Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Tim Daly as Superman (voice)
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Andre Braugher as Darkseid (voice)
Summer Glau as Kara Zor-El / Supergirl (voice)
Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman (voice)
Edward Asner as Granny Goodness (voice)
Julianne Grossman as Big Barda (voice)
Rachel Quaintance as Lyla / Artemis (voice)
Salli Saffioti as Gilotina (voice)
Tara Strong as Female Radio Caller #2 / Lashina (voice)
David Mitchell as Male Longshoreman (voice)
John Cygan as Male Radio Caller / Gus (voice)
Andrea Romano as Stompa / Vicky (voice)

Special Features:
Sneak Peek: All-Star Superman – Preview DC Universe’s Next Animated Original Movie

Explore 3 Other DC Universe Original Animated Movies

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
French and Spanish Languages
Running Time: 78 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“When a spaceship splashes down in Gotham Harbor, Batman and Superman encounter a mysterious Kryptonian with powers as great as Superman’s. When Darkseid gets wind of this, he has the Kryptonian abducted and brought under his control on Apokolips. It’s up to Batman and Superman to retrieve the Kryptonian, forcing them to infiltrate Darkseid’s hostile world where superpowerful threats lurk around every corner. This story is based on Jeff Loeb’s popular mini-series from the Superman/Batman comic books.”

“Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” is rated PG-13 for violence and brief sensuality.

Mini-Review:
I read the original “Superman/Batman” comic by Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner and I have to say that this animated film captured the spirit of it quite well. Though Batman is again voiced by Kevin Conroy and Superman by Tim Daly, the animation is drawn in the style of Turner’s original art. That gives the whole film a feeling of something fresh and new. (It’s going to be interesting to see “All-Star Superman” when the style changes yet again.) DC fans will be pleased to see Superman and Batman in top form and joined with Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Darkseid, Big Barda, Doomsday, and others.

The centerpiece of this story is the arrival of Supergirl in the world. She’s voiced by fan favorite Summer Glau. While I’m a fan of her work in “Firefly,” “Dollhouse,” and “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” her voice performance is a bit flat here. Glau’s voice isn’t terribly dynamic and Kara doesn’t sound like the teen girl she’s supposed to. The end result is a character that’s a bit dull and only becomes engaging when she’s in fight scenes and there isn’t a lot of dialogue.

The other problems with “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” are the same problems with the original comic. Superman discovers that he wasn’t the only survivor from Krypton. You’d think that would be a momentous event for him, but it’s practically glossed over in the story. It is also hinted that Kara may be some sort of secret weapon and something devised to play upon Superman’s emotions (his one weakness), yet that is dropped and never develops as a significant plot point. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman also go to war with Darkseid and invade his world, but it’s less epic than some of their other animated adventures. Episodes of “Justice League” were grander than this.

This animated film is rated PG-13. It gets this by showing a few people impaled on spears, a little blood, and a few profanities. This really annoys me. If you’re trying to appeal to older audiences, then you need to amp up the violence, blood, and sexuality. Make it realistic. You need to go all-out (like the Batman anime) or make it appropriate for all audiences young and old. Instead what they’ve done is take an episode of a Batman or Superman cartoon and thrown in “hell,” “damn,” and “bitch” in the dialogue. It’s stupid. And despite their best efforts to make this an ‘adult’ cartoon, you’re still going to find this in the children’s video section of Target and Walmart. WB needs to pick a tone and stick with it. What they’re doing now isn’t working.

“Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” is for fans of the DC Comic, teen fans and older fans, and anyone that loves the previous DC animated films. This is not the best entry into the series of Batman and Superman films, but it’s always fun to see DC’s ‘Holy Trinity’ in action and if this movie delivers on anything, it’s the action.

As for the bonus features, I was only sent the bare bones DVD which has a lone bonus feature. If you want more, you’ll have to get one of the special sets or the Blu-ray. But the one bonus feature here is a sneak peek of “All-Star Superman.” It’s going to be really interesting to see how they interpret the acclaimed series. You also get to see an interview with Christina Hendricks who plays Lois Lane in the movie.

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