Directed by Matt Peters.
Featuring the voice talents of Anson Mount, Justin Hartley, Janet Varney, Brandon Michael Hall, Kevin Pollak, Anika Noni Rose, Reid Scott, Gillian Jacobs, Derek Phillips, Faran Tahir, Zach Callison, Edwin Hodge, Oliver Hudson, Laura Bailey, Yuri Lowenthal, Brian T. Delaney, Fred Tatasciore, Andrew Morgado.
On an alternate Earth, the Joker tricks Superman into murdering Lois Lane and detonates a nuclear weapon that destroys all of Metropolis, leading him down a darker path…
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting video game released in 2013, developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, featuring characters from the DC Comics Universe. The critically acclaimed game was directed by industry veteran cum Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon, whose team was previously involved with the production of 2009’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Tying in with the release of Injustice: Gods Among Us, DC Comics released a prequel comic book series detailing the sequence of events which preceded the game, that was released digitally until 2016. This animated film loosely adapts the storyline featured in Year One, featuring a divided Justice League and a rogue Superman.
Right off the bat we are thrust into the thick of things, we meet a Superman giddy over the prospect of fatherhood and a Joker hell-bent on tearing that world down. Things escalate pretty quickly and Supes goes dark side, in the aftermath of Lois’ demise. We’ve seen a glimpse of how terrifying the Big Blue Scout can be in 2012’s Superman vs. The Elite, but nothing will prepare you for the brutality we witness here. It is heart rending and downright chilling to see the Son of Krypton metamorphose into a merciless overlord who had no qualms about human life, but that’s pretty much what happens here, and that doesn’t sit well Batman and some Justice League members. In the end however, it’s brains that trumps brawn, as Bat’s deploys his superior intellect to bring down the Man of Steel, in devastating fashion.
Justin Hartley (Smallville) proves to be an unusually inspired choice to carry out the voice over work for Superman, but he nails it perfectly in the context of the action-packed film, breathing life to a morally conflicted and emotionally fragile Superman. But the clear stand out for me is Anson Mount (Star Trek: Discovery) putting his own unique stamp, with a Kevin Conroy-esque twist, on Batman. I sincerely hope that Mount will continue to voice the Dark Knight on future DCAU projects going forward. Janet Varney (The Legend of Korra) turns in a solid performance as Wonder Woman and Faran Tahir (Iron Man) as the ruthless Ra’s al Ghul is also a real treat. The animation style is crisp and less anime heavy, and is strongly reminiscent of 2010’s Batman: Under the Red Hood.
The action set pieces are akin to an exquisitely orchestrated corps de ballet of violence and chaos, brutally uncompromising and utterly electrifying; something that DC animation excels at. Accompanying this vichyssoise of larger-than-life mayhem is the intelligently crafted score by composer Robert J. Kral (Justice League Dark), which heightensd the emotional story beats of the narrative whilst augmenting the action heavy aspects.
Though not quite up there with the best of the DCAU, Injustice is nevertheless a thrilling, adrenaline fueling ride from start to finish that’s certainly worth checking out.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★
Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.