It is hard to not be a bit of a fan of WB’s DC animation lately. Their Batman saga, outside of Killing Joke, has been quite good. So with Vixen being an unknown character to me, I wanted to check out Vixen: The Movie. Especially since it was just a little over an hour. Meaning, even if I hated it, I wouldn’t suffer too long. As for the final verdict, read more below.
Vixen: The Movie is sort of an origin story. One which establishes who Vixen, real name Mari (Megalyn Echikunwoke), is, and how she got her powers. Of which, all stem from a necklace from her home tribe. Said tribe being the African village of Zambesi. A place where she was displaced from long ago thanks to Benatu Eshu (Hakeem Kae-Kazim). Someone who was a local warlord and has been on the hunt for the powerful necklaces like Mari is in possession of. He isn’t alone though. Mari’s sister Kuasa (Anika Noni Rose) also is looking to get her hands on a necklace, Mari’s specifically.
But, while you may believe this is a two against one issue, it isn’t. For with Arrow (Stephen Amell), Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), Atom (Brandon Routh), Flash (Grant Gustin), and more, Mari has a huge amount of allies. People she comes to know, trust, and fight alongside. Thus giving birth to Vixen.
On The Fence
It’s Likable, But Won’t Necessarily Make You a Fan
I should note, there was a 2 season series before this movie was made. With that, I’m under the impression we are given a summarized version of the series. One which cuts the fat and gets to the main points. With that, you can clearly see a lot gets brushed over. Be it Vixen’s relationship with her adopted parents, background on her biological parents, and also her relationship to DC major characters Flash and Arrow.
However, even with it being clear you are missing out on quite a bit of the details, Vixen’s journey of discovery is interesting enough. Learning about the rise and fall of her village was interesting and the fight scenes were also cool. Granted, the fight scenes between Mari and Kuasa were anti-climactic, after the build they had, but the fight against Benatu sort of made up for it.
As for Vixen herself, she is alright. Does she make you roll your eyes or feel like you are suffering while you watch this? No. But, at the same time, nothing about her or her story makes you think you should invest time and money into the series which came before this. Much less buy her comics or push for her to get a live action movie.
Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
Overall, Vixen: The Movie seems more like an extended trailer for the series than a standalone movie. With that, you get the gist of what Vixen is about but not enough to swear loyalty to the franchise. For while the African mysticism was cool, neither her sister nor Benatu made interesting foes. On top of that, with so much cut, in terms of what made Vixen into the woman she is, there isn’t that type of origin story development which would have you connect with the character. In this film, she has this necklace, already knows how to use it, and you are just introduced to her capabilities.
Leading to the reason for the Mixed label. The film just doesn’t sell you on the property. It seemingly is more so for established fans than potential ones. With that, you are left with an understanding of who is who, what they are after, and what not, but not given a real reason to care. Never mind some sense of emotional attachment which could inspire you to fill in the missing details. [note]Seemingly, this is a compilation of all the 5 minute episodes released for the show. However, even with that now known, my feelings remain the same[/note]