It must be prefaced in this review that despite a few DC superheroes that I enjoy, the Justice League has never really wet my whistle. But the story that "Crisis On Two Earths" is based on is ridiculously epic and pretty damn clever so I just had to take a gander at this cartoon film version. What we get is a fun little action packed cartoon that seems more involved with its fights than it does with its story or its characters and just does not come up with the guts to match some of DC's more recent feature length cartoons (like the recent and very bad ass "Batman: Under The Red Hood").
In another parallel universe, a good Lex Luther, the last surviving member of that Earth's Justice League, finds a way to transverse to our Earth to gather our Justice League to come back to his planet to essentially throw down with that Earth's evil twins of this Earth's Justice League. (Whew!) So now Superman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League have to duke it out with Ultraman, Owlman and the rest of the Crime Syndicate of evil doers on that planet. Turns out a few of the baddies have secret agendas that may endanger all parallel Earths. Oh shit son, now there's more at stake than just getting to meet their evil twins!
Unfortunately, DC's plan with these films is that they run slightly over an hour to maintain that youngster friendliness to them. It works with most of their other films but this one needed some more story work. I mean, just re-read that synopsis and not tell me that its not confusingly epic. It is. But the film focuses down on those actions sequences to keep those young kids watching rather than developing that plot like it needed. I definitely wanted more of the motives for Owlman and his secret agenda than what it was and that's just one example of many underdeveloped plots that needed more depth.
The action was pretty slick though I have to admit. Although I was disappointed with the voice casting and some of its more out of place dialogue, the action does make up for a good portion of it. The fights are dynamic and the match-ups of different powers against one another are pretty awesome. This probably the one thing that this film actually did to the expectations that I wanted.
The end result of "Crisis On Two Earths" comes out as a rather hit or miss combination that should have been fucking epic. The rather miss voice casting and plot progression just hinders the film too much for it to work in the ways it should have. The action was good but doesn't do enough to carry the film. It comes off as a decent cartoon for the DC series but fails to match up to some of the classics they have been producing.
BONUS RANT: So with its epic story that this film fails to properly embrace, why the hell does "Crisis" decide to throw this random love subplot between the alternate Earth's President's daughter and our favorite indestructible Martian J'onn. Yeah it adds some nice dramatic tension and various plot movement needed to get some characters moving, but its WAY underdeveloped and rushed. Not to mention its somewhat out of the blue in how it comes about. It was just...nah. They didn't need that.
Written By Matt Reifschneider