Friday, June 8, 2012

The 'S' Is Back!!


Here's a little tidbit of info for you about your old pal Kendrick Kendall Bucklesworth: I am and have always been a huge Superman fan.  Ever since I was a kid watching the Christopher Reeve movies I always loved the idea of being invulnerable, and flying around the earth at leisure.  I've watched pretty much everything released on tv and video (even the old b&w movies), and collected a ton of comics.  So of course I was the logical choice to review the latest animated feature Superman vs. The Elite. 

In SvTE, Superman meets and befriend a team of lesser-known superheroes who are self-professed fans of the Man of Steel.  They combine forces to clean up a few problems, but Supes is dismayed by the use of extreme force that the super team exhibit.  Unlike Superman however, the team (who eventually go by the name The Elite) is getting a strong following from the populace.  Eventually it becomes too much for Kal-El and after talking has no results, he decides to put a stop to it with a little force of his own. 

All in all, I enjoyed this movie.  the animation style is different than the other Superman animated releases, but not in a bad way.  It has an almost retro feel to it.  The opening credit crawl was very fun to watch, with an upbeat opening theme song while showing some shots of the Superman cartoons from the 1940's.  The voice acting was also done well, as it so often is with these movies. 

I think what I enjoyed the most (outside of the action), was the theme of the movie.  Seeing the booming popularity of The Elite, Superman begins to question his relevance in a changing world that seems to prefer a more permanent end to the rampant crime that so often threatens citizens in Metropolis, and all over the world.  Which is a fair debate, to be honest.  Superheroes like Superman and Batman defeat these supervillains time and time again, just to have them break out or get released and cause more death and destruction.  To not lower yourself to the villains level and kill them is noble and good, but if letting them live results in more people dying down the road, and you have the power to stop them permanently, shouldn't you be obligated to stop such a threat once and for all?  SPOILER ALERT!!!  Case in point: The Atomic Skull in SvTE.  Superman defeats Atomic Skull and has him incarcerated early into the flick, and what happens later?  Skull escapes and more people end up dying.  The leader of The Elite, Manchester Black, ultimately kills Skull to the satisfaction of the crowd.  Yes, the line was crossed with a villains death, but now there will most likely be less people losing their lives down the road.  Something to think about anyway.

One more thing.  This movie has Superman in his classic costume.  With his new look in the DC Comics reboot, it makes me wonder if this is the last time we'll see an animated Superman with his original look.  To be honest, I'm sort of surprised SvTE went the old school look, considering it has a 2012 release date, and the DC reboot happened in 2011.  Either way, check this flick out.  You won't be disappointed.

Movie rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Superman animated rating: 4 out of 5 stars

-Your mild-mannered reviewer, K. K. Bucklesworth

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