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Justice League: The New Frontier (2008) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Justice League The New Frontier.png

Director: Dave Bullock (as David Bullock)
Writers: Stan Berkowitz, Darwyn Cooke (additional material)
Stars: David Boreanaz, Miguel Ferrer, Neil Patrick Harris

Justice League: The New Frontier is set in the 1950s during the paranoia of the Cold War and it’s propaganda. A new generation of superheroes with a hostile government and population that doesn’t trust them must join forces with the community’s active veterans to fight a menace to Earth.

The opening narration comes from a mysterious force which has monitored humanity grow in strength and violence and on the brink of self destruction and it has decided it has to eliminate the problem. I liked this sequence which has become a common trend in movies of the past decade and in particular superhero movies with an opening narration before the proper opening titles and credits.

What I got out of this animated movie was a lot of short plots involving Superman, Wonder Woman, Bat-Man and The Flash. Most of this came across as a reason just to make sure the main heroes are there but for me it was really about condensed origin stories for Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. I’m already familiar with the latter and I was intrigued to find out more about this mysterious alien that I can honestly say I knew nothing about.

Again I appreciated what the animators goal was for this film and that was to give the feel and look to the Golden Age of these classic characters which I felt they achieved. Yes, to be fair it is probably is a step down from the previous release Superman / Doomsday in regards to fluidity as that movie  ‘s animation was fast and slick. Justice League: The New Frontier was a little more rigid and compact with less angular shots on the drawings but I do feel this was to keep with the look and feel of the 1950’s versions of these characters.

One of the many things that I enjoy about the DC Animated Series is the array of actors the show up on these films. Justice League: The New Frontier brags the likes of David Boreanaz (Hal Jordan), Miguel Ferrer (J’onn J’Jonzz / Martian Manhunter), Neil Patrick Harris (Barry Allen / The Flash), John Heard (Ace Morgan), Lucy Lawless (Wonder Woman), Kyle MacLachlan (Superman), Kyra Sedgwick (Lois Lane) and Brooke Shields (Carol Ferris) this ensemble of talented actors lending their voices to the animated films speaks volumes of how far comic book films have came in the past 10 to 15 years. The cast across the board were really good and I appreciated the fact that for well known actors none of them were screaming for the limelight as all of their voices never stood out, and I mean that in a good and deliberate way from them.

Overall, Justice League: The New Frontier should be commended for keeping with a lot of comic book traditions and not feeling the urge to move away from its style. The main plot was fairly run of the mill and possibly a little predictable in a sense but that may have been down to try and cram as many characters into a 75 Minutes animated film, which I can equally appreciate the audience expects from a movie titled The Justice League and what was delivered by the film makers. Yes, it may have suffered a bit in its characters in this sense as the likes of Robin is merely a cameo and Aquaman only shows up at the end with one line, which is more than the poor Green Arrow gets with no lines whatsoever. Having said this, I still enjoyed it. Not as much as Superman/ Doomsday but nevertheless it was worth a watch but I do feel it was one made specifically more for the comic book fans. Recommendable.

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