Warner Brothers and DC have struggled to find success with their super-hero films. Some have been good, some have been just alright, and some have been not-so-great at all. But with The League of Super-Pets, WB and DC may have just finally figured out what it takes to make a great superhero movie! A good, clean, fun-filled, family-friendly film with everything you’d expect – from super-villains with an evil plan to spectacular battles to heart-warming friendships to a rag-tag team of heroes who must not only find their own identities, but also come together to save their mentors. And just because these heroes happen to be animals, it does not make it any less of a fantastic movie!
The League of Super-Pets provides us with a completely different take on Superman’s origin – from the viewpoint of his dog, Krypto (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). Joining young Kal-El on his journey from the doomed planet of Krypton to Earth, it is Krypto’s job to take care of his boy. But what happens when that boy becomes a man and finds love in the form of Lois Lane? Where does that leave Super-Man’s Best Friend? Well, this movie explores that answer and more! Krypto is questioning his place in Superman’s life when Lex Luthor (Marc Meron) sets in motion events that ultimately give some unsuspecting shelter animals powers they could never dream of – from invulnerability to size-changing to super-speed to electrical blasts. And when the Justice League is defeated and kidnapped by … Nah, that would be telling! … it is up to Krypto to convince Ace (Kevin Hart), PB (Venessa Bayer), Chip (Diego Luna), and Merton (Natasha Lyonne) that they can be heroes and enlist their aid in saving the Justice League.
Yes, the movie may be aimed at a younger audience, but it is definitely an enjoyable film for adults as well! There is plenty of humor, which is kept clean and at a level that all ages can enjoy it, and there is plenty of cartoon, comic adventure and battles that will definitely keep children and adults alike glued to the screen. And even though the main characters are animals, it is easy to get drawn into their journey, as each one must come to face their own fears – whether it be losing one’s owner, conquering one’s insecurities, overcoming one’s uncertainties in battle, or even just dealing with one’s faulty eyesight. The dilemmas are just as real as the ones we call face every day, and that’s part of what adds to this film’s success.
Admittedly, the characterization of Superman, Batman, and Aquaman may not be exactly what we are used to seeing – and the Green Lantern in this movie is not the Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Raynor, or even Guy Gardner that we may be familiar with – but they are not the stars, after all, so WB and DC can be forgiven for taking a bit more liberty with their characters in order to allow the Super-Pets to truly shine. The League of Super-Pets is definitely a film not to be missed – it is super-adorable, it is super-fun, and it is everything a superhero movie should be!
4 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen