Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Superman Batman: Public Enemies

In my second installment of DC Animated Movie reviews, we have:

Movie Review: Superman Batman: Public Enemies



This movie, rather than showing an origin like First Flight, it just transcribes a storyline in the ongoing series, Superman/Batman. Well, it's not so much a title, as it is just a picture.



Anyway, the movie starts by talking about how screwed the economy is, and that Lex Luthor is running for president in these troubled times. He then wins the election, and decides to devote his presidency to taking down superheroes. I don't see why anyone would be surprised by that, because they voted for freaking Lex Luthor. He also has, in his employ, Captain Atom, Power Boo- I mean Power Girl, and some other people I don't know the names of.



We first see Superman stopping a fleeing crook by using his signature ability, lifting. He's encountered by Luthor's superheroes, who try to convince Superman to join them. Obviously Superman is a bit distrustful, because, as he said, "Luthor's always up to something."



Luthor hears about a giant chunk of kryptonite heading towards Earth, but refuses to get superhero help, deciding he'll use missiles instead, because he did his own calculations. After his Secretary of State or something Amanda Waller urges him to ask Superman for help. Luthor agrees, and calls a press conference. Once Superman meets with Luthor, it's clear there was a double cross, as Superman collapses. It's revealed one of the secret service guys behind Luthor is Metallo, a Superman villain powered by kryptonite. A big battle ensues, that Batman quickly joins in.



Rather than try and beat the crap out of him, which never works, Metallo opts to shoot Superman with a chunk of kryptonite. Superman and Batman manage to escape to the Batcave, only to find that Luthor has framed Superman for killing Metallo, offering a billion dollar bounty on his head.



While Batman and Superman form a plan, Power Boobs meets with Luthor. She's reluctant to believe Superman capable of murder, but Luthor uses the argument that since he's changed so much, Superman could do the same.

Batman and Superman break in to the high security morgue, seeing Metallo's death was caused by radiation. After the guards come in, Superman and Batman fly away, only to be attacked by a cadre of villains. This is the start of about 3 waves of the guys, which encompass a giant fight scene between Batman, Superman and a whole bunch of random villains.



When things start to look bleak, Luthor's heroes show up, ready to take Superman in. This begins another fight scene, but Power Girl is uncharacteristically meek and unsure of herself. Superman and Batman escape with Power Girl using one of the Flash's usual moves, flying around them really fast so a whirlwind throws them into the air.



After their escape from Luthor, Super and Bats have a talk with Power Boobs on top of the Daily Planet building, where she reveals that she's unsure whether to trust Superman or Luthor. Before much can be said, Luthor's heroes show up again, for yet another fight scene. During a lull in the fighting, Batman accuses the Major Force (The red radiation guy) of killing Metallo, calling him stupid for trusting Luthor. He gets angry and attacks Batman, causing Power Girl to rush him, and punch him really really hard. Which, apparently, is his weakness.



A rupture appears in his suit and he starts leaking radiation. They attempt to contain it, but Captain Atom says that he can absorb the energy, so he does.

Back with Luthor, he tries launching some missiles, which don't work because the radiation of the meteor explodes them before they strike it. Then we see Luthor look at a glowy vile of green stuff in his desk drawer. Ooooh, foreshadowing.



Outside the missile base, Batman and Superman send Power Girl to some unknown location, then try to enter, but are attacked, starting, like, the tenth fight scene in this movie. It's Hawkman and Captain Marvel, trying to take our heroes down for their country. The fight between Superman and Captain Marvel isn't bad, but doesn't quite match up to their fight in Justice League Unlimited, wherein they destroy a whole city. Batman shoots a missile at Marvel, turning him back into Billy Baston. After a well timed Shazam, Marvel's back in the fight.



At that, we cut to Luthor's address, saying the missiles were just a research mission, and that phase two will make everything better. It's obvious most people don't believe this, as they loot shops and run around all panicked like. Waller goes to talk to Luthor, only to see him injecting himself with some Krypto-steroids. He rants that the meteor will kill tons of people, leaving only him and the rest of the elite alive. Then, in a move which shows he's truly lost it, he makes out with Waller.



He's called away by a message saying Captain Marvel and Hawkman have returned. He meets with them, only to discover it's really Superman and Batman, just dressed up differently. Superman is weakened by Luthor, but Batman demands the data on the meteor. Luthor goes to the computer and deletes all the files. Luckily, Waller is there with a backup, and glady gives it to Supes and Bats. They fly away, and Luthor runs away to avoid being arrested. After another jolt of his steroid cocktail, he jumps into his usual backup, the purple and green powersuit, and flies away.



In Japan, we join Batman and Superman, where they meet Batman's contact, a rich kid engineer, calling himself the Toyman. He's built a machine that looks like a gaint Half-Superman Half-Batman Mecha to destroy the meteor. At first I thought this was incredibly impractical, but then again, he's Japanese.



Lex Luthor breaks in, and starts beating the shit out of Superman. His dialogue is here is really crazy, but awesome crazy. Luthor punches Toyman's computer before he can input the necessary data. Batman decides he'll fly the giant robot into the meteor, supposedly sacrificing himself in the process. Superman stalls Luthor as it takes off, and they continue to fight as it goes towards the meteor. Superman finally defeats Luthor as Batman explodes into the meteor. Everyone is happy, but Superman is sad.



After receiving a message from Toyman that there's still a chance, Superman flies up to the remains of the robot. Batman is, as you can predict, still alive, and Superman brings him back down to Earth. The movie ends as Lois comes from a helicopter and hugs Superman.

So how was the movie? I loved it. It had all the voice actors from Justice League, and they knocked it out of the park. Some of the characterizations were off, like with Power Girl, who's usually much more confident and brash. The animation style is quite a bit different, but they tried to match the artist who made the original Public Enemies. Frankly, I think the super-bulging muscles weren't too spectacular, but it translated pretty well into animation. I think they did a good job of putting Batman against people with superpowers and make him have a fighting chance. It may be less realistic than a normal Batman, but I prefer that. At any rate, if you like Batman and/or Superman, I'd suggest picking it up.