‘DC League of Super-Pets’ review: Lighter take of Justice League

For the most part, the DC Extended Universe has treated blockbuster comic book films with a dark, somber approach. But maybe there’s another way to explore the world of Justice League that’s a little warmer, cozier, and friendlier? That is the thesis of the animated film “DC League of Super-Pets”, which combines several already proven elements into a family-friendly entry into the worlds of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their superhero gang.

DC League of Super-Pets is written by Jared Stern and John Whittington, who previously worked on The Lego Ninjago Movie and The Lego Batman Movie. The film is directed by Stern, who also directed the 2018 rom-com Happy Anniversary. Co-director Sam Levine (“Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero”) brings the animation experience. The voice cast is packed with popular comedy actors including Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Jemaine Clement, John Early and Marc Maron.

But most importantly, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are coming together in the lead roles of Krypto the Super-Dog and Ace, a rescue mutt. Johnson and Hart have had some success with their unlikely pairing in films like “Central Intelligence” and “Jumanji,” and “DC League of Super-Pets” relies on their lively banter to sell the story from enemies to friends at the center of the movie

Stern and Whittington’s screenplay envisions a world where a young Kal-El (who later becomes Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent, voiced by John Krasinski) has a blind puppy in the capsule that takes off from the planet Krypton. Boy and puppy grow into human and dog together and save the world in Metropolis together. But when Krypto grows jealous of Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde), Clark wonders if he should find his own best friend for his best friend.

That dilemma resolves itself when a hairless guinea pig named Lulu (McKinnon), rescued from an animal testing lab run by Lex Luthor (Maron) and obsessed with world domination, uses a shard of orange kryptonite to kill himself and the others rescued Giving animals superpowers. Krypto must team up with the motley crew of Ace, Pig PB (Bayer), the older turtle Merton (Lyonne) and a chipmunk named Chip (Diego Luna) to save Superman and the Justice League, who are being held captive by the superpowered gang guinea pigs were taken.

While the plot that follows Krypto finding his pack and saving the day is extremely formulaic and easily tiresome with its predictable twists and turns, Stern and Whittington fill the space around the building with a wealth of offbeat humor and sharply written jokes as well the teasing self-awareness that shaped both The Lego Batman Movie (arguably the best deconstruction of the Batman mythos) and The Lego Ninjago Movie. McKinnon’s portrayal of the megalomaniac Lulu proves to be one of the film’s funniest, while Lyonne’s Merton is a sleeper outburst.

DC League of Super-Pets doesn’t attempt to break up the genre or trouble the already well-established world, but rather to find some scope to play with the familiar characters and inject some childish wonder and seriousness. Both cute and funny, this animated film offers children and families a way to experience these familiar characters, while older DC fans will also enjoy the references to their beloved comic book stories. It’s a fun and sweet refreshment on DC lore that should please fans old and new.

Katie Walsh is a film critic for the Tribune News Service.

‘DC League of Super Pets’

Rated: PG, for action, mild violence, language and rude humor

Duration: 1 hour, 46 minutes

To play: Launches in general release on July 29th

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-07-27/review-cutesy-and-comic-dc-league-of-super-pets-spins-superhero-lore ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ review: Lighter take of Justice League

Sarah Ridley

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