Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Death of Superman Movie Review

The Death of Superman (2018)
Director: Sam Liu
Starring: Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn, and Rainn Wilson
A Review By: Lord Andy
After twenty-five years since one of the biggest events to hit the comic world, there have been three feature film interpretations of Superman's battle with Doomsday.  The third being this month’s direct to DVD release of The Death of Superman, and they may have finally got it right, or at least close enough. Where 2007's animated Superman: Doomsday felt incomplete and 2016's live-action Batman V Superman lacked proper detail and emotion. The Death of Superman finally captures the raw power of Doomsday and the emotional links between Superman and his fellow Leaguers and loved ones.

Now that we’re over two years into DC's Rebirth and a few issues into Bendis' abrupt takeover of the Superman titles, readjusting to the younger and more arrogant New 52 Superman took a minute.  However, as silly as it sounds, seeing DC's biggest heroes back in their New 52 form felt refreshing after the hit and miss mediocrity that is Rebirth. Though this is not the same version of Clark and Lois featured in the 1993 classic, it works well enough to deliver the underlining message. Superman represents hope against all odds, and Clark's simple Boy Scout values are something blatantly absent from today’s society. Just like twenty-five years ago, Superman is seen as weak and dull for his heartland values and simplistic outlook on what is right and wrong. But as in all mythology and folklore, we are taught that it is truly righteous who are the last standing.

The film, which is easily one director Sam Liu's better efforts, is packed with action and humor. Hal and Barry provide a few laughs as expected, but it’s the banter between Lois and Cat Grant that takes the cake. Watching the League get pummeled one by one by Doomsday is intense. Each punch, kick, and explosion can be felt thanks to the outstanding animation and sound effects. Watching the likes of Flash, Green Lantern, and lastly, Wonder Woman take near death beatings puts the viewer on the edge of their seat.
For the ultimate Superman fans, the biggest thrill may be when characters such as Hank Henshaw, Connor Kent, Henry Irons, and the Eradicator make their debuts. For those less familiar with the Superman canon, all four of these names will play a major part in DC's next animated feature, Reign of the Supermen. Knowing ahead of time that this film is only part one of a two-part project, should put most fans at ease. DC did it right by taking their time and telling the whole story.
Very few complaints about the vocal talent cast, as the real-life marriage between Jerry O'Connell (Sup/Clark) and Rebecca Romijn (Lois Lane), can be felt on screen. Their strong chemistry can be heard and helps sell the power couple’s love for one another. Rainn Wilson however, is not the best pick for Lex Luthor and is perhaps the biggest turn off in the film. Maybe it’s the years of hearing Clancy Brown command the role or just the tone Wilson went with, but regardless it just doesn’t fit. Wilson is an obviously talented performer, but his Lex is more whiny and annoying than intimidating.

The film hits a few slow spots, and the tone can be melodramatic at times. But that’s kind of the whole point. No particular scenes drag per say, they only reiterate the strong relationships Superman has forged through both his roles as hero and mild-mannered reporter. A strong score by Frederik Wiedmann helps portray the film’s mood as well.
All in all, this is a fun and moving feature with plenty of power and wit. Knowing that Reign of the Superman is just around the corner is also exciting. There’s enough thrills and laughs in this picture to entertain even the most casual comic book fan, and enough easter eggs to excite the diehards. Hope starts with an ‘S' where I’m from, and this film does a great job reminding folks that’s what Superman represents. Hope for a brighter future, a more just world, and a helping hand.
Bits and Pieces:
The big blue boy scout may not be the ultra-violent, dark and brooding hero some people want. But he's a good guy damn it, and the world could use more like him. A world without Superman is a cold place, and this movie is a reminder of that fact. We should embrace our heroes big and small, cause we’re not promised them forever.

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