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...
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.
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