Synopsis: It’s a fight to the finish when Superman becomes the only hero who can stand in the way of the monstrous creature Doomsday and his unstoppable rampage of destruction.
Review: The Death Of Superman is essentially a more updated twist on the epic comic book crossover of the same title, which ran in 1992. Indeed I remember it being big news at the time due to the fact that the fanbase was seriously hurt and upset at the characters shocking defeat.
This latest retelling of the tale is the third in the space of 11 years. The first was ‘Superman: Doomsday’, which was released in 2007 and was pretty faithful to the original source material. The second came in the form of ‘Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’ in which the threat of Doomsday was used as a means to unite Batman and Superman after their fight and the shocking revelation that both heroes had a mother called Martha.
This latest version of the story is set in the rebooted DC Universe and sees Doomsday taking on the Justice League before Superman even enters the fray, which is for the better because it allows some great story and character arcs.
It’s safe to say that the first 20 minutes or so of this film is pretty much to set up the story. We’re in a world where Lois Lane and Clark Kent have recently started dating and she does not yet know that Clark and Superman are one in the same. So we kind of see Clark agonizing on whether he should tell Lois about his true identity and just how to go about it. This story thread works well and allows for a great scene where the Justice League are having a weekly meeting in which The Flash reveals he is getting married to Irish. Superman asks Flash if Iris knows about him and of course Flash answers in the affirmative, which gives Superman some food for thought.
We also have an interesting development with Led Luther who is under house arrest via an ankle bracelet, which is nothing that can stop the genius of crime. Lex is working on developing a mutant army in his labs. So when Doomsday crops up and literally lays waste to the JL and proceeds to beat the snot out of Superman. It peaks Luther’s interest.
The relationship stuff between Lois and Clark is really well performed by the real-life couple of Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn. Which is just as well because it makes things that bit more poignant when Superman buys the farm, but unfortunately not quite as heartbreaking as the first time this story was told in the 2007 ‘Superman: Doomsday’ movie. I think this story no matter how well it gets retold just loses its edge after a while, which only leaves the spectacle of Supermans battle with Doomsday.
The animation throughout this film is superb and is juxtaposed with a pretty nice soundtrack, which knows when not to be too intrusive and backs off when needed to allow the impact the various scenes to play out.
I really enjoyed how Justice League got to take on Doomsday and essentially lose, every member of Justice League had a shot at the monster, but the only one out of them that seemed to be able to near as damn match the beast was Wonder Woman, but obviously even she didn’t quite have the staying power, which allowed for Superman’s entry into the fight.
The final battle is impressive and illustrates what a true hero Superman can be when written the correct way and not deconstructed. During various points in the fight, we see Superman trying to save the live’s of civilians who Doomsday has no qualms about stomping.
We also get an interesting character in the form of Sailor who has opened up a restaurant and considers Superman to be a close friend. This character is used to great effect at the close of the movie.
Overall. This isn’t an awful movie. I mean the fact that we have seen Superman die three times over the space of 11 years kind of takes away from the emotional impact that the film could have potentially had. It’s a good attempt and the acting throughout is brilliant as is the animation but from a story point of view. It lacks the crushing impact of what we got in the original comic book run and the subsequent 2007 ‘Superman: Doomsday’ movie.
Perhaps its maybe time to perhaps stop killing Superman for 20 years or so. At least then it would be a crushing shock again.
- Voice Acting9.8