Truth, Justice, and the Pursuit of Relevancy: Superman Vs The Elite (Film Review)

Superman Vs The Elite comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on June 12, 2012

In the next entry of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, the Man of Steel battles with powerful villains and a society more interested in retaliation than justice when a new, jaded breed of super hero called The Elite gain worldwide popularity for brutally killing their foes in Superman Versus The Elite. Despite their fame, Superman knows that they are doing is wrong, creating more harm than good by their methods. The film is based on the story What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way? by Joe Kelly in Action Comics #775

In spite of being animated the film is filled with adult themes. Although the film is in the animated superhero genre, Superman Versus The Elite shouldn’t be initially perceived as something for children.

The tactics of The Elite, which is seen as positive by some of the citizens of Metropolis, is used as the catalyst to ask the question “What is justice, and is aggression justified when violent criminals and terrorists commit deadly crimes?” Director Michael Chang carefully used pacing to balance character exposition and action sequences. Being from another planet, Superman isn’t defined by a dark past like many other DC franchises; however, this film does test the Man of Steel’s mental and physical limits, and exposes his need to find relevancy and what his role is in the 21st century, themes that are handled evenly throughout the film.

It’s a good bet to categorize the film as a product of post September 11 storytelling. In a time when morality is questioned, the enemy isn’t sometimes just physical but also philosophical. After battling the Atomic Skull and turning him over to authorities, the citizens of Metropolis question Superman’s choice for not killing the Skull when he had a chance. This second guessing of the public sets the stage for the confrontation between he and of The Elite, and why the public favors them over Superman. These plot points add up to a very satisfying viewing experience and culminates in a suspenseful ending.

For those who enjoy DC Universe’s animated offerings, this is a must-see. The film moves at a great pace and the animation is solid. There is some sexual innuendo and language, so the film does earn its PG-13 rating. For updates and fan opinion, be sure to visit the film’s Facebook page.

George Newbern (Justice League/Justice League Unlimited) voices Superman. Robin Atkin Downes does a great job as Manchester Black, the front man of The Elite. Other voices include NCIS star Pauley Perrette as Lois Lane and David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen.

Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives June 12, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP), On Demand and for Download. Both the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD will include an UltraViolet™ Digital Copy.

What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way? is the single-issue comic, Action Comics #775. Wizard Magazine called it the “Greatest Superman Story of All Time,” and ranked the epic tale at No. 21 on its list of the “Top 100 Comics of the last 30 years.”

You can follow David Derks on Twitter at @dderks

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Truth, Justice, and the Pursuit of Relevancy: Superman Vs The Elite (Film Review)”

  1. Carla Jones says:

    We were at Wonder Con this weekend and saw the movie to. This review is great and really shows that this movie is for adults and not children. We were sort of surprised they kept saying the word wanker. I have three children and wont let them see it until their older but I did enjoy the film.

  2. Evan Laundrie says:

    “In spite of being animated the film is filled with adult themes.”

    Statements such as these perpetuate the stereotype that animation is ONLY for children; it was an off-putting remark that immediately ended my reading of the article.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress