Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two

May 1, 2024 | Posted by in Movies
Crisis

Heroes from across the multiverse scramble to save all of creation in Jeff Wamester’s Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two.

Middle chapters in trilogies -especially planned trilogies- are very difficult as they have the unenviable task of building towards the final instalment while also delivering a satisfying experience. The best examples are essential viewing as they develop the overall narrative organically and the worst examples kill time before delivering everything in the final part.

Crisis

It’s a lot to take in

Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two is somewhere in between. There are undeniably elements present that are required to understand where the story is going and are building to a payoff to be delivered in part three but there are also several extraneous inclusions that don’t contribute much to the wider narrative.

Part of the fun of a multiverse story is taking advantage of the opportunity to deliver fan service. DC has a long history of animation so placing any previous animated project in its own universe means that a multiverse ending threat provides natural justification to include them in some way. As with the first part, this instalment focuses more on the “Tomorrowverse” continuity but characters are pulled in from elsewhere such as Terry McGinnis aka Batman Beyond (Will Friedle) to excite fans. There is very little substance to most of these so there’s an abiding sense that the time given to them could have been better spent developing the narrative. It’s certainly fun to see a Bat-Family comprised of characters from different universes bickering over how their version of Batman treated them but it stands out because it doesn’t feed into the tapestry of the story being told.

That doesn’t make them bad. There is a lot of merit to be found in many of these asides. Kamandi (Will Friedle) working with Solovar (Darin De Paul) is meaningful because Kamandi comes from an Earth where Humans are hunted by apes so having him push aside his feelings and work with someone he’s predisposed to hate and fear is weighty and significant but it’s very much a vignette that doesn’t directly support the overall story. It’s strong enough by itself to resonate because of the setup and fans of Kamandi can latch onto it on a deeper level.

Crisis

Time for some truth

One thing these asides accomplish is giving the story scope. Seeing different characters dealing with situations bolsters the scale of the story and aligning the objective to protecting the towers creates a sense of cohesion that makes their individual stories part of a larger one. Mileage will vary on the individual struggles but it’s a reminder that these characters have their own challenges and the Crisis event doesn’t push them aside. In many ways, the film comes across as a collection of individual stories connected by a multiverse ending event. The end result is disjointed as they rarely feed into each other with limited interaction between the various universes outside of the tower defense objective.

The first film was excellent in its portrayal of Barry Allen aka the Flash and built its story around him. It was a poignant story that served as a strong introduction to the Crisis event. This film follows that sensibility by frontloading Meg Donnely’s Kara Zor’El aka Supergirl aka Harbinger and Jonathan Adams’ Monitor. They come together when Kara’s life pod collides with the Monitor’s ship and he brings her aboard so that she doesn’t block his view of the collapsing multiverse. Their dynamic is built on suspicion on mistrust. Kara doesn’t trust the Monitor and he isn’t inclined to develop a relationship with her as he is committed to his status as an observer who doesn’t interact with the multiverse that he catalogues. As time goes on he’s unable to ignore her and they start sharing meals together. Their interactions are interesting and Kara acts as a beacon of sorts that helps him realise that the multiverse is full of life that is worth saving. The film is at its most interesting when exploring this reluctant connection but it’s always at risk of being buried under the abundance of events elsewhere. Focus and pacing are issues that are never quite overcome.

This is very much a middle chapter and is clearly moving pieces around so that they are where they are needed for the final part. It isn’t an unsatisfying experience as there is plenty to recommend but the lack of cohesion does stand out. Perhaps it will make perfect sense when viewed as a completed work after the third part is released.

Crisis

The extended Bat-Family


Verdict

A good second chapter that adds scope to the overall narrative while providing meaningful individual stories.

Overall
  • "Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part Two"
3

Summary

Kneel Before…

  • individual stories woven into the larger narrative that are interesting by themselves
  • adding scope to the larger narrative through the individual stories
  • Kara and the Monitor’s compelling dynamic
  • some impressive fan service

 

Rise Against…

  • focus and pacing issues that let down the overall experience
  • very little substance to most of the side stories
  • the interesting elements always at risk of being buried under the abundance of events

 

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User Review
3 (1 vote)

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