Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (PG-13)
DC Comics; DC Database; DC Universe; IMDb; TV Tropes; Warner Bros.; Wikipedia; World's Finest
Caution: potential spoilers.
So I guess this was originally planned to bridge the gap between Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, when the series added a bunch of new heroes and changed its title. But that didn't happen, and so this movie had to be rewritten, and got made a few years after JLU ended. But the basic premise does remind me of a 2-part episode of Justice League, and those episodes happen to be included on the second disc of this movie (if you get the 2-disc version). There are significant differences between that story and this one, and in some ways I may think the TV episodes were a better story, but this movie is still pretty damn cool.
It starts on an alternate Earth, where Lex Luthor and the Jester- the last two remaining members of that world's Justice League- steal a device called the "quantum trigger" from the Crime Syndicate... a group of supervillains who are that world's counterparts to superheroes from our world. (We'll later learn that the Crime Syndicate is run rather like the Mafia, with six major villains each being the head of a "family"; though early in the film one of them was killed, so now there are only five. At the same time, the Jester sacrificed his own life to help Lex get away.) The remaining bosses of the Crime Syndicate include Ultraman (Superman's counterpart), Superwoman (Wonder Woman), Owlman (Batman), Power Ring (Green Lantern), and Johnny Quick (Flash). Though I should say, none of these characters' backstories are explained at all in the movie, and I'm sure that not all of them are the same person as their counterparts.
Anyway, Lex has a device that lets him teleport to an alternate Earth- the one he goes to is ours- where he enlists the help of our world's Justice League, to travel back with him to his world and try to stop the evil plans of the Crime Syndicate. But before they leave, Lex hides the quantum trigger on their Watchtower. Batman stays behind, while Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Martian Manhunter go with Lex. In spite of some success against the Crime Syndicate, the government (led by President Slade Wilson) is unwilling to act against the villains, because no one would be willing to testify against them in court. However, Wilson's daughter, Rose, frequently speaks out publicly against the Crime Syndicate, against her father's wishes. Their disagreement has put a strain on their relationship, but of course he fears for her safety, so she always has bodyguards. Soon, Martian Manhunter joins her guards, and a relationship begins to develop between Rose and him.
Meanwhile, I should say that Owlman and Superwoman are a couple, and they're both clearly the craziest members of the Crime Syndicate. Owlman has been working on a bomb called the QED, which could destroy the entire world, though he needs the quantum trigger to complete it. So he sends Superwoman and a few of her henchmen to our world, to find it. They fight Batman and some other heroes on Watchtower, but ultimately find the device, and return to their world... though Batman manages to hitch a ride, to continue the fight. We'll also learn that Owlman has a plan for the QED that he only shares with Superwoman; even the other members of the Syndicate aren't crazy enough to go along with that plan, if they knew about it. I won't say what it was, but I'll just say that Owlman's attitude kind of reminds me of a certain someone from Watchmen, only infinitely crazier. (Still quite calm and collected, though.) Actually, his plan also kind of reminds me of something I've long meant to have my own fanfic villain The Kidder do someday, but Owlman's plan is of course far more widespread and drastic than Kidder's. (I still hope to get around to writing that story, eventually.)
Well, as usual, Batman is the best character (even darker than usual, here); and appropriately enough, Owlman is the best villain (nihilism at its finest). I really enjoyed Batman's fight with Superwoman, and later his fight with Owlman. I also loved the end... because it's not just supers against supers. Some normal folks get to be heroes, too. Um... I hope I'm not forgetting anything I wanted to say about the plot or anything. I suppose I should give some final thoughts, anyway. I do wish it was explained why the villains were villains, in the other world, instead of being heroes. But I can overlook that. And that's pretty much my only complaint with the film. The plot was about as epic as a plot can get, even if most of the characters didn't know that until near the end. The fights were all pretty awesome. There was some decent humor (oh, some awesome lines). I guess that's all I can think of, for now. Maybe I'll remember other stuff next time I watch the movie.
The DVD also includes a DC Showcase short film, The Spectre.