A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Justice League: Doom is part of a series of animated superhero movies released direct-to-video, which, like the others in this series, are too violent for younger kids but have some worthwhile messages for teens. This installment features seven well-known DC Comics superheroes -- including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern -- teaming up against a new team of supervillains. The element of teamwork is strong, as the heroes each use their best attributes to overcome a huge challenge. Fantasy violence is strong, with almost-constant fighting throughout the story; the fighting ranges from punching and pummeling to fantasy-type weapons use and explosions. Each character must also deal with a psychologically intense (sometimes violent or deadly) situation. There's some minor flirting and language, but violence is the key issue. However, the strong teamwork displayed in this story -- as well as other complex issues -- will give teens something to think about.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The Justice League foils a diamond robbery but can't quite figure out what to make of a new "inter-dimensional projector" that helped the thieves break in. Unfortunately, it turns out that it was merely being tested for a much more sinister purpose. An evil immortal, Vandal Savage (Phil Morris), assembles a team of supervillains, the Legion of Doom, to defeat the members of the Justice League. His secret weapon is a file of data stolen from Batman's (Kevin Conroy) computer that pinpoints the heroes' psychological weaknesses. Individually, the heroes are almost defeated. Banding together, they're able to take on the Legion at full force. But can even the Justice League stop what's in store for the entire planet?
Is it any good?
The first sequence, as the team works together to defeat a group of diamond thieves, is rife with forced character interactions and overwritten dialogue. With so many characters and so little time, it helps to know a bit about Superman (Tim Daly), Batman, the Flash (Michael Rosenbaum), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), Green Lantern, J'onn J'onzz (the Martian Manhunter), and Cyborg before going in -- but unfortunately, even then, it begins awkwardly.
But when the characters divide up into separate storylines, they're each allowed to shine -- and then the final re-grouping, and the display of teamwork, are most satisfying. Much like Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, this lean animated feature includes some exciting, suspenseful action scenes, complex themes, and even some humor; it's all amazingly economical, given the 77-minute running time. The violence may be a bit brutal for younger viewers, but teens and up should find plenty to like here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How is the fighting different when the heroes are alone versus when they're together? How does the mood change? Do you ever feel more aggressive after watching action-packed movies?
How does working together as a team help the Justice League? Are there examples in real life where working as a team has worked better than working alone? Are there times when working alone is the best route?
Which of these heroes makes a good role model? Who are your real-life role models?
Does Batman overstep his bounds, or is he right to collect personal data on his colleagues? Who collects your data? What do they do with it? How can you protect your privacy?
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