Film Review – THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN

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SYNOPSIS: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN ultimately finds Superman in a fight to the finish when the Man of Steel becomes the only hero who can stand in the way of the monstrous creature Doomsday and his unstoppable rampage of destruction.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting July 24, 2018, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD August 7, 2018CLICK HERE to purchase!

The Death of Superman, I will admit, was not a project I was thrilled about.  I saw this and said to myself—again?  The DC Animated Original Movie line started with Bruce Timm’s Superman: Doomsday back in 2007.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice adapted parts of this story only a few years ago.  This new animated adaptation will be our fourth go around killing the Man of Steel.

I’m happy to report that this is the best adaptation of that story.  This version of Superman’s death perfectly condenses the sprawling storyline of the comics extremely efficiently while giving the supporting characters their moments to shine.

The Death of Superman is a wonderfully crafted DC Universe event; this film has heart and loves Superman.  This is a Superman who has Metropolis smitten; they adore The Last Son of Krypton.   This version of Superman is so beloved and accepted by the world that they hardly see him as an alien. You could argue that this is the best animated version of Superman since Superman: The Animated Series. Yes—he is that complete and fleshed out in this film.

“Yes sir, you can always count on Superman.”

Cameos from all corners of Superman canon from John Henry Irons, Bibbo Bibowski, Cat Grant, Hank Henshaw and others provide a deep bond with this universe.  The filmmakers took a deep dive into the mythology—so deep they even go through all the LL’s in Kent history.  The relationships in this film really have a strong impact throughout.  The heart of the story is the relationship between Lois and Clark, and it’s going to make the diehards very happy.   Superman and Lex show their trademark animosity for each other that we all want and crave.  There isn’t a character in the DC Universe wasted in this film from Atlantian guards to Damian Wayne.  The filmmakers show off this epic grand scale needed to tell this story—something I felt was missing from Superman: Doomsday.

There are two big things you think of when you think of the original The Death of Superman comic arc: Doomsday’s march of destruction towards Metropolis and the final brawl between Doomsday and Superman.  Doomsday’s path of obliteration through the Justice League is a pleasure to watch.   Each member of the League is on display here with the Flash and Wonder Woman standing out yet proving they are no match for this killing machine.  The fight between Superman and Doomsday is everything you wanted it to be.   Blow-for-blow, this is a great battle—a true fight to the death, showing off all the qualities we have grown accustomed to with Superman. Even while fighting a foe that is tireless, Superman is still saving those around the chaos.

The voice cast was tremendous. Rainn Wilson’s Lex Luthor shines brightest in Metropolis’ skyline; I have not enjoyed a portrayal of Lex this much since the great Clancy Brown in S:TAS.  This portrayal gives a fresh new sound to Lex; a little more weasel-like but with confidence and authority.  Christopher Gorham does a great job as The Flash, stealing many scenes with comic relief while sharing one of the best heart-to-hearts in Justice League history.

 

Rebecca Romijn’s Lois Lane and Jerry O’Connell’s Clark Kent are a wonderful onscreen couple.  You feel the struggles of their relationship.  Lois is frustrated wanting to be more part of Clark’s life, while Clark is hesitant and unsure about letting Lois in on his two big secrets.  It pays off in the end just as it should with heavy hearts and watery eyes.  I will say that O’Connell’s Superman had to grow on me with repeat viewings, but his Clark was really special from the start.

This film is arguably the best film in the DC Animated Universe line, rivaling even The Flashpoint Paradox and The Dark Knight Returns.   It is a faithful adaptation that goes above and beyond the original comic and is a must-own for your animated library.  This is a very emotional story that focuses on the relationships Superman and Clark have with others.  The post-credits scenes are amazing as well and really get the hype train rolling for the sequel!  Just like the original comic run, the sequel is titled Reign of the Supermen and will be released in 2019. – Pete Verra

GRADE: A+

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Peter Verra
A lover of genre films from BATMAN to FRIDAY THE 13th. A producer of college sports at the world’s most famous arena, MSG. A fool for watching that SCOOBY DOO teaser trailer from 2002 and praying Batman is the one who turns around every time. Backyard BBQ enthusiast & sports fan Yankees, Pacers, Devils, who ever plays the NJ Giants!