Jimmy: OH MY GOD! He killed Superman!
Lois: YOU BASTARD!
A genetically modified creature is unearthed during an illegal LexCorp dig. This creature, Doomsday, was sent to Earth thousands of years before. Not because its creators wanted to destroy the planet, but because they couldn’t kill it. Doomsday kills the workers that accidentally set him free and he paves a road of bodies on his way to Metropolis.
Meanwhile, Superman is in the Fortress of Solitude with Lois Lane on vacation. A quick Life Lesson from Mal, you don’t bring your woman to the FOS after six months. Always wait nine months minimum. Back to the story, Superman’s robutler (short for robot butler) informs him of the emergency back in Metropolis. This looks like a job for Superman.
Superman: Doomsday was a good start for DC’s re-entry into the animated movie world releasing one year after Marvel’s first animated movie. The film’s core is based on the book The Death of Superman in which, SPOILER ALERT, Superman dies in.
It happens in the first thirty minutes, including opening credits so don’t worry. There is a lot more plot to be seen and it gets interesting as the movie continues especially after he comes back (or does he?).
Superman/Clark Kent is voiced by Adam Baldwin. He does a great job and delivers the strong voice and confident personality that you would expect from him. He sounds very genuine whether it’s his concern telling Lois his secret identity or reassuring the citizens how he is there to keep them safe. On the other hand, Lois Lane, voiced by Anne Heche, comes off as very flat for most of the film. She comes into character more as the film progresses and her scene with Martha Kent near the middle is her best scene. A weird thing is that Lois is almost treated as a side chick through the first quarter of the movie. Didn’t really have a point there other than I find it hilarious.
Lex Luthor, voiced by James Marsters, was probably too evil as a villain. It sounds weird, but he displayed more villainy in this movie compared to the combined evil of Lex in the animated series, Smallville (that’s not saying much), and the first movie. The best example is that he finds a cure for a muscular disease and gives it to his assistant. Not to cure it, but so that his scientists can turn that sure into a lifetime treatment. This new project was put on hold because his best scientist was doing the same for AIDs. He is arrogant, unapologetic, and gets a chub when contemplating ways to kill Superman. In short, the perfect comic book Lex Luthor.
The music score is classic and reminiscent of the animated series if you add a few years to everyone. Superman’s theme being the loud trumpet and trombone fanfare that let you know, “Your hero has arrived.” The animation and art style is simple, but well done. The fight scenes are built like comic panels so don’t expect The Raid: Redemption when you watch these fight scenes. They are constructed as very simple fist fights and a lot of off camera sounds fill in the blanks. It does make sense because Superman is in no way a martial artist. He hits things and they break so look forward to a super-powered bar room brawl.
Two big themes in Superman: Doomsday are dealing with loss and how a sense of duty can be twisted when given too much power. What do you do when your best friend gets beaten to death? Apparently a lot of drinking and, if you’re Jimmy Olsen, you take a job with TMZ and start wearing silk suits. If you want to see a warped sense of power you’ll have to watch the movie. I promise that you won’t regret it.
This was a good first start for DC heading into the straight-to-dvd film realm. A great story, decent themes, and good acting makes this a must watch for any DC fan. The fight scenes do leave a lot to be desired, but this will improve in future DC projects. If you had an itch for something animated by DC since Justice League: Unlimited has gone off air, then this is definitely worth the watch.