Video Vices

The Death of Superman Review

superman

Release Date: 2018.
Directors: Jake Castorena, Sam Liu.
Producers: Sam Liu, Amy McKenna.
Screenplay: Peter Tomasi.
Cast:
Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion.
Running Time:
1 hour and 21 minutes.

The Death of Superman in 1993 was equal parts comic book event and marketing, sales strategy making headlines around the world. The issue in which the Man of Steel actually, cross my heart and hope to die, no foolin’, really, really, Scout’s honour, died (Superman #75) sold an unbelievable six million copies coming complete with Superman’s Daily Planet obituary and black arm bands for those mourning comic book geeks.

Leaving Metropolis and the world without a hero, Supes was replaced by four Supermen: Cyborg Superman, Superboy, Eradicator and Steel in the next chapter: The Reign of the Supermen. All of the new arrivals, except for Steel, claimed to be the real Superman. All of that would be settled in the eventual Return of Superman but we are getting ahead of ourselves. That’s for the sequel.

The Death of Superman is second animated adaption of the storyline in the last 11 years by Warner Bros. The first was Superman: Doomsday in 2007. Although it had wall-to-wall action, it didn’t represent the actual story all that well. It looks as if Warner Bros. hasn’t learned its lesson as The Death of Superman doesn’t fare that much better.

Doomsday, an unstoppable gargantuan beast, crash-lands on Earth carving a bloody path of destruction towards Metropolis and his eventual target, Superman. The Justice League, minus Supes, intervenes but even the combined might of those legendary heroes are not enough to stop the beast that becomes known as Doomsday.

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It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Superman, who finally arrives on the scene. The blockbuster battle between Earth’s ultimate protector and the ultimate war machine is as bloody and brutal as death of Superman.

The film does stick to the original story more than its predecessor; however, its shift in focus is exasperating and ultimately acts as an anchor preventing the movie from achieving any momentum for the first forty minutes or so. Instead of the emphasis being on Superman as you would naturally expect in a SUPERMAN movie, much of the attention and screen time goes to the intrepid reporter, Clark Kent’s girlfriend, Lois Lane. Her preoccupation with an impending meeting with Clark’s parents, her incessant, inane chats with Cat Grant all lead up to Lois Lane stealing the spotlight away from Superman in the movie’s most powerful scene. A scene which did not happen that way in the original story because the authors understood who the central character should be and that is…SUPERMAN.

The Death of Superman is like a Wonder Woman movie with Steve Trevor throwing all the punches or a Batman movie featuring Alfred vacuuming the Batcave. We want Wonder Woman not Steve Trevor. We want Batman not Alfred. We want Superman not Lois Lane.

doomsday

And for some inexplicable reason the Cat Grant character went from being portrayed by Calista Flockhart on the Supergirl television show to Toks Olagundoye in The Death of Superman. Why the inconsistency between Warner Bros productions? Why the character change? Your guess is as good as mine.

As has been the case with the last handful of Warner Bros animated films, the animation itself is shamefully bad. The faces of the characters, their features especially are horrendous, looking like what is left at the bottom of a box of raisins when you are almost done. Doomsday is an elderly Ewok with a mohawk. This sloppy Tumblr level art is not cutting it.

The last act of The Death of Superman is one crazy skirmish, barring Lois Lane’s and Lex Luthor’s nonsense, which also was not in the original story. It is just you have to endure a lot of soap opera drivel to get to the good stuff, the stuff you really want. Take my advice. Save yourself a Krypton-sized headache and skip the first forty minutes, about half of this movie.

Up, up, fast forward away!

Gravestones

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A police officer is lasered to death.
Three people are sucked into space, where no one can hear you scream.
Four Atlanteans are squashed. 
Four scientists are ripped to pieces.
One bear is torn in two.
Three police officers crushed. 
A monster dies. 
One innocent bystander dies. 
Jason would be proud as two campers are slaughtered. 
The death of Superman. 

Naughty Bits

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None.

Memorable Dialogue

The Flash: I wonder if it’s too late to join the Titans. Is there an age limit?
Green Lantern: I’m a member of the Green Lantern Corps. We eat monsters like these for breakfast!
Lex Luthor: It is time to go for a swim

Pints of Blood

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Rating

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