15 films later, the DC Animated Movie Universe has sadly reached its end. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War caps off this shared universe with an epic story, bringing together all our favourite DC characters. This final chapter provides a wild, action-packed conclusion that fittingly pushes our heroes to their limits.
The series has been building towards Darkseid’s invasion, and boy do we get it. We begin with the Justice League launching an unsuccessful attack on Apokolips, resulting in most of them dead or taken as prisoners. Two years pass and Earth is in shambles, as Darkseid conquers world after world. With the odds stacked against them, Superman, Raven, Constantine and Robin (with the help of some unlikely allies) make a final attempt to defeat Darkseid and his Paradooms (a Parademon/Doomsday mix).
More than anything, this movie is bold. It is 90 minutes of pure comic book craziness. There is a lot of plot and characters to cover, but the filmmakers impressively tell an entertaining story with high stakes and touching character moments. And there is a lot of great tie-ins to previous movies. Admittedly, I have not read the comic book story this was based off. So most of the plot developments and twists were truly surprising, to my delight. The pivotal final scene of the movie did feel a bit cheap and tacked-on however. The story could have built more towards that moment so it wouldn’t have felt so abrupt. Still, I appreciate just how much they were able to pack into this film and make it work.
Even with such a large ensemble, the characters are integrated into the story really well. On top of the Justice League, we get members of the Titans, Justice League Dark, Suicide Squad and more. Most of the characters are only briefly featured, but the interactions between various personalities is always a blast to watch. And the big names get their moments to shine. The story’s main focus is on Superman, Raven, Robin and Constantine, and they get some nice development and emotional moments.
It may not have needed an R rating, but Justice League Dark: Apokolips War surely makes use of it. The action is effectively brutal and bloody, with our heroes really getting to showcase their vicious powers and combat skills against the Paradooms. But they also take quite the beating themselves, resulting in an incredibly high death toll. The consequences feel real, as the movie doesn’t shy away from killing your favourites. And Darkseid makes for an intimidating final villain, truly pushing our heroes to their limits.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War does a solid job of bringing all the characters together to tell an epic finale. While the final moment still feels a bit rushed for me, everything that comes before is pretty darn entertaining. Of course, there will be more DC animated films in the future, but I, for one, am going to be very sad that this specific continuity has come to a close. I do wish we could have had more movies within this universe, but at least Justice League Dark: Apokolips War provides a bold conclusion.