Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Review

Wow! I can't believe it took me so long to rip this out of the shrink wrap and pop it in the DVD player. It's time to sit back and check out the latest Warner Brothers/DC Comics direct-to-DVD animated epic....

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Directed by Sam Liu

Starring the voices of Clancy Brown, Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Alison Mack, Xander Berkley, Ricardo Chavira, John C. McGinley, LeVar Burton, and CCH Pounder.

Backstory: Ya know, out of all these DTV movies they've been pumping out, my gold standard is still The Batman/Superman Movie. When it comes to character moments between the top two of the DC universe, that is still the ultimate in cool. So an epic Batman/Superman team-up could be so fantastic if done right. Of course, one of the big selling points of this one was the fact that they reunited the main voice cast from The Batman/Superman Movie who are, in fact, the main voice cast from the heyday of the 1990's toons: Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. And throw in some great source material. This DTV film is based on the same-named graphic novel, which I've never read, but I always find myself leafing through it at the bookstore. This movie might finally encourage me to read it. All in all, there was a lot of good stuff going into this movie. Would it pay off?

Plot: Lex Luthor got himself elected President of the United States of America. And, under his watch, the world has become a better place. Crime is down. Poverty is down. Employment is up. And he's even brought several superheroes into the federal government to work for the people. But there's one notable person who will not work for the office of the President: Superman, who still thinks that Luthor is up to something. When a giant meteor made of kryptonite is spotted heading towards the Earth, Luthor makes one last effort to bring Superman into the federal fold. But instead, it turns out to be an ambush, and Superman is soon framed for the murder of his old enemy Metallo. Luthor says the massive kryptonite meteor is turning Superman into a mentally deranged lunatic, and places a $1 billion bounty on Superman's head. There's only one man who can help Superman now...his BFF, the Dark Knight himself, Batman. So Superman and Batman are soon on the run from government-sanctioned superheroes and bounty-hunting supervillains as they try to clear Superman's name, save the world from the meteor, and uncover Luthor's true plot.

What I Liked: This movie is just one massive brawl. So many C-list supervillains come out of the woodwork that I had trouble recognizing them all. If you like watching gigantic superhero throw-downs, then this is right up your alley. And the dialogue...the banter between Superman and Batman is priceless. So perfect, so in character, and so funny.

What I Didn't Like: I was a little disappointed that Power Girl didn't have much to do in her animated debut. She doesn't kick much ass...she spends a lot of time standing around being conflicted. Tim Daly's voice acting as Superman was also a little flat in the beginning, like he needed time to get back into the groove. And the editing seemed somewhat abrupt. It did feel like some lines, and even an entire scene, was missing at one point.

Final Assessment: Despite my reservations, this did hit all my right geek buttons in terms of the Superman and Batman portrayals and the super-brawling. This is my second favourite of the franchise. #1 is still Wonder Woman.

3.5 Nibs

Bonus Materials: This disc is available in single-disc movie only version, 2-disc special edition, and Blu-Ray. I have the 2-disc special edition. For bonus features, you get the trailers for all the other DTV films, a featurette on this year's DC comics epic crossover, 2 episodes of Superman: The Animated Series featuring team-ups with Batman, and a sneak peak at the next film, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. There's also two really unique featurettes. The first one is called A Test of Minds: Superman and Batman, in which some comic experts and psychologists analyze Batman and Superman and figure out why they work so well. The second one is Dinner with DCU and Special Guest Kevin Conroy, in which Kevin "the voice of Batman" Conroy and several members of the creative team sit down, have lunch, and reminisce about the good ol' days of Batman: The Animated Series.

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