Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time Review: There's a reason it's a stealth release

Bad cover art
JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time
Currently only available at Target

For fans of the Super Friends check out this odd update when it reaches wider release.

JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time comes out of the gate odd. Writing, character design and voice acting all seem haphazardly put together. It tries to be written for kids with violence for older audiences. I see it as an attempt at Warner Bros Animation to show that only a few people can make good animated films for them. This movie may have been designed to fail from higher-ups afraid of new talent and working as many hexes they could on it through budget or through choosing the wrong people or it could just be stupid.

JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time has a very poorly costumed version of the Justice League battling the Legion of Doom like an updated episode of the Super Friends. Signs like Batman being with Robin and a cameo from Marvin, Wendy and Wonderdog from the past Super Friends show indicate how it's a more modern take on the way of the past campy and happy series.

Odd choices to characters and design stand out. Why the Legion of Superheroes Karate Kid and Dawnstar were chosen as leads was random. The bizarre loyalty of Captain Cold to Lex Luthor. The poorly written reverse syntax of Bizarro. The glamor shots on Aquaman. Questions left open to the director.


There's many silly ideas here. I'm reminded of an episode of the Super Friends where the Legion of Doom was digging underneath the Hall of Justice and were all wearing hard hats, even though some of them are monsters and already wearing headgear. You'll laugh at the concept of Luthor reversing global warming, surviving being frozen for a thousand years and so easily time traveling. Security in the future stinks. Cheetah and Solomon Grundy dress up like a farm couple in attempt to steal Superman as a baby.

This movie is for laughs. You'll get them. You just didn't need the level of violence. A random showdown between Karate Kid and Robin seemed so out of place. The film didn't want to go for all laughs and tried for some serious moments. The star scene with Dawnstar and Karate Kid was way too touching in a same film where Baby Superman is tossed around a cornefield for comic effect.

It's a movie for little tikes and for the older crowd who saw the Super Friends. It's hardly great, but a passable rental to be on a Netflix queue.