Rent Legion of Super-Heroes (2023)

3.0 of 5 from 62 ratings
1h 20min
Rent Legion of Super-Heroes Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
The Future of Justice! Welcome to the 31st century and the Legion Academy, where a new generation hones its powers with hopes of joining the 'Legion of Super-Heroes'. Among its ranks is Supergirl (voice of Meg Donnelly), who struggles to adjust to life on Earth after devastating tragedy. Taking her cousin Superman's (voice of Darren Criss)'s advice, Supergirl leaves her former space-time to attend the academy. She quickly makes new friends, as well as a new enemy with old ties: Brainiac 5 (voice of Harry Shum Jr.). But a nefarious plot lurks in the shadows - the mysterious group known as the Dark Circle seeks a powerful weapon held in the academy's vault.
Find out if the budding heroes can rise to stop them in this all-new DC Universe Movie!
Directors:
Producers:
James Krieg, Kimberly S. Moreau
Voiced By:
Jensen Ackles, Matt Bomer, Meg Donnelly, Harry Shum Jr., Darren Criss, Jennifer Hale, Yuri Lowenthal, Gideon Adlon, Robbie Daymond, Zeno Robinson, Ben Diskin, Darin De Paul, Victoria Grace, Ely Henry, Eric Lopez, Cynthia Hamidi, Daisy Lightfoot
Writers:
Josie Campbell
Studio:
Warner
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Anime & Animation, Children & Family
BBFC:
Release Date:
06/02/2023
Run Time:
80 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
06/02/2023
Run Time:
83 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Latin American Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing, French Parisian, Latin American Spanish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • The Legion Behind the Legion
  • Down to Earth: The Story of Supergirl
  • Meet the Legionnaires
  • Brainiac Attack: The Intellect Behind the Super-Villain
  • Plus: From the DC Vault: 2 Bonus Cartoons

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Critic review

Legion of Super-Heroes review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Even though I’m a DC Comics fan, I must admit that the Legion of Superheroes never appealed to me. The futuristic ensemble of the Justice League of the 31st century seemed to have too much lore behind it ever to be all that invested. That said, animated adaptations have faired well, as with the solid Justice League Unlimited episode and the good-but-not-great animated series for Legion. Now comes the direct-to-video animated movie, which makes me more eager to crack open some Legion comics and give it another chance.

The movie makes the smart call by making this a story of Supergirl. We get the origins of the superhero Kara, learning about her brief time in Argo City before it was obliterated in the destruction of Krypton. Having been taken under the wing of Superman on Earth, she hasn’t adjusted well to Earth. Figuring Kara needs a change of scenery to get used to her powers, he sends her on a field trip to the 31st century to visit his old (or young?) buddies from the Legion.

There, Kara finds herself studying alongside her peers, even if she regrets being paired up with the lesser heroes in training. Among the heroes of this timeline is Brainaic-5, an iteration of the Superman villain that has grown beyond the evil intentions of his previous robot lineage. Though intelligent, he lacks the emotional core to handle certain situations, including the dark history of the Brainac title. He’s the perfect partner for Supergirl, strategically and romantically.

The story becomes far more interesting when a major threat befalls Earth, and the Legion in training are the only ones who can stop it. At the heart of this evil scheme is a Kryptonian fascist who directly challenges Kara’s outsider nature and Frankenstein’s monster version of old Braniacs bonded together and bound by ego. These two villains make for the perfect challenge for our two leads in how they have to fight off the problems of the past to ensure their future as individuals.

The animation reflects the same style that’s been in past DCAU movies, that is, the bold outlines and fairly neutral color palette. It still works here and leads to some stunning fight sequences, especially for featuring such animation-friendly characters as Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl. The film also doesn’t shy away from cracking jokes about these absurd characters. How could you not when you have team members like Invisible Kid, Shadow Lass, and Arm-Fall-Off?

This film stands well enough on its own for taking place in a fairly fresh animated movie universe. The familiar interpretations of Superman, Batman, and The Flash briefly appear in this film. Unlike many cinematic universes, the luxury of animation allows these many characters to drop in and out of stories when it's convenient. A lesser film might’ve entirely cut out Superman, referred to him in name only, or concealed him in wonky CGI. A lesser film might’ve also tried to wrap more of Superman into this story that is clearly more interesting for the Supergirl/Brainiac romance than forcing a tenuous connection to the Man of Steel.

Legion of Superheroes does a great job of making me care about a comic book series that never gelled with me. Perhaps it’s just the firmer focus on combatting fascism, nature vs. nurture, and the importance of teamwork that makes this futuristic tale far less convoluted, but this movie just worked. I can only imagine how much more pleasing it is for fans of Legion. Among the current run of the connected DCAU, this is one of my favorites in what has so far been a lukewarm saga of movies.

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