Rorshach01's Review Of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Have DC continued their trend of bringing us top quality toons? Or did this one throw the S...

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 9/21/2009
The answer is a bit of both. Its certainly a very enjoyable movie, and maybe my expectations were a bit high after seeing such great features from DC leading up to this, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this one.

Having never read the graphic novel by Jeff Loeb I cant comment about any deviations this movie may have taken so that wont be a factor in my review.

The story is very simple. Lex Luthor is President and has a lot of people believing that he really has turned over a new leaf, including quite a few super heroes. One man that is most definitely not buying baldy's change of heart is of course, Superman, and after Lex shows his true colors after an altercation with Metallo, both he and Batman are framed and made to look like, you guessed it, public enemies. With a billion dollar bounty on their heads villains come out of the woodwork to cash in, and they also have to worry about Captain Atom and his super pals trying to take them down out of loyalty to their President.

The action comes fast and hard in this one and it certainly cant be described as being boring. There are super scraps left right and center. And we get to see a whole host of DC villains including Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta and Solomon Grundy..albeit briefly. As well as heroes like Captain Marvel and Hawkman mixing it up with our two fugitives. There may even be a bit too much bang and smash in this. I couldn't help feeling if some more time was given to fleshing out the story that it would have greatly improved things. When things do slow down however, the script is pretty solid. There are some great back and forths between Bats and Supes, and Lex gets some suitably Eeeeevil zingers too. Other characters like Atom and Black Lightning(who has literally one line!) don't do so well, but that may have been down to the delivery of the voice actors as much as anything else.

Which brings me to the biggest disappointment. When we heard Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown would be once again voicing Supes, Bats and Lex we thought it was great news. After all, these guys could voice those characters in their sleep right? Unfortunately, thats exactly what they seem to be doing at times! Its not constant, and for the most part they do a good job as always, but it seems that when ever the drama or emotion hots up, they cool down. And we are subjected to some very flat and shoddy line delivery. Again, maybe I was expecting too much, but I doubt I will be the only one that notices this. Allison Mack does a decent job as Power Girl, although they seem to have made her a lot more innocent and naive than the Power Girl I remember from the comics. I don't know who voices the likes of Atom, Major Force and Toy Man, but they pretty much suck. They voice the characters like they are reading from the back of a cereal box. Bruce and Clarke are also a bit too pally in this. At one point Supes even refers to Bats as "My best friend". Excuse me? Same side yes, mutual respect, most definitely. Best friends? Eh, no.

This movie also fails to really take advantage of the PG13 rating. Its far more intense than your average Sat morning cartoon of course and there is some bad language(well, if you count Lex calling Amanda Waller a bitch!) and there is a bizarre moment at the start when a news caster says the sentence "Fucked up the a#s with a hot poker"! The offending words are bleeped of course but it obvious what they are!

Animation is top notch IMO. I really like the style they use here..maybe some will find it a little blocky and sharp.

Anyway, in summing up, the movie is pretty good. Its very exiting and I doubt anyone will actually dislike it. But considering the quality of DC's animated features up to this and the lackluster voice work, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

3/5 Stars
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46 Comments
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LEEE777 - 9/21/2009, 3:49 PM
You downloaded it right lol??? ; D

I thought everyone liked this baby???

Well i cant wait ta see it lol!

DC is GOLD!
Gideon - 9/21/2009, 3:50 PM
Ha! First! I never get first! I don't have anything to say, other than, "Good review!" Shoot, the only reason I even posted was so I could be first for once! LOL
LEEE777 - 9/21/2009, 3:52 PM
GIDEON you didn't ya FISTER lol! ; D
Gideon - 9/21/2009, 3:52 PM
D'OH!!! DAMN YOU LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LEEE777 - 9/21/2009, 3:52 PM
Heh heh heh! ; )

Soz dude!
CaptainAmerica - 9/21/2009, 4:22 PM
First!!!!!
BryEL - 9/21/2009, 4:23 PM
I ain't surprised. As long as it's better than First Flight, then I'm happy.
RorMachine - 9/21/2009, 4:28 PM
Haha, well i really liked First Flight so I don't know what to tell ya.
thwhtGuardian - 9/21/2009, 5:08 PM
I think that if you've read the comic you'll enjoy this, you have to remember it's based off of Superman/Batman which is separate from the regular DC continuity so the character are different than you're used to seeing. And in Loeb's interpretation he brings them almost back to a silver age like level of camaraderie. I that's where most people get confused about this, and I think that's due to the marketing, they pumped it up like it was dark and visceral, but it's more of a buddy cop romp.
DrFever - 9/21/2009, 5:12 PM
a movie can't "take advantage" of it's ratings. It gets what it gets and that's the end of it.

ecksmanfan - 9/21/2009, 5:23 PM
@Rorschach- Great review. I'm excited to see this one. I've liked most of the animated features that DC and Marvel have done so far. This one seems to be a bit different to me.
thegreek - 9/21/2009, 5:33 PM
Good review ... I too am looking forward to since i already have seen WW and GL ... both pretty good.
spideysweb - 9/21/2009, 5:33 PM
Thanks for the review Roar...I still can't wait to see this
thwhtGuardian - 9/21/2009, 5:35 PM
I think what he mean Dr. Fever was that he felt the movie could've had more violent action with a pg13 rating than this had.

Did anyone else find it funny that Lavar Burton was so pumped and serious about his voice acting...and then he only had one line?
RorMachine - 9/21/2009, 5:45 PM
Yes i did! haha, he must have had scenes cut out. One line? They could have hired anyone for it!

Dr Fever, all of DCs animated features come in at PG13, its a given. They already new the boundaries they could push and as thwhtknight said, they didn't push em.
MidKnight35 - 9/21/2009, 5:57 PM
Honestly I felt the movie was too short. As an animated feature I understand it can not be too long but still 67 minutes seemed short. GL: First Flight was 77min and Wonder Woman was 74 min. 8-10 extra minutes to establish the story more would have improved the film greatly.
I still give it 8/10.

Was anyone else mad they didn't get see Power Girl help Supes and Bats out against Captain Marvel and Hawkman?
superdog - 9/21/2009, 6:03 PM
Levar Burton. Hilarious. And there right ror, these books do have them as being friends. There is still the differing of styles and opinoms and the occasional fights, but it's nothing compared To the dark knight returns mutual respect but ongoing animosity that were used too. The books are very good though I have most of them. Would highly recomend to anyone.
RorMachine - 9/21/2009, 6:17 PM
Ok, I didn't realize that. I thought the comics were still set in the DCU, where Bats and Supes are friends at a push but not best friends by a long shot.
superdog - 9/21/2009, 6:57 PM
There kind of like one off miniseries. Each book is it's own story. They have a little bit of continuity among themselves, references to prior events etc....but not directly continuing stories. And they are outside of the normal continuem. Some
have bats and supes a little closer than others. I haven't read public enemies in a while
and I don't remember if the best friend line is in thier or not. But could be. Looking forward to the movie though. Good review as always.
dellamorte1872 - 9/21/2009, 7:23 PM
in PUBLIC ENEMIES comic form, they are deffinetly like "best friends" b/c thry (KALAND BRUCE) play off eachother, with their styles and approaches. reading JEPH, you are supposed to "think" they are the only ones who can relate to eachother, b/c in a sense they are both alone. i am pretty sure in the comics they treat them as BEST "CONFIDANTS/FRIENDS" THEY EVEN KNOW EACHOTHER REACTIONS TO SITUATIONS SIMPATICO LIKE
thwhtGuardian - 9/21/2009, 7:26 PM
Nah, you never get the friend line, the ending is different in the books captain atom pilots the rocket and batman and sups take on luthor. But they are much closer, like I said it's very reminiscent of the silver age superfiends dynamic, a little bit darker but they are more of friends rather than just allies like you see in the main stream DCU.
Minotauro - 9/21/2009, 8:44 PM
Nothing lives up to your expectations @Ror!!
RorMachine - 9/21/2009, 9:00 PM
Really? Obviously you didn't read my reviews of every one of the other DC animated movies, District 9, Watchmen, Star Trek etc
shibazz - 9/21/2009, 9:01 PM
@minotauro- I am glad that Ror-01 has discerning tastes. Cept his views of Whimperine:Origins , but i think he watched that movie through his review mirror at a drive ins in a town run by beautiful lesbians.

But you know wanna know who did live up to my expectations... Kevens mom, thats who.... i mean WOW ! what a butt-slut ;')

I am such a kunt ! hee hee
RorMachine - 9/21/2009, 9:17 PM
lmao. Shib I'm sorry, I just liked(not loved) that movie. I forgave a lot of the stupid stuff..not really sure why. Im just a Wolvie fanboy. And in fairness, I also cant understand your liking of Punisher Bore Zone..hey, I can do it too:)

Now whats all this about Keven's moms ass?
thwhtGuardian - 9/21/2009, 9:33 PM
yeah grif, he had one line, and he was one of the people pumping the movie. I'm betting his plot line was cut.
All though I think what was the biggest let down about his involvement was that there was a perfect set up for a geordie laforge reference and the missed it. Batman asks him if he can contain the radiation and was waiting for some classic star trek techno babble but there was none.
NubaX - 9/21/2009, 9:40 PM
Goku would WHOOP SUPERMAN'S A%$ (Behind) depending on which Superman he's facing.

If its the same Superman I saw in Doomsday...That would make a Great Fight!
ManhuntersBastardChild - 9/21/2009, 9:43 PM
Was able to get my hands on this and just finished watching it. I gotta say that I was very disappointed. Having read and loved the comic many years ago, I was expecting to see an animated translation that would carry the exciting sense of foreboding the comic elicited(: You just felt emotionally affected by the characters and knew that things couldn't go back to being the same after the events of the comic.) But alas, we get a rushed and minimally enjoyable slugfest on screen that lacks the lustre and/or the gritty emotional kick that was obviously targeted. I have yet to see Gotham Knight, JL: New Frontier, GL: First Flight or Wonder Woman (Death of Supes left a bad taste in my mouth), so I can't really compare it to much of anything done recently.
Warpath27 - 9/21/2009, 10:55 PM
I too would rate this movie a 6/10 or 3 stars out of 5. The whole movie felt rushed. I always thought Power Girl was more aggressive than the lame one they gave us. DC didn't live up to their reputation on this one here.
shibazz - 9/22/2009, 12:56 AM
I think this movie was made to test the tolerance of any fan fo cinema or comic fan in general... to seee if the state of the human consciousness has failed some what and left any room for movie execs to save on talent while creating a new film. I hate to say that but it is the way of the Shibazz. Batman is the only reason that comics exist as far as i am concerned and i dont really like this very much, even though i loved it. I fear for the future. I just dont get it.

@R-01 : Have ya heard the one bout Kevies mom? (heres a hint.... it involves the ill-famed "Cock Ass Award")
LEEE777 - 9/22/2009, 4:04 AM
First
Denn1s - 9/22/2009, 4:34 AM
it is a great movie with top-notch fight scenes and cool animation
Ship - 9/22/2009, 6:37 AM
I'm sorry man but, i'm not agree with u, supes best friend is the batman and viceversa, they show that in every comic or tv show and now movie, it's just that they can't demonstrade to the world that kind of friendship, so they get a cover for that, remember this, batman is the dark side of justice, superman is the light side, los opuestos se atraen.
Shaman - 9/22/2009, 7:16 AM
Great review but i'm not paying full price for a 67 minute feature. I'll wait til it goes down to 2 for 10$.
RorMachine - 9/22/2009, 8:11 AM
Cheers Shaman. Ship, trust me, I have read my share of Supes Bats crossovers and they most certainly are not best friends. I have no idea were you got that from. Ever read TDKR? Death In The Family? Any of The Crisis's? Even in the JLU cartoon they are at each others throats a good majority of the time. What you said is true, and proves my point. Dark and light will always clash. Of course they both get along at times and always have respect and I don't think they dislike each other(Frank Miller would argue with me I;m sure) but if you think they are genuinely best friends you have been reading Super Friends comics all these years.
superdog - 9/22/2009, 8:42 AM
it depends on what your reading. i think ship is right to some extent, i think they are friends but wont show it cause thier real men and not this emo metrosexual shit. also, they would call on eachother whenever needed and the other would probably always be thier in a heartbeat, that is generally the definition of best friend. but not the sit around having a beer and take in a movie type best friend. dont think they would ever do that. i hope they wouldnt anyway.
superman7 - 9/22/2009, 9:07 AM
I see your point about the battle scenes taking up too much time, and drawing away from the story, but if you read the comic yoiu would be extremely disappointed if they had cut those scenes.... Just to give a point of view from someone who has read the comic.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. In the comic, he never says batman is his best friend but he does express a very close, irreplaceable friendship... their attitudes in every comic (excluding frank miller's stuff) could lead them to be described as best friends. Hell, in the newer justice league series Superman, batman and wonder woman do voice their friendship verbally.
The main reason people think they dont like eacother is because of frank miller. Who is great but his take on batman is like any other of his characters. He tries too hard to make them HIS idea of badass.

thwhtGuardian - 9/22/2009, 9:17 AM
ManhuntersBastardChild , maybe you're thinking of another book, this one only came out in 2003, and everything was the same after it came out because it was a one shot deal. And I don't know, maybe it's just me but I thought it was light hearted, not foreboding.
dellamorte1872 - 9/22/2009, 9:44 AM
i read and own S/B 1-50 i like the series because it has its "out of continuity" moments. bruce and kal are depicted as best friends to a degree but BATMAN SECRETLY KEEPS HIM AT ARMS LENGTH ALWAYS BECAUSE SUPES SCRES HIM, HIS POWER...i didnt like the TOYMAN ROBOT S/B or the "ULTIMATES" DC critique team. but the first twelve issues are phenomanal
ManhuntersBastardChild - 9/22/2009, 11:16 AM
thwhtknight, i didn't mean that we get to see what happens after, because as you mentioned, it was a oneshot; what i was refering to was that i personally experienced a sense that in that universe, in that reality, especially for the superheroes, things would never be the same. Of course, we don't get to see this, but that's neither here nor there.

As per the light-heartedness, it may be a matter of taste and interpretation. Getting Supes brandished as a criminal and then the whole world losing faith in him, it suggests to me that if this faith is to be regained, it will come at a cost. That for me was interpreted as dread/foreboding
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