Gotham City is sent into a state of shock when something lands in the harbor. Batman investigates and finds what appears to be a spacecraft. Immediately afterwards, he's forced into a brief confrontation with a super strong girl who is speaking in another language. Superman is able to communicate with her through his native tongue. He soon learns that the girl is his cousin Kara from Krypton. He takes it upon himself to show her the ropes, and help her to control her powers. But there are other workings going on, with the possibility of something big taking place.-summary
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is another DC direct to video feature, which is directed by Lauren Montgomery and produced by Bruce Timm. The story is based on Jeph Loeb's graphic novel Superman/Batman Vol 2: Supergirl. As usual, I will not compare the movie to its source material, and I will judge the work based on its merit. Therefore, I find the movie to be slightly above average, because it excels in the area it appeared to be focused on, and that's the action.
When coming into this, it may be best to think Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Although it's nowhere near as actioned packed, it seems more action driven once it gets there, and lesser known characters make appearances, such as Big Barda and the Female Furies. In addition, unlike the aforementioned film, it doesn't exactly feel too much like a Superman and Batman movie at all. It could have actually been called Adventures of the Trinity, or Justice League starring the big three, because the two leads(especially Batman) really didn't feel much more important than the side characters. Batman's presence was pretty much felt later on. Surprisingly, I didn't exactly have an issue with this move, since I think most of the characters pulled their own weight and delivered some cool battles.
The animation is at its best during the action scenes. Now, I don't believe all of the scenes are very well choreographed, especially when compared to Batman: Under The Red Hood. However, they're still entertaining and there are several cool moments. The brutality level is kind of high for a DC movie, since there are a few characters killed. There's a small amount taken out in the open, while others off screen. The movie has a more adult oriented feel. The CG meshed well with the standard animation on certain occasions, and the artwork consisted of some nice backgrounds, but I would have preferred to see the imagination run wild on Darkseid's world Apokolips, by delivering a little bit more. The world was actually compared with hell, so in that case, it would have been cool to see more of its hellish side. The characters all looked real nice, especially when concerning the females. Darkseid was probably the coolest though, because he appeared to be very physically intimidating. I mean he was big, and his hand was able to cover Superman's entire head.
The soundtrack was pretty standard for a superhero movie. I really didn't find it very special, but it did give off an epic feel. The voice acting was also pretty good, with Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy reprising their roles as Superman and Batman. Summer Glau appeared to be a nice fit for Supergirl/Kara, but I really didn't care for Andre Braugher as Darkseid. He really didn't seem to have that menacing side down, which Micheal Ironside worked to perfection in Superman: The Animated Series. I really didn't have much of an issue with the dialogue, but it could have done without the small bit of vulgarity.
The movie tries to be a little more than an actionfest with Kara's development, by pushing certain teen angst themes through her such as the feel of belonging. I think it worked in some areas, but others may experience the "seen that before, and done much better" feeling. Superman is also believable with his overprotective feelings.
Overall, I found the movie to be a little more than decent. Those who prefer loads of action will get what they want, especially during the final battle. But I recommend coming into this one with low expectations. The DVD has a few extras consisting of trailers on earlier DC animated movies, as well as a sneak peak on the All Star Superman film. The movie has a 78 minute runtime, and it didn't feel long to me.
-Lots of action
-Characters are somewhat bland
-May not appeal to the non action crowd
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