Directors: Matt Peters, Christina Sotta
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara (VOICES)
Release Date: May 19, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Culminating a six-year animated journey that began with the release of Justice League War in 2014, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War finds Earth decimated after intergalactic tyrant Darkseid has devastated the Justice League in a poorly executed war by the DC Super Heroes. Now the remaining bastions of good – the Justice League, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and assorted others – must regroup, strategize and take the war to Darkseid in order to save the planet and its surviving inhabitants. This is truly the war to end all wars, and only the victor will live to enjoy the spoils.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ culminates the multi-year (and multi-film) animated saga that kicked off in 2014 with ‘Justice League War’ and now sees our heroes preparing to make one desperate, final attack on the dreaded new god Darkseid on his home planet of Apokolips, only for things to go horribly wrong while losing many of their own in the fight. Fast forward a couple of years into the future where the Earth has become a near wasteland with only a few desperate individuals still fighting to try and save it. As the unlikely pair of Clark Kent and Raven enlist the help of John Constantine in order to track down Damian Wayne, the one person who may be able to help make a difference, it soon sends the ragtag group off on a quest to try and return the world to some semblance of its previous self, even if their chances of managing to pull it off couldn’t be more uncertain.
‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ invites fans of the DC Animated Movie Universe to witness the end of the fight, culminating numerous animated films released over the span of the last six or so years with this bloody, intense and surprisingly powerful final installment that will change everything. The film approaches the bleak final entry with a fitting tone and enough blood and carnage to occasionally shock even the fans of more violent material. Sending our heroes (or at least those remaining following the blood-drenched opening sequence) on the path to a brutal and uncertain fight that almost seems more likely to not go their way than end in their favor as they once again attempt to take on the treacherous Darkseid and his plethora of dangerous minions, and even some of their old allies.
‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ knows precisely what the fans want and it never hesitates to provide just that, or to literally rip apart some of your favorite heroes along the way. Always clearly stating that this isn’t another random tale, it’s (for lack of a better description) the DC Animated Universe’s equivalent to Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War and Endgame, merely animated and unafraid to dive into some significantly darker content and occurrences. Fans of the DC Animated Movie Universe won’t even want to think about missing out on ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’. It’s a wildly intense, bloody and emotional ride that never pulls its punches and anyone that’s been following the last half decade of these animated DC features will not want to overlook this shocking and powerful final installment that gets far darker and intense than you might expect.
Overall, ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ is a dark, bloody and intense conclusion to the ongoing chain of DC Animated Movies that began with 2014’s ‘Justice League War’ and concludes in this wild, violent and unapologetic ending which constructs a faithful final chapter that won’t be quickly forgotten. ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ is definitely recommended for fans of the animated DC Movies released over the last six or so years who won’t want to even think about missing out on this dark conclusion that serves as a worthy and emotional end to the recent saga of animated films. At the absolute least it should be well worth ninety minutes of your time and the cost of a rental for any DC fans that haven’t yet had the pleasure.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a capable presentation on par with the other various DC Animated Movies on Blu-ray; providing a generally clean, sharp and colorful presentation from start to finish that never becomes problematic during the various darkly lit and fast moving sequences throughout. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that should satisfy the DC Animated Movie fans who have been content with the previous releases over the years.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a clean, sharp and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout that never falters or loses its way. It repeatedly takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to send heroes and villains, along with nature elements and plenty more consistently whipping throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a wonderful 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes some extra fun and tension throughout and should easily please both dedicated fans and casual viewers.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ includes some solid extras that fans of the DC Animated Movie Universe should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with the filmmakers and creative team’, in addition to the latest DC Showcase Animated Short ‘DC Showcase: Adam Strange’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), plus a ‘Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie “Superman: Man of Tomorrow”’ (running approximately 8 minutes) and the Featurette ‘Darkseid: New God, Classic Evil’ (approximately 15 minutes). We’re also treated to 3 ‘Bonus Cartoons from the DC Comics Vault’ which include: ‘Justice League Action, “Zombie King”’ (approximately 11 minutes), ‘Justice League Action, “Abate and Switch”’ (11 minutes) and ‘Teen Titans, “Nevermore”’ (22 minutes). Also included are 2 old Sneak Peek’s of previously released DC Animated titles ‘Justice League Dark’ (approximately 8 minutes) and ‘Batman and Harley Quinn’ (9 minutes).