The DC LEGO movies are never going to be accused of being high concept home entertainment. They’re goofy little gateways comic book fans can use to hook their kids into becoming lifelong fans of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and friends. Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Cosmic Clash is more of the same. A carefully crafted toy commercial that’s pretty enjoyable if not taken too seriously.
More than some of the previous DC LEGO films, Cosmic Clash’s agenda definitely seems to have toy selling as major objective. That’s bad news for parents/LEGO collectors who can’t refuse the lure of building new LEGO creations.
The amount of subtle merchandise being hawked including a pretty clever Voltron inspired combiner piece seems pretty irresistible.
This time out, the Justice League tangles with Superman’s old foe Brainiac (Phil LaMarr) as he attempts to catalog Earth and put it in his planetary collection. Brainiac sends Superman (Nolan North), Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin) and Green Lantern (Josh Keaton) to various points in time forcing Flash (James Arnold Taylor) and Batman (Troy Baker) to launch a time traveling rescue mission.
In a nice Easter Egg for comic book fans, Batman’s time hopping outfits are clever LEGO-ized versions of Batman outfits from Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. Baker’s delivery always makes Batman such a fun character and once again he steals the show.
As the norm for these LEGO films, the DC heroes’ personalities’ are exaggerated so Superman is especially cheery and good-natured, Batman is hyper serious and Cyborg geeks out over everything. If the hint of that prompts uncontrollable eye-rolling, you’d probably be better off sticking to the more mature animated Warner Bros. Entertainment films featuring the DC characters.
Screenwriter James Krieg (LEGO DC Super Heroes: Justice League – Attack of the Legion of Doom!) knows these LEGO films are largely intended for a younger audience, but works in a lot of great lines that will get genuine laughs from older viewers.
Cosmic Clash introduces some welcome new additions to the mix. Supergirl (Jessica DiCicco), likely added to the mix thanks to her increased profile via her CBS show, is a spunky cheerleader type who literally utters cheers while she takes out Braniac’s army. That would probably be more annoying if all the characters weren’t also one-joke caricatures.
The other trio is Cosmic Boy (Yuri Lowenthal), Saturn Girl (Kari Wahlgren) and Lightning Lad (Andy Milder) of the Legion of Superheroes. As a Legion fan, their appearance is disappointingly just a glorified cameo that only served to remind me how bummed out I still am about the premature end to the Legion TV series. (Legion of Superheroes: Volumes 1-3)
Of the numerous DC LEGO films, Cosmic Clash is one of the better entries in the franchise thanks to a clearer, more inspired focus and fun antics. Just be prepared to make a trip to the closest LEGO retailer afterwards.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10