything meaningful to say beyond “The Justice League is a good idea.” The film is suggested to leave fans excited for the next big team-up adventure, but it stops working to provide something amusing, and even meaningful adequate to base on its own. Maybe the next stage of the DC Animated Universe can measure up to the wild experiences of its last version, regardless of this rocky start.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.