Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom
Out next week is Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, a new installment in the series portraying DC characters as Lego minifigs. I’ve already written about the voice casting and posted some clips, but now, I’ve gotten a chance to check out the actual film.
The first surprise was that this was an actual movie, an hour and 17 minutes long. The greater length allows for more scenes of team-building, as the Justice League votes for their new leader or work together to capture the Trickster. That encounter even provides an excuse for the group to change to new-52-style costumes.
Overall, the plot wanders through several significant encounters. The Legion of Doom is assembled by Lex Luthor, Black Manga, and Sinestro, with Darkseid’s backing, because the villains are tired of being defeated one-on-one by the newly formed Justice League. When the two groups battle, it actually ends up being over a surprise character I was pleased to see. Although handled for comedy, the villains have a devious plan that our heroes have to recover from, one that involves blackening their names.
The Justice League team consists of four white guys — all known through other media — the girl, and the black guy (Cyborg). He’s portrayed as the newbie, insecure about his place in the group. “You’re still the youngest and greenest member of this team”, Wonder Woman tells Cyborg after one battle. That allows for a character arc, as Cyborg learns to moderate and value his own contributions and value his place on the team. Meanwhile, for comic relief, Flash and Green Lantern are competing for the princess’ attention.
The movie is clearly aimed at kids, with a DC Kids logo on it. That’s clear through the content, as lots of adventure and fighting is combined with plenty of humor and broad comedy. For example, the villains’ tryout obstacle course has a banana cage for Gorilla Grodd and a giant flyswatter for Man-Bat. It’s as though someone’s been watching too much Wipeout, with a slapstick layer, but it does allow each of the villains some screen time.
It’s still cool seeing the Lego minifig versions of the heroes and villains, although the bricks’ nature isn’t used to advantage. When something is punched, it collapses into Lego pieces instead of rubble, but this cartoon could have been done in another style with few to no changes. Sure, the Lego people are cute, but I wanted to see more consideration of a brick-based world, which we got more of in previous movies.
My copy, provided by the studio, was a Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet code combo pack. It also came with a code for an UltraViolet copy of JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. The only special feature is the 20-minute “Click, Zap, Boom! Creating the Sound Design”. Once they get past talking about working with CGI, there’s some interesting information on simply making sound effects that kids should enjoy. And it’s fun seeing the foley guy playing with actual Lego to make the right noises.