Director: Sam Liu, James Tucker
Cast: Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Nathan Fillion
Have I Seen it Before: I’ve seen this story, before yes. And read it, in both comic and novel forms. How I ever got married is beyond me.
Did I Like It: Yeah. Why not?
By my count, this is—excluding the Super Nintendo game from the early 1990s where the whole point of the first level was to die—the fourth adaptation of the Death of Superman. Like the others, it reflects a Justice League of its time (i.e. Batman has a son, which was unthinkable in the pre-Nolan era, and everyone has a smartphone) but it hews closer to the original source material than any of the others. Excluding possibly the abandoned Tim-Burton-directed-Nicolas-Cage-starring movie from the late 90s that lives on in our hearts for how weird it could have been.
Interesting gambit, casting a married couple as Superman and Lois Lane. I’m not sure if Jerry O’Connell has the essence of Superman down as much as some other actors, nor do I think that Rebecca Romijn quite has the energy of an ideal Lois Lane, but they are both flying circles around Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth, so as with most Superman adaptations, all is improved when we grade on a curve. While Rainn Wilson wouldn’t look the art in a live action production, his voice works. Then again, Eisenberg didn’t even have a voice that worked. So, there you go.
Does manage to grab the Superman-as-Kennedy motif that the comic reached for more effectively than any of the other adaptations. While I’m more excited about the followup Reign of the Superman (2019), Bibbo is there, and he’s the character I’ve been waiting for the movies to get to. Everything good about Superman can be found in Bibbo. If you don’t know who Bibbo is, it’s entirely possible that this move may not be for you.
Ultimately, the structure the movie has more of a feeling akin to part one of a multi-part TV episode, which is not the greatest sin in the world. Additionally, we’re so far from the days of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) to expect that much out DC animated movies.
It’s damn sure better than Justice League (2017) or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and that’s saying something.