Justice League Dark (film)

Justice League Dark is a 2017 American animated science fantasy superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Home Video. Featuring the DC Comics team of the same name created by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin, the film is the twenty-seventh in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series and a part of DC Animated Movie Universe. Unlike most installments in the DC Animated Universe Movies series, Justice League Dark features an original premise. The film stars Matt Ryan as John Constantine and Jason O'Mara reprising his role as Batman. It was released on Digital HD on January 24, 2017, and on DVD and Blu-ray on February 7, 2017.[1]

Justice League Dark
Justice League: Dark
Blu-ray Disc cover
Directed by
Produced byJames Tucker
Screenplay byErnie Altbacker
Story byErnie Altbacker
J. M. DeMatteis
Based onJustice League Dark
by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin
Starring
Music byRobert J. Kral
Edited byChristopher D. Lozinski
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Home Video
Release date
  • January 24, 2017 (2017-01-24) (digital)
  • February 7, 2017 (2017-02-07) (DVD and Blu-ray release)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

In May 2020 a sequel was released, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

PlotEdit

In a flashback, exorcist and con man John Constantine and Jason Blood engage the Demons Three in a poker game for high-end stakes; Constantine offers his home, the House of Mystery, as his part of the pool in exchange for a box of artifacts, including a chipped Dreamstone. When both parties are caught cheating, Constantine has Blood summon Etrigan — a demon forced to share a body with Blood — to dispatch the demons. Afterward, Blood reprimands Constantine for making him summon Etrigan, and the two part ways.

In the present, a magical threat arises causing violent murders to be committed by people around the world, who think their victims are demonic creatures. The Justice League gather to conclude that magic is the source of the crimes, but Bruce Wayne / Batman is skeptical. Later that night at Wayne Manor, Bruce finds a written message on his walls telling him to find Constantine prompting him to seek out a reluctant Zatanna "Z" Zatara. Zatanna is eventually convinced by Boston Brand / Deadman. Zatanna and Boston lead Bruce to the House of Mystery, where they meet Constantine, who is reluctantly working with a team. The group is also joined by Black Orchid, the spiritual embodiment of the House of Mystery, and they decide to investigate the cause behind these supernatural occurrences. The team then visits Ritchie Simpson, an old friend of Constantine and Zatanna, where they find shroud spirits of Death waiting to collect Ritchie's soul upon his upcoming demise. Simpson has cancer and is resentful towards Constantine for abandoning him to his fate, but loans them the Keshanti Key. Constantine and Zatanna use the key to view one of the victim's memories and discover he was possessed by an unknown entity. A magical creature is conjured to consume the man, but Batman, Deadman, Constantine and Zatanna narrowly escape and destroy it.

Back at Ritchie's house, the team finds him close to death; Blood is also there to find the Dreamstone. Constantine chases after Blood while Batman gives an adrenaline shot to revitalize Ritchie. Upon being caught by Constantine, Blood explains that centuries ago the sorcerer Destiny possessed the Dreamstone in an attempt to overthrow Camelot-era Britain, using it to make people see their worst nightmares and feed off their torment. Blood was mortally injured cleaving the Dreamstone in half. Merlin summoned Etrigan to defeat Destiny and then bound him to Blood because Merlin knew they would be needed in the future. Ritchie briefly wakes to claim Felix Faust as his assailant. With the help of the plant elemental Alec Holland / Swamp Thing, the group locates Faust's Observatory of the Cosmos. After a battle with Faust, which he loses, the team conclude Faust had no involvement in hurting Ritchie. Ritchie awakens and is revealed to have the other piece of the Dreamstone, which has been keeping his cancer in remission; he apparently destroys Black Orchid. Constantine tries to reason with Ritchie, that the Dreamstone (with Destiny's soul trapped inside) is using him. However, the Dreamstone takes over Ritchie's body and transforms him into Destiny.

Destiny destroys the House and departs to start a frenzy; Zatanna saves the group, but passes out from the exertion. The Justice League tries to fight Destiny, but he causes them to perceive each other as demonic threats, so they attack each other. Etrigan attacks Destiny, but is separated back into Jason Blood and Etrigan. Constantine summons Swamp Thing, who attacks Destiny, while Batman and Zatanna disable the League. Destiny rips Alec Holland's corpse from Swamp Thing, weakening him and breaking his will; Swamp Thing withdraws. Constantine tricks Destiny into bringing him and Deadman within his protective shield, allowing Deadman to wound Destiny. Blood, Constantine and Batman destroy the Dreamstone (and Destiny's body), and Ritchie is dragged to Hell as insurance that Destiny cannot come back. Blood succumbs to his mortal wounds, and his body is buried near the place of his old village by Zatanna, Constantine and Etrigan. Zatanna agrees to join the League and offers Constantine a position as well. He declines, claiming that Batman would not approve, but Zatanna states it was Batman's idea. The two return to the now-rebuilt House of Mystery, and Deadman joins the restored Black Orchid as his soulmate.

Voice castEdit

Voice actor Character
Justice League
Jason O'Mara Bruce Wayne / Batman
Jerry O'Connell Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman
Rosario Dawson Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Roger Cross John Stewart / Green Lantern
Justice League Dark
Matt Ryan John Constantine
Camilla Luddington Zatanna Zatara
Nicholas Turturro Boston Brand / Deadman
Ray Chase Jason Blood / Etrigan the Demon
Roger Cross Dr. Alec Holland / Swamp Thing
Colleen Villard Black Orchid
Demons Three
JB Blanc Abnegazar
Jeffrey Vincent Parise Rath
Fred Tatasciore Ghast
Other
Enrico Colantoni Felix Faust
Jeremy Davies Ritchie Simpson
Alfred Molina Destiny
JB Blanc Merlin
Brian T. Delaney Husband
Shroud leader
Jeffrey Vincent Parise Father
Police officer
Laura Post Businesswoman
Mother

ProductionEdit

The film is directed by Jay Oliva, and stars the voices of Matt Ryan, Jason O'Mara, Camilla Luddington, Nicholas Turturro, and Ray Chase. It is the first Justice League film and the second DC Universe animated film and the second film by Warner Bros. Animation to be rated R by the MPAA for some disturbing violence.[2] Justice League Dark features an original premise wherein a supernatural force is causing violent crimes across America, and Justice League member Batman consults occult detective John Constantine to form a team of paranormal metahumans.

ReceptionEdit

Justice League Dark received generally positive reviews from critics. The film holds a 78% based on 9 reviews according to the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[3]

Dave Trumbore from Collider wrote, "Justice League Dark is a briskly paced, darkly magic adventure that gives some of DC's most shadowy heroes a chance to shine in a story that folds in mythology and mystery, while never losing sight of what it means to be a hero." Felix Vasquez Jr. of Cinema Craze also praised the film, calling it a "fun celebration of supernatural elements in DC comics."[3]

Renee Schonfeld from Common Sense Media was less enthusiastic about the film, calling it an "intense confusing comics-based tale that has tons of violence."[3]

It earned $3,150,426 from domestic home video sales.[4]

Spin-off and sequelEdit

Spin-offEdit

The film spawned a spin-off animated web series titled Constantine: City of Demons that was released on The CW's online streaming platform CW Seed on March 24, 2018, with Ryan reprising his role. It was originally made to be a sequel to the live-action series Constantine and a part of the Arrowverse franchise, but writer J. M. DeMatteis stated that the direction of this series was changed and that it was set in the same universe as Dark.[5]

SequelEdit

At the 2019 San Diego Comic Con a sequel titled Justice League Dark: Apokolips War was announced and released on May 5, 2020 on digital download followed by a release on Blu-Ray scheduled for May 19, 2020.[6] It concludes a five-film story arc, based on DC Comics "The Darkseid War" storyline by Geoff Johns, in the DCAMU that started from Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and its sequel Justice League: War then later revisited in The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Justice League Dark - "Are You Talking About Magic?"
  2. ^ Schaefer, Sandy (November 15, 2016). "Justice League Dark Animated Movie Trailer: Walk on the Dark Side". Screen Rant.com.
  3. ^ a b c "Justice League Dark". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Justice League: Dark (2017) The Numbers Listing". The Numbers. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  5. ^ DeMatteis, J.M. [@JMDeMatteis] (March 28, 2018). "Not a continuation of the series. It IS in the same universe as the JL DARK movie and I guess time will tell if it's in the Arrowverse!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 2, 2018 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/1125458-justice-league-dark-apokolips-war-blu-ray-details-revealed

External linksEdit