"Justice League Doom" is the latest release from the DC comics direct to video animated movie collection. The following review will contain some spoilers. So, if you still want to be totally surprised when you see it, you may want to wait to read this. If you're still reading, I'm guessing that's not a problem for you. So, to start off, I have to say that I've actually read the storyline from the comics which this movie is mostly based on. There are quite a few differences, but the overall effect of the story is about the same I'd say. That being said, it was a bit difficult for me to stay objective on this one since I knew the original story going in. Some of the changes that were made were a bit dissappointing for me personally.
It seems as if this was a mixture of trying to take the story from the comics, add in some elements from the old "Superfriends vs. The Legion of Doom" cartoon, and update it for the current status quo in the comics with some under developed newish characters. I say newish, because the biggest addition here is that of Cyborg, who was a member of the teen titans in the Cartoon Network show a few years back. So, Cyborg did have some name recognition in the general public going in I suppose, but this was a much different version of the character than fans of the titans show would be used to. His character was an obvious key to where this story was going from the beginning. I won't go too far into that, because I just didn't find him that interesting. He wasn't bad, but just not as interesting as the core characters of the justice league.
Aside from Cyborg, another change from the original story was that of replacing R'as Al Ghul with Vandal Savage. Both characters are extremely old and have vast fortunes. Plus, they both want for humanity to be reduced to a more managable size. Though I would say that Vandal Savage's motives are a bit darker. So, all in all, I suppose that change isn't that bad except for one part. This story hinges on someone knowing about Batman's contingency plans for the justice league and steeling them. R'as Knows Batman's secret identity and has either been inside or had people inside of Batman's home and headquarters on several occasions. It makes more sense for him to have that kind of knowledge and potential access. Vandal Savage on the other hand would have needed another way of knowing this information existed in the first place. That part is never explained, but it is obvious that prior to steeling the files from Batman,Vandal knows exactly what he's looking for. I view this as somewhat of a hole in the plot. It could have been more easily overlooked if this were R'as I think for the previously stated reasons.
Moving on, the voice cast was impressive. Again Tim Daily voiced Superman and Kevin Conroy voiced Batman. If that was all I heard from the voice acting, it would be enough. These two are always brilliant in their respective roles. Although I'm not as familiar with the rest of the voice cast, they all did fine jobs as well. The art was better than what we've seen in some of the other releases, but still not the best they've done. I felt like the characters all seemed to have about the same body type and especially so with the justice league. Also, it looked like the torsoes were kind of long. Still, it seems like DC is constantly trying to move away from what has become the unofficial standard for the bodies and overall artwork in these animations since the 90s Batman TAS run first made it popular. I think that's a good thing, but it does leave the door open for some less than stellar artistic entries while searching for that new "it". For a while, it seemed they would actually try to tailor the art style for each new movie with its counterpart from the comics. I think they moved away from that with this one. Another thing which seems to be constantly changing with these movies is the continuity. It's so jarring if you watch one and then another, because DC doesn't seem to be keeping up any standard time line for these. In their defense though, the fact that they're using storylines from completely different eras from one project to the next doesn't help any.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that this was a good movie overall. Don't expect any real surprises if you're familiar at all with the storyline from the comics though. And although it's good, DC has done better. So far, I think "Batman: Under the Red Hood" has been the best I've seen. I wish they could all be like that. I also wish DC would come up with another ongoing animated series besides Young Justice, which is just a bad rehashing of the teen titans in my opinion. It certainly doesn't follow the comics. Maybe something along the lines of the "Batman Brave and the Bold" where different characters would be spotlighted each episode, but done in a less campy way. Well, before I get to rambling too much, I'll just say that on a scale of one to ten, I give this movie a seven. I wouldn't pay to buy it at full price, but it's worth a rental.