Justice League Dark is the product of people that DC should be paying tons of money for making. The gritty atmosphere is enjoyable and mature, which is balanced by the adult humor swimming around the team. It works for this animated movie; it doesn’t make you feel like a Boy Scout sitting around to be patted in the head while doing your work (cough, Superman, cough).
A massive case of suicide and hysteria is plaguing cities across the world in this story of the Justice League Dark, and the Justice League doesn’t have any idea what’s causing it. Their only lead is that the affected people are seeing demonic hallucinations while Bruce gets the name Constantine scribbled across his room, leading Batman to think that this is magic.
With the guidance of magician Zatanna and disturbed spirit Boston “Deadman” Brand, Batman discovers the whereabouts of occult detective and conman John Constantine, his House of Mystery, Jason Blood – the caretaker of the demon Etrigan and the protector of the green The Swamp Thing. Justice League Dark goes on the hunt to find the culprit right at their own noses.
For someone who is not a big fan of what DC has been doing the past few years or so in their cinematic properties, Justice League Dark impressed me; it is the epitome of DC doing it right. They managed to make Deadman interesting through humor and not just a lamentable joke character like how Justice League Unlimited and Batman the Brave and the Bold did. Zatanna is still cute and John Constantine is still a deadpan unlikeable git.
Justice League Dark feels good to watch because it is the type of gritty that you want to see in a show: people dying, heroes helpless and heroes fully fleshed out. They do not feel like unreachable characters, but feel more human. They have their flaws, they have their fears and they have their histories. The only problem I had with the movie is John Constantine constantly yammering on in his Manchester accent. Never found anything more annoying than a noisy and cynical manc; that’s beside the point though.
Another issue that I had with the show is the gauntlet of villains they had. The story went for rehashed minor villain, complete with an original history tied in with some of the members of Justice League Dark. For a company that is so good at making great, cerebral villains, this one was a letdown. Provided, the story was more of a coming-together movie of the members of JLD and the villain was just the excuse plot, but it would’ve been bonus points if it was someone interesting like Morgan Le Fay or First of the Fallen.
All things considering, Justice League Dark is a great watch. The DC animated movies team has been on a roll and Justice League Dark hits the spot. The actual DCEU might have been bad so far, but the animated team can do no wrong and it shows in JLD. They strung together a few of DC’s fringe heroes and let them go wild in their quest to eradicate demonic magic. I’ll take a stab on it and say that Justice League Dark is more watchable than the Suicide Squad movie, and that’s a fact.