Review: Necessary Evil – Super-villains of DC Comics / Cert: MPAA / Director: Scott Devine, J.M. Kenny / Screenplay: Scott Devine, J.M. Kenny / Starring: Christopher Lee, Paul Dini, Mike Carlin, Jim Lee, Zack Snyder, Scott Snyder, Geoff Johns, Dan DiDio, Richard Donner, Scott Porter, Clancy Brown, Kevin Conroy, Guillermo Del Toro, Neal Adams, Marv Wolfman / Release Date: Out Now (US import)
Necessary Evil is something of an oddity. It is essentially a DVD bonus feature to accompany DC Comics' recent Villains Month event. That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing, it’s just that the film seems to lack any clear vision in how it handles its subject matter.
The big problem with the film is in the way it is structured, jumping from one character, story or theme to another with no clear through-line. It’s such a wide area to cover in such a short running time that nothing is really said and you’re largely left knowing little more than when you started watching it. Some characters seem to be skimmed over briefly in an attempt to at least appease that character's fans, without using too much screen time on them.
Given that there is no talk of how characters are adapted for their many incarnations outside of the comics, the inclusion of multiple clips from various movies, TV series and cartoons serve as nothing more than a point of reference for people who have never read a comic book.
Likewise having people like Zack Snyder, Richard Donner and Guillermo del Toro weighing in seems to be about little more than getting some big names to put on the box to pull in casual fans. Their inclusion is mostly redundant as they have nothing really to offer on the characters they are talking about, with Snyder particularly looking like he doesn’t really know what he’s doing there beyond having just made Warner Bros a ton of money with Man of Steel.
As a fan of comics, this writer will happily sit and watch anyone talk with passion about the stories and characters they have created and there is a payoff for that in particular from the likes of Mike Carlin, Neal Adams and in particular Geoff Johns talking about Sinestro, but on the whole the overall thing is a largely forgettable affair that doesn’t really tell us anything that can’t be found out from reading the comics themselves.
This film currently has no UK release date, but is available now to import on Region 1 DVD or Region Free Blu-ray.