What happens when Superheroes who are lionized as all around infallible do-gooders, flip the script by going rogue? All because of "one bad day"?
Well, DC's INJUSTICE animated feature answers the question with their take on the hugely popular Netherworld Superhero fighting game!
Set in an alternate reality, (i mean where else can you take extreme liberties when demoralizing a well-established pop culture icon?)
The Joker plays the worst practical joke on the Man of Steel which in turn serves as the catalyst for our "big blue boyscout" going on some super "jihad"
along with Wonder Woman to establish some initiative to put an end to crime, war and terrorism on a global scale while several members within the Justice League questions his extreme motives, that can, and will lead to a totalitarian regime!
Those familiar with the comics and especially the videogames know how this plays out however, the animated feature took certain liberties when changing a few plot points along with swapping deaths of characters pivotal to the NetherRealm videogame source material. Here, we have more of a humanistic aspect to our heroes who, otherwise were usually portrayed as stoic and unflinching.
While we witness Batman having an emotional breakdown, Superman full of ire pulls a "Homelander" on a large gathering of individuals who see a certain antagonist as this martyr of freedom.
The inclusion of both Plastic Man and Harley Quinn balances out the nihilist narrative, with much needed comedy relief. hell, they even shoehorn a bit of sexual innuendo references.
The animation is plain compared the previous DCAU entries and almost resembles the aesthetics from the HBO Spawn animated series. The black streaks that are supposed to highlight the male characters' knuckles are garish while the animation itself is not as fluid as say, Marvel's "What if..?" but at least its hand drawn as opposed to relying on computer assisted imagery.
Also a bit disappointing, was the third act where a villain is utilized as this Deus Ex Machina for a contemporary resolution instead of following the dark inevitable path seen in the videogame series. It's another sleight of hand trick but I guess the screenwriter Ernie Altbacker wanted to avoid as much predictable outcomes as possible.
That said, the finale albeit abrupt, gave fans of the game, a good amount of fan service featuring a fun Easter Egg. INJUSTICE's story is the meat and bones of this feature-length animated tale. It dares to question the accountability of those who have the power to change the world and the moral argument of crime and punishment. DC's INJUSTICE ups the ante when it comes to a "What if..?" scenario.