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Customer Review

9 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Superman not nearly as good as previous animated version. Here's why, September 29, 2012
This review is from: Superman vs. The Elite (DVD)
This recent DC animated movie was just not good on any level. The basic premise is a philosophical debate/battle between Superman and a "Squadron Supreme"-style knock off of Warren Ellis' The Authority. Mimicking Ellis' "Under New Management" Stories in The Authority, The Elite want to use their powers to run the world, quickly and brutally kill the bad guys, and bully nations into following their directives.

The first problem is that The Elite are an-all-too-pale knock off of The Authority. So it becomes a bit of a strawman argument instead of a debate between equals. The characters are not likable or engaging. But we do get to hear the word "wanker" a lot and the word "ass" even more. Hey, it's PG 13, so why not? Because it's Superman, people! Language!

The second big annoyance is that Superman himself is not even a little bit consistent with his ideals in the way he fights for them, nor is he sensible, thoughtful, mature ... or anything you would expect Superman, the old hand at superheroics to be. Supposedly, he is letting everyone think he has gone to the "dark side" in order to then teach a lesson about NOT going to the dark side. It makes about as much sense as Batman in The Dark Knight deciding he has to let the world think he is a murderer and a terrorist so people won't lose faith by finding out Harvey Dent is a killer and a psycho. Huh?

All indications and comments seem to suggest that Superman's Justice League team-mates do exist in some form in this version of things. Yet, when their superfriend is apparently being killed on worldwide TV, none of them are available to even try to help. Are they all on vacation? Taking a personal day? Bad hair day?

The worst thing about Superman vs The Elite is that it is just so, so much weaker in every way than the Bruce Timm, Paul Dini version of Superman seen in Justice League, Superman: The Animated Series, and occasionally Batman and Batman Beyond. It has been almost ten years since that series, but it still far, far outshines this current effort by any standard by which you care to measure--except maybe most uses of the word "wanker".
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 26, 2012 11:03:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 11:17:08 PM PST
Matthew Lane says:
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.

"The first problem is that The Elite are an -all-too-pale knock off of The Authority."

It was meant to be a knock off of the Authority. The comic book story version of The Elite was the writers way of saying in a world where increasingly people think might makes right, as incaptulated by a team like the Authority (which at the time was owned by DC) is Superman still relevent. Sure they were a pastiche of the Authority, but so what? Is Apollo les of an interesting character because he's a pastich of Superman? What about Midnighter?

The fact that the Elite were a pastiche of The Authority doesn't invalidate the philosophical distinction: Does might make right. Should those with power "fix" the world, even when what you consider to be in the worlds best interest may not be in the best interest of the individuals that make up that world? An what happens when those with power think that something like free will is not in humanities best interest? Where does one draw the line if the only qualifier to rulership is who has the biggest military force (or in this case Super Powers).

"The characters are not likable or engaging"

so, exactly like the Authority then.

"But we do get to hear the word "wanker" a lot and the word "ass" even more. Hey, it's PG 13, so why not? Because it's Superman, people! Language!"

But its not Superman. It Superman versus The Elite. what do the elite care for your restrictions on there language? After all you aren't as mighty as the Elite is, so your opinion is in no way important... Because only might makes right; if you get my drift.

"Supposedly, he is letting everyone think he has gone to the "dark side" in order to then teach a lesson about NOT going to the dark side."

Sure. Sometimes you have to give people the appearance of what they want to make them realise that they don't want it at all.

"All indications and comments seem to suggest that Superman's Justice League team-mates do exist in some form in this version of things. Yet, when their superfriend, is apparently being killed on worldwide TV, none of them are available to even try to help. Are they all on vacation? Taking a personal day? Bad hair day?"

Except that Superman gets bested once & then comes up with a plan: The Justice Leagues help was not required.

In fact bringing in the JLA would have actually been detrimental to the story, since it would have reinforced the idea of might makes right. It becomes a pissin' match between two massive forces to see whose side gets to be right: With the basis of "right" being nothing more then who can bring the most power to bear on an adversary.

"The worst thing about Superman vs The Elite is that it is just so, so much weaker in every way than the Bruce Timm, Paul Dini version of Superman seen in Justice League, Superman: The Animated Series"

No, it really doesn't. "Superman: the animated series", was the weakest of all the Animated DCU shows, closely followed by Batman Beyond.

In general this movie told a complete story, along with a great moral about social responsibility, the concept of checks and balances in society. i thought it was a great movie, with some really great scenes where Superman showcased why the ideals that originally made him so popular in the 1940's are still important. Especially given that Truth & Justice are no longer the American way: I mean America has a yearly military budget is in excess of the rest of the planets combined... Might makes right would appear to be the American credo. If anything, Superman is more relevent today then ever before.
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