Since the inception of the DCEU in 2013 with The Man of Steel, DC has struggled to figure out a way to differentiate itself from its more successful competitor, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Thus, rather than aiming for continuity and tightly interconnected storytelling, WB has opted for a more splintered approach. Though this approach has produced some truly special superhero entries, it has predominantly produced more misfires than hits. Can DC League of Super-Pets save the day, or will it fall victim to storytelling Kryptonite?
In DC League of Super-Pets, Krypto the Super-Dog (played by real-life superhero Dwayne Johnson) fights crime alongside his best friend, Superman (played by real-life Office alum, John Krasinski) in the crime-riddled city of Metropolis. When the Justice League is kidnapped by a deranged, Lex Luther-creation, “Murder-Hamptser” named Lulu (Kate McKinnon), Krypto must recruit a group of strays from the rescue shelter, lead by Ace (Kevin Hart), to save the day and the Justice League.
Genuinely Funny, Surprisingly Heartfelt
Super-Pets delivers consistent laughs and a surprisingly heartfelt story. Johnson and Hart’s chemistry is undeniable as they team up for what seems like their thirty-seventh movie together. Still, The Rock’s back does not hurt from carrying this movie because director Jared Stern has stacked his bench deep with a plethora of comedic talent.
“Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart’s chemistry is undeniable as they team up for what seems like their thirty-seventh movie together.”
WB Animation Studio can not compete with Pixar but delivers plenty of eye candy for the kiddos to enjoy for the surprisingly extended run-time of nearly two hours. The musical score tugs at the adult’s nostalgia strings, playing many of the beloved themes from DC’s illustrious history.
What makes DC League of Super-Pets work as well as it does is the growth Krypto and Ace experience in their journey together. Krypto’s BFF-status with Supes is threatened when Lois enters the picture and steals Clark’s heart. Can this Crime-Fighting-Pup learn what unconditional love really looks like for his best friend?
Ace, on the other hand, is the misunderstood K-9 with a heart of gold. Raised in a family, he saves his beloved master’s toddler from falling down a flight of stairs but breaks skin when biting her arm to save her. As a result, this K-9 do-gooder is sent to the animal rescue and passed over repeatedly for adoption because of his intimidating looks. Audiences will need to wait to see if Ace ever finds trust in another owner with a backstory not too different from his own.
Warner Brother’s delivers a genuinely heartwarming story of friendship, love, loss, and forgiveness that is equally entertaining and great storytelling. While the DCEU may not have its act together yet, these Super-Pets have clearly saved the day.
Reel Dialogue: What do ‘Super-friends’ Look Like?
Proverbs 18:24 – A friend sticks closer than a brother
As a film, Super-Pets speaks the essential ingredient of true, lasting friendship and unconditional love. Ace, in a pivotal scene where he reveals the sacrifice that cost him his family, says, “That’s love, when you’d do anything for the other person.” In a genuinely heartfelt moment, Ace illustrates the sacrifice needed to truly love as a friend should love.
“Super-Pets speaks the essential ingredient of true, lasting friendship and unconditional love.”
In the gospels, Jesus gained a reputation for spending time with tax-collectors, one of the most reviled groups of people in Palestine, and sinners. He was called a “friend” of these rejected groups. By befriending them, he did not approve of their immorality and unethical behaviour, rather, he gave his life in service to their greatest need, the forgiveness of sin. That’s a true friend. Not a “yes-man” who tells you what you want to hear but one with your best interests at heart. Jesus, a true friend of sinners, takes us as we are. No matter who we are, where we’ve been or what we’ve done, or even what’s been done to us, Jesus offers us his friendship. He takes us as we are, heals us, and makes us new.
You can begin that friendship with Jesus by learning more about him in the gospels or finding a Jesus-centered church in your area.
Luke 7:31-34 – Jesus, friend of sinners
Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum. Matt Townsend is the lead pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in King of Prussia, outside of Philadelphia. He is passionate about stories well told and the medium of film. When he’s not tending to his family, serving his church or counselling, he is watching movies with his kids and dissecting their redemptive themes.
All images: Movie publicity