Sunday, March 18, 2012

Breaking Down Justice League: Doom

I just watched a movie called: Justice League: Doom. Maybe you've heard of it, or maybe you're like me and you discovered it randomly when you were at BestBuy one day to buy a copy of TurboTax, and you decided you needed something else to wash down such a bland, boring adult purchase.


Justice League: Doom is a decent little animated feature that has all your favorites DC Superheroes - Batman, Superman, and some other ones that may or may not have even made the box art. Oh, by the way, I'm about to spoil this movie heavily as I go on a rant about it, so if you decide you may ever want to watch it, go do that first.

The premise of the movie, which I thought was kind of awesome, is that a supervillain by the name of Vandal Savage decides he needs to kill the entire Justice League in order to prevent anyone from stopping his insane plan (which I'll tell you about later because it deserves its own paragraph). To do so, he has someone break into Batman's bat-computer and steal the top secret bat-data he has one everyone. Batman, it is apparently widely known, has information on how to stop any given member of the Justice League in case they ever go rogue. I'm going to reveal all those weaknesses now, because some of them are pretty funny, and I kind of love the idea of Batman writing these down in a Word (Bat-Word?) document during his off-hours:



Superman
His weakness is his inability to truly connect with anyone else on this planet.
Haha, no just kidding. It's Kryptonite, obviously.
Make a bullet out of it and shoot it at him. In the body. Or face.

Flash
You could attach a bomb to his wrist that forces him to maintain super speed indefinitely until he gets exhausted and blows up.
OR, even easier than that - I'm pretty sure if you set out a giant glue trap you could probably just get him stuck on that and then shoot him in the body. Or face.

Wonder Woman
This chick loves to fight, and apparently will not stop doing so as long as she is opposed.
Drug her, make her think everyone is after her, then just let her go at it someone kills her or she dies from exhaustion. Alternatively, you could send her back to the 1950's and have her surrounded by men who all insist she should "get back in the kitchen."

Green Lantern
His powers comes from his willpower. Also the color green. Do not attack him on St. Patty's Day. Make him doubt himself and then his powers will go away.
Also I think he's weak against the color yellow, so you could also just drop a crate of bananas on him, or something.

Martian Manhunter
After doing extensive research, my conclusion is: set him on fire.

So Vandal Savage hires a bunch of second-rate, lower-tier supervillains that Batman and the others fight on their off-days when they're usually recovering from bigger battles, and he has them each enact a plan to kill their respective Justice League nemesis. And wouldn't you know it, they all do what it said in Batman's notes above and every supervillain's plan goes off without a hitch. Because Batman is always right about everything.


Soon, every member of the Justice League is incapacitated. Superman is mortally wounded with a kryptonite bullet. Batman is buried alive alongside his dead parents (Bane, Batman's enemy, apparently came up with that one on his own, since it's clarified later that Batman didn't have an entry on himself, though I really wish he had written that down as his own weakness while crying onto his bat-keyboard). Wonder Woman is fighting everyone, thinking they all look like Cheetah (again, second-rate villains). Flash gets the bomb from Speed attached to his wrist when he tries to save someone. Green Lantern is left crying in a coal mine where he thinks he's accidentally killed everyone. And Martian Manhunter drinks a drugged Coke and gets set on fire (I wasn't kidding about that before).

Then, every supervillain returns to Vandal Savage's not-at-all-secret or subtle giant skull lair and they all toast to their success. Notice what I said before: every single member of the Justice League was incapacitated. Not killed. Each and every incompetent excuse for a bad guy made the classic bad guy blunder and left their opponent down and just, you know, presumed dead. Star Sapphire, Green Lantern's spurned lover-turned-mortal enemy, literally walked past a weepy, ring-less Hal Jordan, and assumed he would curl into a ball and just lay there for the rest of his life. And the others - while victory may have seemed like it was all but inevitable, decided they really just couldn't wait around to, you know, confirm it. There was a toast happening soon, and they really did not want to be late to the celebration.

Needless to say, Batman gets his shit together and punches his way out of his surprisingly shallow grave, Kill Bill style. Then he sets about to undo this wrong and basically single-handedly saves (or, in Green Lantern's case, pep talks) everyone. While this is going on, Vandal Savage reveals his ultimate plan to the now slightly inebriated Legion of Doom - which by the by, is a group name I feel like gets tossed around a lot. Wasn't there already another Legion of Doom? You guys can't come up with another evil-sounding team name? How about the Sinister Society? That took about two seconds of thought. And it has alliteration and everything. You're welcome.


Anyways, Savage's plan is to send a missile into the sun that was cause a cosmic chain reaction that will effectively kill half the Earth's population and send the planet back to the Stone-Age. Savage, you see, is from that era, having been granted immortality by a meteorite that landed thousands of years ago. And now he wants to go back to that time, to give humanity a fresh start, or something. The other super-villains all quickly realize the millions of dollars they were just given will now be useless. There's some hesitation, but within a minute or two they're all on board with this RIDICULOUS, INSANE PLAN. There's not a single Miss Teschmacher among them (Miss Teschmacher, if you're unaware, was the girlfriend of Lex Luthor in Superman: The Movie who had a change of heart from her villainous ways when she found out her mother would be the victim in Lex's plan for pointless destruction).

So none of these villains had a single relative or loved one on the side of the planet that was about to be decimated, which is possibile. After all, one of them is mostly a robot, another is mostly a cat. But they also are all cool with losing everything they may enjoy about the modern world: cars, television, foxy boxing. There'll be no more banks to rob, jails to break out of, or frankly, worthwhile days for other superheros to rue. Honestly, I don't think those guys really thought it through. In any event, the Justice League shows up in the nick of time, stops the missile, kicks everyone's asses, and calls it a day.

The movie wraps up with everyone in the Justice League sitting down around a table and discussing what's to be done about the fact that Batman has secret data on all of them. My favorite line in the entire movie comes when Wonder Woman tells Batman that the rest of them would never do something like that to him, to which Batman responds: "Then you're all damn fools," and gets up to leave, no doubt ready to return to the batcave to update each member's file with: "Damn Fool!" written under each of their entries. This part I actually kind of loved, since that's 100% Batman. He doesn't apologize for what happened, even though it was his data that led to all of them almost getting killed. He rationalizes that he just needs to do a better job locking his shit up next time.

The last scene is Superman, the most powerful being on the planet, accepting Batman's non-apology and handing over the kryptonite bullet (in a lead case, which is clearly what he needs to fashion his own suit out of) to Batman, letting him know that they were all fine with whatever Batman wanted to do, but please don't quit the team because then we'll be soooo much less cool. And then Batman takes a piss on the floor and teleports away. Ok fine, he just teleports away, but metaphorically he just pissed on the floating space tower base, because those damn fools, all of them super-powered except for him, are all basically his bitch.

Final thoughts: Supervillains, learn how to finish the job, and Superheroes, just listen to Batman.

-Matt

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