movrev: Superman Doomsday
My son and I watched the animated movie Superman Doomsday online through NetFlix. The technology worked great and the movie (an animated PG-13 superhero flick?) was well done; wish it would have been longer than it’s 77 minutes, but it still tells the complete tale, based mostly around the comic book story line of The Death of Superman / World Without a Superman and Return of Superman. The stories were also novelized in Roger Stern’s excellent The Death and Life of Superman.
And a cameo by Kevin Smith. In an animated movie. Cracking wise.
Superman (voiced by Adam Baldwin of Serenity fame, who seems to turn up everywhere) and Lois Lane (voiced by Anne Heche) are an item, holed up for romance at the Fortress of Solitude for some PG-13 kissing that shocked my son (“Superman’s getting some!”). Meanwhile, Lex Luthor’s LexCorp cronies have unearthed an ancient space ship buried for thousands of years which holds Doomsday, an alien created war machine who was imprisoned and banished to old Earth because he cannot distinguish friend from foe and kills all living creatures.
Doomsday kills relentlessly and frequently, more blood that we’ve seen in any animated superhero movie (including some implied just off screen tearing off of heads).
The Superman / Doomsday battle is ferocious on both sides, and well represented by the animation. Superman finally takes Doomsday to outer space, and does an atmospheric re-entry body slam…which ends up killing them both.
Large funeral, the world morns. Lois goes to meet Clark’s mother (even though Superman never admitted to her his secret identity, she’s an investigative reporter…she should have figured this out 30 years ago).
Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (note: when referring to the arch-enemy in superhero-dom, you must say ‘meanwhile’ before their name), feeling cheated by not directly defeating Supes himself, manages to clone Superman, steals the real Superman’s body, and puts the controlled clone to work in Superman’s place.
In the cartoon and novel, there are four ‘replacement’ Supermen, but in this movie there is only this one clone. Lois learns from a quick kiss that this is not her Superman, and, after detecting and removing Luthor’s controlling device, clone Superman decides to take the law into his own hands, killing villan ToyMan (who was already the victim of a Kevin Smith remark) and generally being a threatening guy.
The real Superman’s body is stolen by Superman’s robot from the Fortress of Solitude. Superman, is of course, not dead by his standards, just by human standards (his heart was beating one each 17 days, so he could recover). The robot begins Supermans rehab and therapy, but Supes decides to leave after being deemed to be at 60% or so strength…his clone is wrecking havoc and they have sent the army after him.
The real Superman, with long hair and a dark solar suit (“who’s the rock star” Jimmy Olsen quips), takes a Kryptonite gun (“excellent! Superman with a gun” my son who was raised in Texas exclaimed) with him to even the odds.
One more big battle ensues, our hero with a little help from his friends, emerges once again victorious, and gets the girl once more.