Let's get one thing sorted though. Its nice to see Batman in the movie, and he has ties to Zatanna actually - but its a stretch to see his usefulness in this universe. But John and Bruce are actually quite alike, except for the backstabbing thing. They both see the world more black than white and are the ultimately escape artists with plans within plans. One is a human walking with gods, and the other is a conman playing the angels and demons.
Coming to the movie, the animation is solid and I loved how they used the spells with multi coloured sigils for different mages. The character designs are nice (though I could do with a more fresh faced John, that aftershave look was doing him no favours) and the action scenes are well rendered.
Story: There are actually three threads here, two are character stories and one the main A-plot. Both Deadman and Jason Blood get fleshed out backstories though I dispute the latter was in any way better than the one given in the Timmverse. That was actually tragic but it seems Jason's backstory keeps getting changed to the main plot whenever he's involved to make him more important. Deadman and his budding need for friends and love was more intriguing and he was a good comic relief. The main plot of Destiny resurrecting and plaguing people with nightmarish visions would have been bland if not for Ritchie being involved. So Ritchie is a seriously bad luck guy. His Hellblazer end was worse, but he was a nice twist when I was expecting someone like Felix or Winters to be a pawn of Destiny (we all know he was to be the main bad guy, c'mon!). All in all, the Deadman back story was shoehorned, but he was necessary for the plot. I just wish Bruce tied in better, especially given how awesomely he handled an alternative version of Destiny in the Timmverse.
So overall a nice introduction to the Dark Universe of DC and I'm hoping this can be expanded to a good two and a half hour life action feature film in the DC movie verse. Some points of improvement: 1. Don't include Batman in everything. Be confident in your other properties and take a chance DC! 2. If you replace Matt Ryan, do it well. He's been a great casting choice and hopefully whoever his counterpart is in the movieverse, lets hope he captures the character well (accent which has been a problem for Matt, is not as big an issue as his portrayal). And the romance with Zatanna was done well. Include that. 3. Etrigan was brilliant in this movie. But ensure he doesn't always have a backstory change just to be relevant! 4. Be better in integrating Origin stories. Deadman's was superfluous and jarring to the flow of the movie. This is one thing BvS got right in how they showed Batman's origin. I would have placed this origin at a movietime when Rama Kusha the deity connected to Deadman gave him the task to unite everyone. At the beginning of the movie maybe.
Overall an above par movie with a solid cast and a good story.
Review by AviCoolChatt from the Internet Movie Database.