Director: Sam Liu
Cast: Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Cameron Monaghan
Have I Seen it Before: In all the very loose adaptations of The Death of Superman, WB and DC have never really leaned into the other half of the story. So, no I guess I’ve never seen it.
Did I Like It: It’s exactly what it promises to be, if a little slight.
Gotta admire a movie that takes the piss out of its long-running title in the first opening minutes, especially as it tries to move beyond the similarity between the original, more Nietzsche-esque elements of the character’s prototype. I’m a little less sure if I admire the choice to make Superboy (Monaghan) as 90s radical as he was in the source material, although they do manage to include a whiff of Bieber-esque celebrity for the character that is a little more now.
Is this the first review—or even first piece of writing at all—that features both the terms “Nietzsche-esque” and “Bieber-esque” in a single paragraph? God, I hope so.
The animation is a little cheap in places. Not sure if we can expect much more from a Warner Bros. direct-to-disc production, but a boy can dream. Also, the story wraps itself up far too quickly. Trying to jam in nearly a year of comics into a movie just slightly over 80 minutes long seems like a flaw inherent in the form. I’m not sure I can fully recommend it, but then again it’s not the worst adaptation of the resurrection of Superman that’s ever floated across our screens.
A couple of weird nitpicky things that I can’t quiet get completely over:
Having a world where there is both Cyborg (Shemar Moore), a member of the Justice League and a Cyborg Superman (Jerry O’Connell and Patrick Fabian) feels like some muddled story-telling, even if they hang a lantern (ha) on it. I guess, that’s just what the League brand is now.
Having Batman—even halfheartedly—suggest Green Lantern take a shot with a bazooka at Superboy feels like a fundamental misunderstanding of the character, but then again, this isn’t Batman’s movie, so I guess I can allow it.
While having a Hillary-esque woman be POTUS is certainly a world I would prefer to live in. And yet, it feels sort of an easy shot, but then again our wolrd is one full of easy shots.