Superman: Doomsday – Review

I’m not the biggest fan of Superman. Sure, I’ve seen all the movies, caught a few seasons of Smallville, and seen a few of the animated cartoons. But I’ve never read any of the comics, so I feel I’m justified in my “not fan” categorization. But when I saw the trailer for Superman: Doomsday I said to myself, “Hmmm, I should check this out.”

There are three very important things you need to know about this film.

1) It’s animated.
That could be a huge turnoff for some of you, but it’s done by the same team who do the Batman, Superman, and Justice League cartoons. If you’re familiar with those, you know they’re pretty decent.

2) It’s rated PG-13.
Now, I bet you’re slightly intrigued. Does it deserve it? I’d say yes. It’s certainly not rated R, but it’s not a movie for kids. The fights are brutal and there are some fairly graphic murder scenes that shocked me a bit. But the rating really comes out of point 3, which is…

3) Superman dies.
Those of you whining about spoilers, shut up. If this wasn’t known from the beginning, not a single one of you would be interested in this. Now, you are saying, “Hmm, I should check this out.”

When you tackle something as heavy as the death of a superhero, your writing has to be spot on. And for those moments, Superman: Doomsday gets it near perfect. So much so, there are scenes that caught me off guard at how brilliantly they capture some real, heavy emotions. Unfortunately, those are just a few scenes and the rest of the movie reverts back to cartoon writing.

Just like the writing, the voice work is uneven. Adam Baldwin (Jayne from Firefly/Serenity) voices Supes while Anne Heche voices Lois. I’ll let you decide if those voices work for you, but I didn’t have too many problems with ’em. Though I did wonder why Superman never declared his unending love for Vera. (That’s a Firefly joke for those of you not in the know).

If you’re at all interested in how anyone could handle the death of Superman, this is worth a rental. If you don’t care at all, well, you probably stopped reading at the title.

Grade: B-

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