Justice League Dark: Apokolips War 4K/Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a 2020 direct-to-video animated superhero film directed by Matt Peters (Lego DC Batman: Family Matters, Scooby-Doo! Shaggy’s Showdown, & Lego DC Comics Superheroes: Justice League – Gotham City Breakout) & Christina Sotta (Storyboard Artist on Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, The Death and Return of Superman, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, & Justice League Dark). It’s loosely based on the story arc “Darkseid War” by Geoff Johns. It was written by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush, Justice League Dark, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, & Justice League Action) & Mairghread Scott (Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, Transformers: Rescue Bots, Transformers Prime, & Star Wars Resistance). It was produced by James Krieg (Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, Superman: Red Son, Batman: Hush, & Wonder Woman: Bloodlines), & Sam Register (Constantine: City of Demons, Justice League Dark, Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, & Batman: The Killing Joke). It is the fifteenth & final film in the recent DC Animated Movie Universe!!!!
Following his two failed attempts to invade Earth, Darkseid (played by: Tony Todd from the Candyman franchise, Final Destination franchise, Night of the Living Dead, The Flash, & Lego DC) & his armies have conquered countless worlds. To counter this, the Justice League joined by new members Lex Luthor (played by: Rainn Wilson from The Office, The Meg, Super, Juno, The Death and Return of Superman, & Six Feet Under), John Constantine (played by: Matt Ryan from Constantine, Constantine: City of Demons, Justice League Dark, Arrow, & Legends of Tomorrow), & his lover Zatanna (played by: Camilla Luddington from Justice League Dark, Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, & Californication) plus with help from the Teen Titans formulate a plan to stop Darkseid. Upon arrival on Apokolips, the League are attacked by “Paradooms”. During the attack, several heroes are killed or put into slavery of Darkseid including with Cyborg (played by: Shemar Moore from Justice League: War, Birds of Prey, & Criminal Minds) being replaced with Apokoliptian technology, Batman (played by: Jason O’Mara from Justice League Dark, Batman: Bad Blood, Batman vs. Robin, Life on Mars, & Resident Evil: Extinction) brainwashed onto a Mobius Chair, injecting Superman (played by: Jerry O’Connell from Stand by Me, Sliders, Justice League Dark, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, & Scream 2) with liquid kryptonite hence depowering him, & the Flash (played by: Christopher Gorham from Justice League: War, Justice League vs. Teen Titans, & Harper’s Island) imprisoned to eternally run on a treadmill powering the planet.
Constantine hesitatingly flees back to Earth as he watches Zatanna suffer. Two years after Darkseid’s successful conquest of Earth, Lex has become a New God representative reporting to Batman on devices known as reapers that are mining the Earth’s magma while the surviving heroes blame Clark Kent. Raven’s (played by: Taissa Farmiga from American Horror Story, The Mule, The Final Girls, & Anna) father Trigon (played by: John DiMaggio from Teen Titans Go!, Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman and Harley Quinn, & Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) attempting to break out of her magical born prison severely weakens her powers hence putting her into depression. Constantine & Batman’s son Damian Wayne (played by: Stuart Allan from Justice League vs. Teen Titans, Batman: Bad Blood, Son of Batman, & Batman vs. Robin) are recruited to help. They meet with Clark’s wife Lois Lane (played by: Rebecca Romijn from Rollerball, Godsend, The Death and Return of Superman, & Femme Fatale) who has recruited the Suicide Squad now led by Harley Quinn (played by: Hynden Walch from Batman: Hush, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Justice League: War, & DC Super Hero Girls). Constantine telepathically convinces Swamp Thing (played by: Roger Cross from Justice League Dark, Coroner, The X-Files, & The Strain) to help them destroy the reapers. Constantine manages to break Diana (played by: Rosario Dawson from The Lego Batman Movie, Justice League vs. Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, & Kids) free using her Lasso of Truth. They then free Flash, Cyborg & the Furies from their imprisonment. Darkseid orders Batman to kill kill his own son Damian. Raven sets Trigon free, he battles Darkseid as the others watch the epic confrontation for the end!!!!
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is basically DC Comics version of Avengers Infinity War & End Game but not watered down like those live action features. One thing I absolutely love about the DC animated universe is continuity of it all. All of the features actually go together & continue the story lines for all the major characters. I’ve covered & review a decent amount of the recent animated additions so I’ve been following this epic arc for awhile now. The original Justice League Dark was one of my favorites from the past releases so I was very excited about this sequel. The visuals & the look of this film is top notch. The script, concept, & story is one of the best from the DC Comics vaults of endless material. I do like the live action movies from DC but their animation films are much better to be honest. They don’t hold back like those films do & they stay true to the original source material with no comprising their final version. Apokolips War is very dark like the title says, it’s brutal & it doesn’t care what iconic superhero it kills. The action, fight, & battle scenes were excellent. I love the extreme violence & intense wars in this Justice League Dark adaptation. It brings back lots of voice talent that’s been with these famous characters for awhile. The cast is loaded with familiar names like Rebecca Romijn, Rosario Dawson, Tony Todd, Jason O’Mara, Jerry O’Connell, Rainn Wilson, Shemar Moore, Christopher Gorham, Jerry O’Connell, & Matt Ryan. I’ll say it every time, it’s amazing to get to experience horror legend Tony Todd play a villain from DC Comics. I also love seeing some of my favorite smaller characters like Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Captain Boomerang, & King Shark in this movie. Get ready for those comic book feels because some of our favorite superheros meet their end in Dark: Apokolips & it’s time tough to see. They claim this is the last film of the new animated universe so I am not sure what’s going to happen next with these direct to video releases. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a nice way to end things & it’s one of highest quality features from the DC Comics animated film team. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 2160p (1.78:1) transfer with HDR10 looks awesome in 4K. Justice League Dark takes you where no DC Comics film has been before & the nightmarish visuals keep your eyes glued to the screen the entire running time. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this UHD disc. It definitely sounds good & it has it’s moments that hit you with a nice boost but I am a little surprised that didn’t have a few more English audio options at a higher level for this 4K. All the dialogue is crystal clear, all the chaos, & music is elevated here. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “Audio Commentary” with directors Matt Peters, Christine Sotta, executive producer James Tucker, & writer Ernie Altbacker. They chat about making sure it follows the previous films from the DC animated universe. They bring up the development of the project. They talk about the characters, visual design, favorite moments, & the story. They go into major characters that had a dark result in this. They go over the final product & their experience on it. That’s all that’s on the UHD as far as extras goes, everything else is located on the blu ray. “DC Showcase: Adam Strange” is an animated short & it’s a little over 16 minutes. It’s directed by Butch Lukic (Beware the Batman, Justice League, & Batman Beyond), it features voice talents from Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase, Roger Cross, Fred Tatasciore, & Charlie Weber. It’s great to see this smaller character get his own film. He was recently seen on DC Comics Krypton. “Darkseid: New God / Evil Classic” is almost 15 minutes. It has interviews with a variety of comic book experts. They chat about the origin & the history of the villain. They talk about the impact Jack Kirby had & he predicted stuff that would happen in the future in his early work. “Sneak Peek: Superman, Man of Tomorrow” is a little over 8 minutes. This is the first upcoming DC Comics animated feature scheduled after this finale. I am defintely curious to see what direction they take these new films compared to this last batch. The cast includes Alexandra Daddario, Ryan Hurst, Darren Criss, & Zachary Quinto. “Justice League Dark” & “Batman & Harley Quinn” Previews that end up a little over 17 minutes combined. Both of these older animated films are lots of fun. If you don’t already own them these previews will most likely sell you on them. A little over 44 minutes “From the DC Vault” featuring Justice League Action’s “Zombie King” & “Abate and Switch” plus Teen Titans “Nevermore”. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, & a blu ray copy of the release. This needs to be added to your DC Comics collection ASAP! It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!