Injustice
Promotional poster
Directed byMatt Peters
Written byErnie Altbacker
Based on
Produced by
  • Rick Morales
  • Jim Krieg
Starring
Edited byCriag Paulsen
Music byRobert J. Kral
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release date
  • October 19, 2021 (2021-10-19)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Injustice is a 2021 American adult animated superhero film based on the 2013 video game of the same name, developed by NetherRealm Studios and based on characters from DC Comics. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment, and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, it is the 46th installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies (DCUAOM) line. The film is directed by Matt Peters from a story by Ernie Altbacker and stars Justin Hartley and Anson Mount as Superman and Batman, respectively. The film, set in a separate continuity from the main DC Universe, follows Superman’s descent into madness after being tricked by Joker into killing his pregnant wife Lois Lane and detonating a nuclear weapon that destroys Metropolis. As Superman transforms the Earth into a police state to enforce global peace, Batman forms an underground resistance to oppose Superman and his allies.

The film was announced in May 2021, with Altbacker writing the script. The film adapts elements from both the Injustice video game and its prequel comic book series (primarily the Year One arc), but tells an original narrative which diverges from the source materials. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics, who praised its animation and voice acting but criticized its rushed plot and deviation from the source material.

Plot

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On Earth-22, Joker and Harley Quinn kill Jimmy Olsen, kidnap a pregnant Lois Lane and steal a nuclear weapon, which they connect to a heart rate monitor attached to Lois' heart. Upon hearing of Lois' capture, Batman calls the Justice League to find her. The Flash finds the Scarecrow dead in his lab and his supply of fear toxin missing, before being killed by it with a trap laid by Joker.

Lois's husband, a panicking Superman eventually finds Joker and Harley hiding on a submarine, but is attacked by Doomsday, who he punches into space. As the other heroes arrive and apprehend the Joker and Harley, Batman realizes that they have mixed the fear toxin with Kryptonite and used it to make Superman hallucinate that he is fighting Doomsday; in reality, he has beaten Lois to death. This causes the bomb, still attached to her, to detonate, destroying Metropolis and killing 11 million people. A grief-stricken Superman then kills Joker in revenge.

While Green Arrow takes Harley to his hideout to protect her from Superman, Superman reveals his identity before the United Nations and announces his intentions to bring peace to Earth, by force if necessary. The Justice League is left divided over Superman's actions; some members, such as Wonder Woman, support his new methods, while others, like Batman, keep their no-killing vow. Other heroes, such as Aquaman, Shazam, and the other magic users, refuse to choose sides and leave the League with Hal Jordan stating that he and his fellow Green Lanterns are being recalled to Oa.

Meanwhile, the United States government becomes concerned that Superman will interfere in their operations, and have Mirror Master kidnap Jonathan Kent as leverage against him. Superman begins to question his actions, but Wonder Woman reassures him that he is doing the right thing and offers to help him find Jonathan. Confronting Mirror Master, Wonder Woman learns Jonathan's whereabouts, allowing Superman to rescue him. Elsewhere, Batman confronts the President and warns him that Superman will kill him if he finds out that he ordered Jonathan's capture.

Later, Superman visits Batman in the Batcave to make peace, but they get into an argument over their ideological views and Batman refuses to join Superman. While trying to stop Superman from relocating Arkham Asylum inmates to a more secure facility, Batman and Nightwing are shocked to discover that Robin has joined Superman. Harley, who escaped Green Arrow's capture and decided to become a hero, releases the inmates, forcing Batman and Superman to temporarily put their differences aside to fight them. During the battle, Robin lashes out in anger and accidentally kills Nightwing, leading to Batman disowning him. Nightwing then meets Rama Kushna in the afterlife, who transforms him into Deadwing.

After originally rejecting his help, Superman allies with Ra's al Ghul. Batman forms an underground resistance and plans to steal a red sun cannon from the Fortress of Solitude. During the break-in, Ra's kills the Atom and destroys the cannon, Superman overpowers Captain Atom, and Green Arrow accidentally kills Jonathan, whom Superman had been keeping safe at the Fortress, causing Superman to murder him in revenge. After Superman transforms the Earth into a police state using surveillance drones, Batman has Plastic Man break Mister Terrific out of prison and leaks video footage of Superman killing a group of partying teenagers inspired by Joker to ruin his public image.

In response, Superman dispatches Amazo to enforce global peace, but the android quickly turns violent as Ra's had secretly programmed it to kill Superman. Amazo kills Hawkman and Cyborg, but Batman and his allies arrive and help Superman and Wonder Woman destroy the android. Meanwhile, Robin, having had a change of heart, duels and defeats Ra's with Deadwing's help.

Despite their aid, Superman prepares to have the insurgents arrested and incapacitates Wonder Woman after she turns on him, but is confronted by Superman from Earth-One, whom Mr. Terrific had summoned. Earth-22 Superman defeats his counterpart as the latter was holding back, but surrenders after being met with a Lois from Earth-9 who lost her Superman after becoming pregnant with his child and reminds him that life is sacred. Realizing how far he has fallen, a remorseful Superman willingly agrees to be imprisoned.

Although unsure of what will happen next, Batman makes preparations to rebuild the world and his life with Catwoman.

Cast

Voice actor[1] Character
Justin Hartley Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman (Earth-22), Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman (Earth-1)
Anson Mount Bruce Wayne / Batman
Laura Bailey Lois Lane (Earth-22), Lois Lane (Earth-9), Rama Kushna
Zach Callison Damian Wayne / Robin, Jimmy Olsen
Brian T. Delaney Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
Brandon Micheal Hall Victor Stone / Cyborg
Andrew Morgado Mirror Master Soldier
Edwin Hodge Michael Holt / Mister Terrific, Waylon Jones / Killer Croc
Oliver Hudson Patrick O'Brian / Plastic Man
Gillian Jacobs Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn
Yuri Lowenthal Evan McCulloch / Mirror Master, Barry Allen / The Flash, Billy Batson / Shazam
Derek Phillips Dick Grayson / Nightwing / Deadwing, Arthur Curry / Aquaman
Kevin Pollak Joker, The President, Jonathan Kent
Anika Noni Rose Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Reid Scott Oliver Queen / Green Arrow, Victor Zsasz
Faran Tahir Ra's al Ghul
Fred Tatasciore Nathaniel Adam / Captain Atom
Janet Varney Diana Prince / Wonder Woman

Production

In June 2021, an animated film based on the 2013 video game Injustice: Gods Among Us was announced.[2] The voice cast for the film was announced the following month on July 21.[1]

Release

Unlike the games, which are Rated T from the ESRB, the film is Rated R for Bloody Violence, making it the first R-rated film based on a T-Rated video games series since Tekken.[citation needed] The film was released on October 19, 2021 on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and in digital format.[3][4] The DVD was exclusively released for Walmart stores.[5] On October 9, the entire film was leaked online, ten days before its planned release date.[6]

The Blu-ray includes the featurette titled Adventures in Storytelling: Injustice – Crisis and Conflict, where the filmmakers discuss the production and themes of the film, in addition to both parts of the Justice League series episode "Injustice for All".[7]

The film made its linear debut in the United States on Adult Swim's Toonami block on February 19, 2023.[8]

Reception

Critical reception

Injustice received mixed reviews. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 60% of 5 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.60/10. Criticism was leveled at the unceremonious character deaths, poor character development, unfaithfulness to the source material, and overstuffed plot. Some reviewers, however, praised the voice acting and animation.[9]

Streaming and home media

The film debuted at the third position on the "NPD Videoscan First Alert" weekly rankings for overall home media sales and Blu-ray sales in the United States.[5] According to The Numbers, it sold 43,317 Blu-ray units and 7,568 DVD units in its first week of release for a revenue of $1.16 million.[10] It also ranked fifth on both Google Play and Vudu's VOD charts.[11] In the United Kingdom, it debuted at the tenth rank on the Official Film Chart.[12]

In the second week of its release in the United States, Injustice fell to the fifth rank on the Blu-ray sales chart and eighth rank in overall disc sales.[13] At the end of October, it ranked tenth in overall disc sales during the month.[14] The film re-entered Google Play's top 10 films chart in its third week, ranking fifth,[15] falling to the tenth rank in the following week.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b Couch, Aaron (July 21, 2021). "DC's 'Injustice' Sets Cast for Animated Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  2. ^ Schedeen, John (June 30, 2021). "Injustice: Gods Among Us Animated Movie Officially Announced by DC, Warner Bros. Animation". IGN. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  3. ^ Plant, Logan (September 1, 2021). "DC's Injustice Animated Movie Arrives This October". IGN. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  4. ^ Marco Vito Oddo (September 1, 2021). "'Injustice: Gods Among Us' Movie Will Make Batman and Superman Fight Again With Digital, 4K Blu-ray Release". Collider. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  5. ^ a b John Latchem (October 28, 2021). "'Free Guy' Holds Off Batch of Newcomers to Remain Top Disc Seller for Second Week". Media Play News. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  6. ^ Chris Capel (October 12, 2021). "Injustice movie leaks online and fans have mixed reactions". GameRevolution. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  7. ^ John Latchem (November 1, 2021). "Injustice". Media Play News. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20230218023256/https://www.tvtv.us/ga/atlanta/luUSA-GA67017-X Listings on tvtv.us
  9. ^ "Injustice: Gods Among Us". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "Injustice (2021)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  11. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (October 25, 2021). "Two Cannes Favorites Debut Outside the VOD Top 10, While an Indie Western Thrives". IndieWire. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  12. ^ Gruenwedel, Erik (October 27, 2021). "Universal's 'F9' Remains Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Chart, Thanks to Disc". Media Play News. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  13. ^ John Latchem (November 4, 2021). "'The Suicide Squad' Easily Tops Disc Sales Charts". Media Play News. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  14. ^ Latchem, John (November 13, 2021). "'Free Guy' Tops October Disc Sales Chart". Media Play News. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  15. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (November 8, 2021). "'Free Guy' Tops VOD Charts One Last Time as Two Eastwoods Debut". IndieWire. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (November 15, 2021). "'No Time to Die' Sweeps VOD Charts as Netflix Originals Dominate the Streamer's Top 10". IndieWire. Retrieved November 16, 2021.