Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

Justice League: The New Frontier is set in the 50’s and focuses on the accidental formation of the Justice League. The main character we follow through the film is fighter pilot Hal Jordan, who dreams of roaming the stars after the war. However, we also follow various other characters stories, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter.

Considering this film has a measly 75 minute run time, the film does a great job of giving almost every character some backstory and manages to give the audience a sense of who these characters are and what are their dreams or goals. I mean, fuck, the Green Lantern live action film couldn’t do that with its bloated run time and even more bloated budget, so it is indeed impressive.

However, I do have a problem with this, Justice League: The New Frontier feels like it could have used another 20 or 30 minutes extra run time to flesh out some other characters and maybe wrap up some loose ends. For example, in the final battle, Green Arrow and a few others show up to fight, but the audience hadn’t been introduced to these characters yet and thus have no emotional attachment to them. Another problem I had was a plot with Batman and cults around the world which ended fairly abruptly which is a shame because it really seemed interesting.

I am a big comic book reader, I read bits of almost everything, but I will say that I am a Marvelite at heart. Having said that, I found this film to be extremely well made, with a great, if not slightly rushed story, great characters and mostly great voice work.

The animation style is very reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series from the 90’s which is very good, however it is not the best animation I have seen, but it does not in any way detract from the film.

Almost all the voice work is great and perfectly cast, all except Batman, who is voiced by Jeremy Sisto. No offence to Sisto, but his voice is definitely not suited for Batman, which I think DC realised as this was the only time Sisto has voiced Batman. It was not intimidating, there was nothing in his voice which would strike fear into his enemies, it is in fact, almost laughable and was huge distraction for me in this film.

Overall if you are a fan of the comic books, Superman, Batman, or any other Justice League member, you should definitely check this film out. Yet I would also recommend it for even the casual fan of any superhero films, don’t let the fact that it is an animated film fool you, there is some blood and a fair amount of violence. DC should definitely stick to making animated films and save us from atrocities like Green Lantern. Watch it, have fun and choose your favourite hero.

7/10

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