Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Reviews
LexCorp's CEO Lex Luthor has been elected President of United States during a severe nation-wide economic depression. Under his leadership, the economy begins to thrive and he assembles a force of government-employed superheroes consisting of Captain Atom, Starfire, Katana, Black Lightning, Power Girl, and Major Force. Meanwhile, Superman and Batman maintain their distrust toward Luthor.
The United States government discovers that a massive Kryptonite meteor is hurtling toward Earth. Instead of asking superheroes for aid and wanting to take credit for himself, Lex decides to destroy it with nuclear missiles. Lex arranges a meeting with Superman in Gotham City under the pretense of forming a pact. This results in a battle between the hired Metallo and Superman and Batman. Following the heroes' escape, Metallo is killed by an unknown assailant. Later that night, Lex pins Metallo's murder on Superman, using footage of their battle to implicate him. Lex claims that the radiation being emitted by the meteor affects Superman's judgment, and he places a one-billion-dollar bounty on the Man of Steel's head.
While breaking into S.T.A.R. Labs, seeking information on the meteor, Batman and Superman find Metallo's remains and realize that intense radiation has killed him. They are then attacked by an army of villains looking to collect on the bounty. The army includes: Silver Banshee, Captain Cold, Icicle, Killer Frost, Mr. Freeze, Gorilla Grodd, Bane, Black Manta, Black Spider, Brimstone, Catman, Cheetah, Copperhead, Deadshot, Kestrel, King Shark, Brutale, Despero, Giganta, Girder, Lady Shiva, Mongul, Captain Boomerang II, Nightshade, Parasite, Solomon Grundy, and Shrike. After some effort, most of the villains are defeated.
The remaining villains are defeated by Captain Atom, who has arrived with Lex's superhero team to arrest Superman. All but Power Girl, whose loyalties are divided, attempt to capture the heroic duo. Superman creates a hurricane using his superspeed, and the two heroes escape with Power Girl.
In Metropolis, Power Girl admits that she feels threatened by Lex, and doesn't believe Superman killed Metallo. Lex's superheroes catch up and the fight begins again, this time with Power Girl aiding Superman and Batman. The Dark Knight realizes that Major Force killed Metallo under Luthor's orders and goads him into admitting it in front of everyone. In anger, Power Girl punches him in the stomach with so much force that it ruptures his containment suit. Captain Atom, ashamed at his complicity in Lex's misdeeds, absorbs the energy, disintegrating Major Force and injuring himself in the process.
Meanwhile, Lex's missiles fail to stop the meteor due to the sheer amount of radiation being emitted. Amanda Waller discovers that Lex has secretly been taking kryptonite steroids, making him lose whatever rationality he had left. Lex decides to let the meteor hit the Earth so that he may rule what remains behind. Batman and Superman break into Lex's lab to retrieve data on the meteor's radiation. They end up in battle with Captain Marvel and Hawkman, eventually emerging victorious with Power Girl's aid. Though Lex is unwilling to relinquish the data, going so far as to erase it from the lab computers, Waller gives them a copy. Batman and Superman fly off to Tokyo to submit the meteor's data to the Japanese Toyman. Waller tries to have Lex arrested, but he injects himself with more kryptonite steroids and dons a power suit. After escaping Waller and the military, Lex follows Superman and Batman.
Toyman has built a rocket-propelled spacecraft, intending to use it as a powerful missile to stop the meteor. The ship resembles a giant, robotic composite version of Superman and Batman. With the data, Toyman is able to calculate the necessary reinforcements needed for his own rocket so it won't explode before impact, as Luthor's missiles did. Lex arrives and disables the remote guidance systems. Batman volunteers to fly the ship himself, despite Superman's protests. Though initially faring poorly against Lex and his kryptonite power suit, Superman finally defeats Luthor in the streets of Metropolis in an aerial battle. Batman succeeds in destroying the meteor, and Superman finds him alive and well in an escape pod.
With the truth of Metallo's death public knowledge, Superman is cleared of the murder charge and Luthor is arrested, all the while ranting that he, as President, cannot go to prison. Batman then returns to Gotham while the Daily Planet's star journalist, Lois Lane, arrives and she and the Man of Steel happily embrace.
The action escalates and I see an amazing blend of 2D animation and CG graphics, which was the bright spot in this movie for me. The original voice talent of Batman (Kevin Conroy), Superman (Tim Daly), and Luthor (Clancy Brown) was a great treat for those who love the Batman/Superman adventures animated series.
2016 is a big year for comic-book films. Batman and Superman are obviously squaring off very soon, but so is Captain America and Iron Man in Civil War. For all intents and purposes, 'Public Enemies' is DC's version of that comic book storyline. We begin as Lex Luthor takes over as president, using tactics similar to a presidential candidate running for office this year, which gives this film an interesting significance among films of this genre. The film is very much formulated like every other superhero movie, but I liked seeing parallels and a few valid points about society as a whole today. For the most part, it's just one punch after another, but for the avid superhero fan, that's enough.
Batman and Superman are close friends here and for once, on the same side of the coin. After a framed murder from Lex on Supes, him and Batman become public enemies among the entire country. This even includes other members of the Justice League who were dumb enough to think Lex was a serious presidential candidate. Throughout the film you get appearances from famous villains like Solomon Grundy or Mongo and heroes like Hawkman and Shazam, all there to take in Batman and Superman. The film loses its political and moral focus a bit as it slips into an action extravaganza with all these heroes and villains, but eventually it gets back on track.
The best part about the film is once again the dynamic between Batman and Superman. Conroy and Daly once again voice the two heroes as they take on a friendly bond this time around. Heck even Christopher Drake does the score. If you're a superhero fan, it's hard not to believe you would enjoy watching this film, but it's nowhere near the cerebral masterpiece that The Dark Knight Returns or some of the other animated films are. At the very least, the film is a smart commentary on corruption and misrepresentation in the media, which is something you barely see in a superhero flick.
+Voice talent, enough said
+Cool appearances from heroes and villains
+Commentary on our society
-Fight scenes take over the fascinating elements of the story sometimes
The downside comes from the animation which just doesn't appeal to me and the story seems somewhat clipped as they try to fit in so much content.
(Full review coming soon)