SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE, 2010
Starring: Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Andre Braugher, Susan Eisenberg, Summer Glau
Batman discovers a girl with super powers and a connection to Superman's past. When Darkseid, ruler of the hellish planet Apocalypse, finds out about the girl, the hero's of Earth must put up the fight of their lives to keep the girl from the clutches of evil.
You've got Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Darkseid, and a swarm of Doomsday clones all jam-packed into a 78-minute animated film that is a direct sequal to the fantastically epic “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”. That's GOTTA be epic, right? Well... I've been wrong before.
Several weeks after Lex Luthor was brought to justice and impeached after the fiasco with the on-coming Kryptonite meteor in “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”, a space ship crashes in the Gotham City Harbor. The only occupant of the craft is a teenage naked blonde who doesn't speak English (or any other Earth language) and has no clothes. And oh, yeah, she has super powers similar to Superman's. The problem is she seems as surprised by the powers as the bystanders who witness the destruction she accidentally causes. She is stopped by Batman who uses a piece of Kryptonite to subdue her and bring her back to the Batcave where he calls in Superman to investigate.
It turns out the the girl's name is Kara and she's from the long-since destroyed planet of Krypton: Superman's home planet. She is actually Superman's cousin who was sent to Earth to watch out for the infant Kal-El (Superman's Kryptonian name), but due to circumstances in space she a) got to Earth about 20-some years after Kal-El and b) never aged. Superman embraces Kara as his cousin, but Batman is skeptical of the girl and the situation.
Batman goes behind Superman's back and informs Wonder Woman of Kara's existence on Earth. Wonder Woman and Lyla (another Amazonian warrior) ambush Clark Kent and Kara in the park, saying that the girl needs to come with them to the island nation of Themyscira to learn to use her powers among people who will accept her. Superman reluctantly agrees.
Meanwhile, on the hellish planet of Apocalypse, the overlord and megalomaniac Darkseid learns of Kara and devises a plan to bring her to his planet to become part of his assassin force The Female Furies.
Batman and Superman go to Themyscira to check on Kara's progress with the Amazons. While there, a boom tube appears and out steps hordes of Doomsday clones. Superman, Wonder Woman and the Amazon army face off against the beasts while Batman flees. After a brutal battle, Superman ends it by vaporizing the Doomsday clones and he and Wonder Woman go after Batman. It turns out that Kara has been kidknapped by Darkseid!
Superman and Wonder Woman go after Big Barda, former member of the Female Furies now living peacefully on Earth. Together, they (and Batman) go to Apocalypse to use a 3-pronged attack to get Kara back.
“Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” is sadly nowhere near as good as “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”. That doesn't mean it's BAD... it's just not AS good.
The voice talent is again superb, bringing back Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy (the voices of Superman and Batman from their 1990's animated series as well as the Justice League animated series). In my opinion, these are the only two men who should EVER voice Superman and Batman in animated films. Sadly, there are numerous Superman animated movies and Batman animated movies in which these to fantastic voice actors are left off the roster. Luckily, they're back for this film and they make their characters shine as always.
The animation here is ALMOST as good as it was in “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”, but for some reason it feels a little off somehow. I don't know if it's the same animation team just trying something different, or if it's a different animation team trying to copy the first film. In either case, the animation is very similar, but it seems like they're trying to be darker with it in this film. For me, this just didn't work. I'm not saying the animation is bad, per say, but it was so fabulous in “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” that I can't think of why they would change it for “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse”. As the saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
This movie is not as action packed as I was hoping. There are a couple of big fights such as the invasion of the Doomsday clones on the beach of Themyscira, and the battle between first Supergirl and Darkseid and then Superman and Darkseid... but neither of these have the intensity they should. The problem is that there's other stuff going on that the filmmaker wanted to show, and the only way to do so was cut away from the main action... but it ends up hurting the action (I.E. makes what should be an epic battle far less epic).
All-in-all, I felt like “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” was good... but not as great as it could have been. We saw in the first movie what this studio CAN do, and this sequel feels a little like the less talented sibling of an all-star athlete.
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