20th Mar2016

‘LEGO Justice League: Cosmic Clash’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Featuring the voices of: Troy Baker, Nolan North, Grey Griffin, Kari Wahlgren, Phil LaMarr, Yuri Lowenthal, James Arnold Taylor, Khary Payton, Phil Morris, Josh Keaton, Jessica DiCicco, Andy Milder | Written by James Krieg | Directed by Rick Morales

LEGO-Justice-League-Cosmic-Clash-cover

The latest animated movie in the now long-running LEGO DC Super Heroes series which was originally spun off from the cut scenes from the LEGO Batman game(s) but now are all-new creations, Justice League: Cosmic Clash is another outing for DC’s superhero team-up – once again from the duo of writer James Krieg and director Rick Morales, who were behind the previous movie, Attack of the Legion of Doom.

As teased at the end of the aforementioned previous animated film, Justice League: Cosmic Clash sees Brainiac combing the universe for new additions to his collection of worlds – in particular he needs a planet to slot into his collection that begins with the letters E and A; and there’s only one planet that fits the bill of course, Earth – which Brainiac thinks would make an excellent addition to his collection but as he quickly discovers, Earth has a ‘firewall’… the Justice League. When Brainiac cleverly displaces several members of the Justice League to other time periods in Earth’s history, Batman, Flash and Cyborg must build and use the Cosmic Treadmill to race across time to retrieve their comrades, while members of the Legion of Super Heroes attempt to hold off Brainiac’s assault.

By now LEGO and DC’s animated movie are well into their stride, the audience knows what to expect and they’re familiar with the characters – which means the filmmakers can have even more fun with the concept. As in this case, which features references to Back to the Future (in more ways than one), the original Wonder Woman TV show and even has an 80s-movie style montage, complete with upbeat soundtrack! Kreig and Morales even mak a mockery of the ridiculous amount of suits that Batman action figures seem to have… Bat-Caveman anyone? And whereas the previous movie brought together and introduced the LEGO Justice League to the LEGO DC Comics universe, this film incorporates even more superheroes the the roster – adding a rather cheerful teenage Supergirl to the mix AND the Legion of Superheroes: Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad!

Once again the usual cast return to voice their LEGO super hero characters, only this time round they’re joined by Andy Milder as the voice of Lightning Lad, returning to the character he voiced on the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series. Milder is also joined by his LOSH co-star Kari Wahlgren, who returns to the world of animation voicing the character of Saturn Girl as she did seven(!) years ago on the animated series. The duo, alongside Yuri Lowenthal as Cosmic Boy, are a great addition to the franchise and it will be great to see (or should that be hear) them – hopefully – in future installments.

It’s not all good this time though. As if portented by the ridiculous scene in which Batman literally jumps a shark over a pirate ship (don’t ask), the ending oif this movie sees the Justice League band together in Cyborg-created spaceships which then, at the perfect time, join together – Power Rangers Megazord-style – into one large minifigure to take on Brainiac. Of course I should remember that if I was a ten year-old kid watching this I’d probably be super-excited to see that!

It’s obvious by the machinations of this latest LEGO/DC movie that the filmmakers are skewing this franchise more and more to the kids it SHOULD be aimed at, with the odd in-joke for the adults in the audience too. Which isn’t really a bad thing.. After all, LEGO is family-friendly…

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from 21st March.

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