A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego DC Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom! is another release in the popular partnership between the toy company and the comic book characters. A "league" of heroes -- Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, and the Green Hornet -- square off against a "legion" of villains -- Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Cheetah, Captain Cold, Sinestro, Black Manta, and Gorilla Grodd. It's filled with action sequence in which characters are sent into outer space, squashed, stink-bombed, blasted, blown to smithereens, and banished from earth over and over again only to live to fight another day -- which is usually only a few moments later. As always, control of the planet is the prize. For the most part it's a boys' club, with Wonder Woman and Cheetah along for the ride. There's enough lively humor here, plus several positive messages, to make it more than a deluge of cartoon violence. With the film coming in at 77 minutes, the battle scenes are in danger of being overlong, but kids who fully understand pretend vs. real destruction will find this entry lives up to the hype.
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What's the story?
The nasty villains of the Legion of Doom have set their sights on destroying the Justice League in LEGO DC COMICS: JUSTICE LEAGUE: ATTACK OF THE LEGION OF DOOM! Led by Lex Luthor and secretly spurred on by the evil and powerful Darkseid, the army of destructive cronies is primed to take over the planet once the League is out of the way. A trap is set, and Batman, elected as temporary leader of the Justice League, leads his usually savvy band of do-gooders right into it. Things are made worse when Cyborg's brave but thoughtless action makes more trouble. But Batman and company are not down for long. Both on the attack and on the defensive, the League continues to stand up for the citizens of Metropolis and the planet itself through battle after battle -- in a bank, in a government weapons installation, trapped with a nuclear reactor, and on the streets of the city. In a bizarre twist, someone who seems to be a multifaceted enemy becomes a key member of the League's ultimate triumph.
Is it any good?
This a clever clash between the Justice League and the Legion of Doom that balances near nonstop action with humor and enhanced characterizations of classic heroes and villains. At 77 minutes, it's long, with probably one battle too many. And, as always, it's very male-centered, with Wonder Woman and Cheetah relegated to minor battles and, in Wonder Woman's case, having too many suitors. She does, however, deliver the messages and values to which her colleagues aspire. Using Cyborg as a central force is a good filmmaking choice; the almost-human robot makes mistakes, learns important lessons, and ultimately saves the day, all while being very likable and funny. This tale from the ongoing Lego-DC Comics partnership will be a treat for fans, and, by focusing on such a wide array of characters, it's sure to boost sales for the franchise's many markets.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how toy manufacturers and filmmaking companies work together to sell their products. Movies and TV shows create a demand for merchandise; toys and comic books ensure an eager audience for films. Does awareness of this fact help you decide how to spend your time and money?
"Area 52," which is the setting for one of the battles during which aliens are set free, is referred to as an offshoot of Area 51, a real government facility in Nevada. Find out more about the actual Area 51 and the controversies and stories that have become part of American folklore.
In this movie, a new member joins the Justice League. How does this work into the filmmakers' marketing plans? Do you find that you want a Martian Manhunter figure?
- On DVD or streaming: August 25, 2015
- Cast: Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, Khary Payton, Dee Bradley Baker
- Director: Rick Morales
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Robots, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 77 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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