10th May2015

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Diedrich Bader, Troy Baker, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, Phil Morris, Nolan North, Khary Payton, Kevin Michael Richardson, James Arnold Taylor, Tony Todd, Kari Wahlgren, April Winchell | Directed by Brandon Vietti

JL-vs-BL-screen

Batman has joined the just formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s bad (but well meaning) clone, Bizarro, and his creation of the Bizarro League. But, there is an even bigger threat that forces the two Leagues to join forces. Yes, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Cyborg; and their bizarro-universe clones, Batzarro, Bizarra, Greenzarro and Cyzarro, must team-up to stop Darkseid and save the galaxy!

Wherever there is chaos and destruction, Superman’s mixed-up clone, Bizarro, is not far way. He hears the opposite of what is said, says the opposite of what he means and does the opposite of what is right. The Man of Steel decides it’s time to find a new home for him…on another planet, Bizarro World! On Earth, Superman and the Justice League go about the usual business of stopping the bad guys. But, when Bizarro World is threatened with destruction by the galactic tyrant, Darkseid, Bizarro returns to Earth and clones the Justice League to create more “heroes” like himself; the Bizarro League is born!

As what some folks call an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), I have a huge affection for the building block brand and in particular their fantastic minifigures. Which is also why I adore LEGO’s animated features: from the big-budget The LEGO Movie to the likes of The Adventure of Clutch Powers and the LEGO Star Wars movies, anything that involves those little yellow figures embarking on crazy adventures can guarantee to have me in the audience. But LEGO had to go one further didn’t they? Of course they did!

Having the rights to the likes of Marvel and DC, mixing my love of bricks with my love of superheroes they not only made figures and video games based on the comic book characters I loved, but also straight to DVD movies like this, Justice League vs. Bizarro League – which is, for the first time in this particular franchise, an original movie NOT based on an existing video game (the previous film used cut scenes from the LEGO Batman game to create a movie). As such it’s also a lot shorter…

Running almost thirty minutes shorter than LEGO Batman The Movie: DC Superheroes Unite, LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (to give the film is ridiculously long full title) is also, at least from a “grown-ups” perspective, aimed squarely at the same audience as they toys: 7 – 12 year olds. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun watching this latest round of animated DC LEGO character shenanigans, I did. It’s just that there was something lacking from this tale. Maybe it’s because I has more invested in the previous film having played the video game of the same name, or maybe it’s because – frankly – Bizarro is just so annoying! Scratch that, not totally annoying, more like one-dimensional, one-note, a singular laugh rather than a barrel of laughs. In fact the entire “Bizarro League” of characters should, at least in my opinion, be relegated to guest-starring cameos rather than sharing centre stage with the regular DC heroes.

Not as laugh-out-loud, frequently-funny, as some of the other LEGO movies, Justice League vs. Bizarro League is still a well-crafted animation that will easily appeal to its target demographic, which means – for all you parents out there – expect to have more trips to the LEGO store and more empty wallets! After all, there’s nothing like good animation to drive toy sales (just ask any kid who, like me, grew up in the 80s).

Special features on the Blu-ray release include: Me Am BIZARRO! The League of Opposites, which features DC Comics’ Mike Carlin, writer Michael Jelenic and producer/director Brandon Vietti discussing Bizarro’s comicbook origins and take a look at the use of biazrro characters in this new animated movie; Batman Be-Leaguered, a LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes TV special starring the JLA – think of it as almost a “second feature” (which adds more value to this title than it would first seem given the short running time of the main feature); Be-Leaguered Bloopers, the usual animated bloopers found on these LEGO releases (just how can an animated movie have bloopers you may ask?); and finally there’s the usual selection of trailers.

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League is available now on DVD and Blu-ray at ASDA. The film hits retailers nationwide from May 11th. CHeck out the trailer below:

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