Plummeting from its lofty heights, is the New 52 DC animated universe – with its latest offering. Gone are the days of awesome animated movies in the vein of “Under the Red Hood” and “Superman vs The Elite.” Now we get well intentioned messes that are tripping over themselves.
Judas Contract as a whole is one of my favorite stories. Marv Wolfman, crafted a story that was way ahead of its time in many ways. The Tales of The Teen Titans #44 saw the first appearance of Nightwing, by and large one of my most favorite characters in DC. To take one of the most legendary storylines from the Teen Titans haydays and to create a over convoluted mess begged me to ask, Did we really need a Judas Contract adaptation?
Lets talk about the good in this movie.
Dick Grayson. That’s it.
It’s been a long time coming but he finally gets the limelight he deserves. And he is well acted by Sean Maher (shout out to my browncoats out there) in the sense that this is a much different Nightwing than we are used to seeing. His interactions with Damian are – as the kids say – on point and so are his interactions with Kari Wahlgren’s Starfire. Much much better from the clusterfuck that was Batman : Bad Blood. So more Sean Maher as Nightwing. Mmmmkay?
The intro gave me major feels. Like super duper almost welled up major feels. Not because I am a sucker for legacy, which I am but it bought make memories of Young Justice. In a sequence that was full of banter, superheroics and foreshadowing – it just reminded me how sorely I miss Young Justice. #bringYJback.
Ok I lied. Deathstroke was surprisingly well acted in it. Oh and spoiler alert. For a twenty year old story line. Go fucking read a comic book.
So as I was saying, Deathstroke acted by Miguel Ferrer was brilliant at times. Almost aloof, full of rage and delivers some lines that makes you understand why Damian and Dick wants to kick his head off. Even his coaxing of Terra was so sleazy at times, you can’t help but get nauseated a little.
Ok, just a quick runthrough of what I hated. First and foremost, gone is the subtle nuance – by which I mean the absolutely insane evilness and that impacts the reveal of Terra’s character plot. Christina Ricci bought to life a character, that in her interpretation was more bipolar than evil. I don’t think I quite like that. I like my underage, old men seducing, earth controlling blondes to be straight up evil. Please.
Garth is annoying on and the off the page. And what the fuck was up with the Jaime subplot? What purpose did it serve? WHY WAS IT IN THERE?
Kevin Smith. Really? Kevin Smith? Waste of screentime, when you could have shown a bit more of the new Titan that has joined. Get him as writer, director or even his character. But Kevin Smith playing Kevin Smith is a stupid dumbass move. Why? One, because his talent is wasted. Two, only dumbasses would go Oh how cool, Kevin Smith playing Kevin Smith – it’s cool because he is a huge geek, and I dont listen to his podcast, but I will pretend I do. It’s called Fatman on Batman. Plebs.
Also, what the fuck does Brother Blood’s machine do? It just sucks powers of people and gives it to him, via a red glowy portal type dealio? What exactly was his plan and why did it Super Skrull him?
Lastly, the animation. It always feels like there are some frames missing. Kicks go from one frame to the next with almost like a few frame jumps. Its jarring and jittery. I am not a fan. Go back to how it used to be fuckers. Or pay the taiwanese sweatshop a little more to draw a few more direly needed frames. The art style is fine, it works, but the animation is really offputting.
Well, this movie was almost good. Its average at best due to its plot holes, but its the best of the worst lot of movies DC Animation has made in a long time. After the last one with Trigon running around, this was a step up. But not far enough.
Verdict – 5/10 Thwips!