Movie Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes

Legion Of Super-Heroes is the 47th animated feature film from the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

Directed by Jeff Wamester and written by Josie Campbell. It features the voice cast of Meg Donnelly as Supergirl, Yuri Lowenthal as Mon-El, Jensen Ackles as Batman, Harry Shum Jr as Brainiac 5, and Darin De Paul as Brainiac.

It’s available on Blu Ray and DVD from February 6th.

Synopsis

Kara, devastated by loss of Krypton struggles to adjust her new life on Earth. While Superman mentors her, she must contend with a mysterious group called the Dark Circle who searches for a powerful weapon held in the Academy’s vault.

DC Entertainment and WB Animation have come up with yet another solid entrance into their Tomorrowverse/shared universe in the form of Legion of Super-Heroes. The consistency of tone, animation style and characterization throughout this new arc of movies is a testament to the creative teams behind them. 

As with each instalment that preceded this one, a certain amount of care and attention has been used to create something that feels very authentic to the source material. As a result, long standing devotees of the comics will enjoy this movie just as much as the casual observer, as it balances a heady mixture of humor, pathos, action and romance.

As is always the case, the voice cast is on top form. The casting is spot on throughout, as each performance encapsulates what this long time comic book reader hears in his head when reading the printed adventures of these iconic characters. Meg Donnelly is a perfect fit for Supergirl.

The character’s sense of morality, mischief, and sorrow are all expertly portrayed in her dialogue delivery, as the character’s certainly put through the wringer in the film. Hats off to Donnelly for the versatility of her performance as all bases are covered. The character carries the weight of the story through her performance.

Yuri Lowenthal is excellent as Mon-El, as his character takes a third act with a handbrake turn of a character switch that is something a little out of left-field, but works within the context of this story. The subtle change in his delivery as Mon-El goes from one end of the moral spectrum to the other is excellent, it just gives that little bit extra layer to him, even if the script doesn’t really explain his motivation.

As a note for all DKN readers, Jensen Ackles is once again on form as Batman, even if his appearance is somewhat fleeting. However, if you need more, stick around for a tantalizing post credit scene…

The animation style, which might be too stylized for some, is visually very enjoyable fare. It’s cartoonish but never too over the top, allowing for moments of subtlety through facial expressions and pointed exchanges between characters. It really comes into its own during the action sequences though, which are truly spectacular. Every fight scene is expertly directed by Jeff Wamester, as the blows reign down with such fury that almost jumps off the screen.

I certainly recommend you turn your sound bar up to a high setting once the pace picks up during the final face off, as the animation and sound combination will pin you back to the sofa!

No spoilers in this review, but the time-hopping element is expertly utilized by screenwriter Josie Campbell. The actions in the present directly frame the consequences of the future, with twists galore. Heel turns are not telegraphed too much, and the ending carries with it a genuine sense of peril. The age certification is well earned but there is nothing here that’s too unsuitable for younger viewers.

Conclusion

Legion of Super-Heroes is a very solid DC Animated movie. It hits the right beats and is mostly very faithful to the characters’ comic book heritage. It works very well as a standalone adventure and entry level fans can get plenty out of it too. I recommend it to all viewers, as young and old fans should all get something out of it.

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