JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: APOKOLIPS WAR Spoiler-Free Review; "A Fittingly Epic Finale To This Era Of Stories"

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: APOKOLIPS WAR <font color=red>Spoiler-Free</font> Review; "A Fittingly Epic Finale To This Era Of Stories"

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is now available on VOD platforms before hitting DVD and Blu-ray next week, but does this final chapter in the post-Flashpoint DCAU deliver a satisfying conclusion?

Flashpoint rebooted the DC Animated Universe and created a shared world which has been a lot of fun to follow these past few years. Whereas Warner Bros.' direct-to-DVD animated offerings were previously standalone in nature, it was suddenly commonplace to see the stories of characters play out over multiple adventures, delivering the sort of shared world the studio has mostly failed to deliver with the DC Extended Universe. Now, though, that's at an end, and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War certainly brings this era of storytelling to a close in style! 

Once again assembling to take on Darkseid, the DC Universe's heroes find themselves outmatched and outgunned by the ruler of Apokolips, and after the vast majority of them are brutally murdered in battle, it's down to a ragtag team to try and stop the villain and save Earth once and for all. The decision to mostly show the League's defeat with the use of flashbacks is an interesting one, but doesn't always work, as seeing those brutal snippets makes it feel like we've been robbed of what would have been twenty minutes of killer action scenes. 

Still, it's thrilling following that team on a ravaged Earth as they attempt to make their final stand, and seeing what's become of certain characters in this post-apocalyptic setting is never not fun. DCAU regular Sam Liu is nowhere to be seen this time, and directing duties are instead handed to Matt Peters and Christina Sotta. They do a great job of touching all the expected bases, with plenty of cameos and noteworthy references to previous films. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War benefits from a strong story, though, and makes good use of its characters throughout (structurally, it's a little hit and miss, however). Is it a true "Justice League Dark" movie? Not really, so the use of that title is definitely questionable. 

Characters from that roster of heroes get the chance to shine, though, with Constantine the undeniable scene stealer. Legends of Tomorrow star Matt Ryan gets the chance to voice him here, and his work is superb from start to finish. There are plenty of returning favourites like Jerry O'Connell, Jason O'Mara, Rosario Dawson, and Rebecca Romijn, and we can't really fault any of them. Ultimately, it is Ryan who steals the show, and we're really not sure this film would have been the same had he not be voicing John Constantine, the lead here for the most part.

The animation style remains familiar, and if you're still not a fan, there's nothing here likely to change your mind. In some places, it looks noticeably lazy and gives the film something of a rushed feel, but when the blood starts hitting the floor with some wonderfully inventive kills, it's hard to be too bothered by that. By the time all is said and done, the door is open for a brand new era of stories in the DCAU, and we can only hope that takes full advantage of these characters in a way this past one has. Those of you who were a fan before or became one during this period will know this is a time it will be hard to top, especially after a finale as epic as this one. 

A bloody, R-Rated romp, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War serves as a fittingly epic finale to this era of stories, and boasts a downright unmissable performance from Matt Ryan as Constantine. 


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