Review of “DC League of Super-Pets”: Totally Paw-ful

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Animals voiced by celebs like Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are given super abilities in an animated comedy that is as energising as green Kryptonite.

image credits: bvstartup

DC Entertainment is allegedly owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, although these days you may be excused for thinking otherwise. Finger puppets of the Joker and Harley Quinn, or Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot in a sequel to Casablanca, will tell us definitively whose brand is in charge, I guess.

“DC League of Super-Pets,” DC’s latest corporate brand extension, has arrived as we wait for those gloomy developments. When it comes to “The Secret Life of Pets,” this film is nothing more than a poor reimagining of “Toy Story.” What would have happened if Superman’s dog had jumped inside his escape pod before he departed for Earth? Suppose a slew of other pets were to be endowed with similar abilities? How about an entire film full of zany characters that make stupid jokes worthy of Mr. Freeze in “Batman & Robin”? That would be hilarious.

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Superman’s dog Krypto, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, is a Labrador named Krypto, even though he was born on Krypton. Krypto revels in his master’s talents, which he uses to help him carry out hazardous missions around Metropolis. After a rock from outer space carrying orange Kryptonite, which Lex Luthor (Marc Maron) expects would make him comparable to Superman (John Krasinski), the substance turns out to have no effect on humans but gives dogs incredible powers that are randomly distributed.

When Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are all arrested and imprisoned, the human characters are left out of the action for the most of the film, which is a shame because they were all heroes in their own right. It’s also revealed that two separate groups of different types of creatures have been exposed to the orange Kryptonite, and have escaped with incredible powers. Lulu (Kate McKinnon), a nasty hairless guinea pig who continuously raving about global conquest, is the leader of one squad, whereas Ace (Kevin Hart), a Boxer with pointed black ears whose mentality is similar to that of Batman, is the leader of the other.

Fur fly, claws show, and awful jokes go off in a whirlwind. “How did I come to know you?” The object is too big for me to get my paws on.” Dog, what’s going on? A furball hand grenade is coughed up by a violent super-cat, who shoots laser bullets from her whiskers. It’s Natasha Lyonne’s turn to curse, and she continues being bleeped out: “Where the f—- am I?” Small children’s parents who don’t want to be interrogated about the missing words will be irritated by this. Using the word “ham,” Vanessa Bayer’s character is making a joke that is both antiquated and sexist. Ham is a slang term that alludes to a heinous crime from the early twentieth century. A constant stream of jokes regarding the excretory functions of animals appears, and Superman’s dog attempts to awaken his master by slapping him in the behind. Krypto admits, “This is a tense situation for both of us. For everyone in the audience, not just for them.

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Director Jared Whittington, who also wrote the screenplay, leans extensively on action sequences that have about as much significance as a toddler free-for-all over dad’s Red Bull stockpile. The animals compete with each other using a variety of abilities in an effort to outdo each other. Squirrels have paws that discharge electricity! The pig goes from huge to tiny in the blink of an eye! The emaciated guinea pig takes to the air!

Adult jokes, on the other hand, are much worse than the slapstick. As an example of obvious parody, we see a news network airing an image with the headline “Wealthy Person Actually Goes to Jail,” which is a reference to the Quicksilver scenes from the X-Men films. Due to its nearsightedness, the lecherous turtle continues to make advances on the plastic hard hats.

The crazy inventiveness of “The Lego Batman Movie,” which was written by Mr. Whittington and Mr. Stern five years ago, is completely gone from this film. “What is this, ‘Paw Patrol’?” says a voice from somewhere amid the din. No, since “Paw Patrol” is at the very least adorable. Everyone engaged in “DC League of Super-Pets” should have their noses rubbed in it.

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