A desperate solution for a troubled country: Lex Luthor for President with the Justice League in the service of the government. Only Batman and Superman stand against the new regime ? and their disloyalty proves to be exac... more »tly what Luthor intended. Using their outcast status to instigate a scandal against Superman, Luthor finally tastes a victory in his vendetta against The Man of Steel. From Executive Producer Bruce Timm and voiced by the cast from both hit Batman and Superman animated TV series including Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly and Clancy Brown, this DC Universe Original Animated Movie of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness?s popular graphic novel seethes with political intrigue and action-packed battles between heroes all believing they?re on the right side of the law.« less
"Ok before I start, let me clarify something: Unlike the reviewers before me, I have actually SEEN this movie, so my review is not based on the graphic novel of which the movie is based, nor what the movie might be like based on who's behind the making of it. I HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE. Now that thats out the way, onto the good stuff.
I know a lot of Batman, Superman, and Batman/Superman fans were holding their breath on this one. With all classic the DC Comic character movies coming out lately (some of them not as good as others) it was reasonable to assume that "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" the movie could have gone either way. Well good thing for the loyal fan base, this was definitely a hit. I can say I am more then pleased with how this came out, and I have every intention of buying this DVD and watching it again the day it comes home with me.
One thing is abundantly clear when watching this movie: WB Entertainment, and more importantly, DC Comics actually LISTENS to their fans. One of my (and others) biggest fears in this was that we were going to be hearing some sub-par voice acting for the main characters involved, i.e. Superman, Batman, and Lex Luthor. As with past offerings from WB Entertainment ("Superman: Doomsday" for example) we got some weak casting for the voices of Lex and Sups. That alone detracts greatly from the overall enjoyment of the movie. With Public Enemies however, we have the best voices ever cast for the starring 3 roles: Tim Daily as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. For those who could give two flips about these guys, they are the same voices from the popular shows Justice League Unlimited, Batman The Animated Series, and Superman the Animated Series.
On top of superb voice acting, the animation is crisp, sharp and just plain beautiful. Again, faithful to fan feedback, the artists from Justice League Unlimited seem to have had their hands in this project, because the art is pretty much the same (which is by no means a bad thing), and it looks great. Almost straight from the comic.
Speaking of which, as far as the story goes, keep in mind while watching this that its an adaptation to the comic. That being said however, the movie stays remarkably faithful to the story told in the comic. Minus a few altered frames, scenes and situations, its like reading the comic all over again, except with no imagination needed to enjoy it. The story in general is a very good one, highlighting Batman and Superman's friendship and giving you a glimpse into how deep it really goes. Granted, you get more of that in the comic then you do in the movie, but the movie compensates for the lack of inner dialogue with good script writing, full of the humorous exchanges between Sups and Bats and emotional moments and outburst we know and love from our favorite caped heroes.
This is a great movie, and you don't have to have read the comic first in order to enjoy it. Even the review value is moderately high, I can and WILL be watching this again as soon as I can, and some more times after that. This is worth price, grab it and enjoy a motion picture work of art.
Good but too short!!!
B. Daniel | Upstate New York, USA | 10/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So I watched Superman/Batman:Public Enemies twice in one day after I got it. And I will keep this review short as most of the main points have been hit by the people who reveiewed this already (at least the ones that waited till it came out). So here's my break down and the end will be final comments.
STORY: It was adpated from Jeph Loeb's first arc on the ongoing comic. Love it or hate it, but it was a very faithful adaptation, streamlining something that was basically a set up for the subsequent arcs as well as Infinite Crisis. It was silly, and balls to the wall, and the only gripe I had was not explaining why the Robot was a better choice than Luthor's missles (Answer, robot was made of Metallo, not the guy, the alloy.) But hey all and all I liked what they did.
Characters (voice and portrayal): WHOA! Okay I read the comics and almost forgot the laundry list of vilains who come out the cracks for the bounty. Batman and Superman were pitch perfect and their banter was great after seeing them so serious with each other all the time in Justice League and JLU. Tim Daly returning for Superman was great to have, though I'm one of the few that feel George Newburn's performance as the character is just as good. Kevin Conroy and Clancy Brown however are the quintessential Batman and Lex Luthor respectively. Props to getting CCH Pounder to return as Amanda Waller even if the charatcer model looked horrendous. Lastly the supporting charatcers were great. However I wonder why so much fuss was made about LeVar "Reading Geordi LeForge's Rainbow" Burton as Black Lightning when he had one line. Killer Frost was a throwaway villain that had more to say. *Sigh* Wasted talent.
ART AND ANIMATION: Again based on the source material, the art style took a muscular turn and was fully mimicing Ed McGuiness' style where every male looks like a "Masters of the Uninverse" figure. I personally love his style and always though it would translate well to the screen. I was mostly right. They made Superman look too young, and I think it's because of the eyes. McGuiness does the squinty look better than most, and we see this in Captain Marvel's design, and in the comics Superman has the same look sometimes. That plus the cheekbone line makes him look a bit older. Well probably out of fear of backlash (last time they put lines on his face people said he looked too old, and in "Doomsday" he looked even older)they elft those lines out and he looks too young. Everyone else in my opinion looked fine. Okay Powergirl's eyes bugged me too but I was distracted by something else.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked it. It was a great action flick, and didn't need too much character development. It's Superman and Batman, if you don;t know who they are why are you even picking up te movie. It's a buddy flick with wall to wall action. My biggest issue is it felt rushed. At 67 minutes it's like 15 minutes shorter than previous releases and could have really benefitted from them. That said if you like the characters and you like action this is worth it.
AFTERTHOUGHT: The preview for the next upcoming animated feature, Jusitce League: Crisis on Two Earths was great. Yes I know after Public Enemies going back to new voices will suck but they got some good ones. Mark Harmon makes a pretty good Superman, I'm on the fence for Billy Baldwin as Batman (needs to be grittier), James Woods does an amazingly devious and twisted Owlman, and Gena Torres was great as SuperWoman. Hope you enjoy!"
Another really great offering from DC Animation.
James Donnelly | Arizona | 02/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've followed BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES from the start. Bruce Timm, a co-creator of the series definitely had an eye for the look and feel of how a Batman cartoon should really be, and this cartoon just never really went on the cheap with dialogue or animation. While not being a huge fan of the Superman character, I generally avoided SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, but the episodes I saw, I did enjoy. The animated film offerings they provided were excellent too, like BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM, or BATMAN: SUB-ZERO. Then came BATMAN BEYOND, which was an excellent 'Elseworlds'-style tale of the Batman of the future. They really took it to a dark place when they did their next film, BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER, which was an animated film so dark, they released a G-Rated version and a PG-13 version (The PG-13 version is better, by the way...) But when DC decided to really up the ante and create JUSTICE LEAGUE and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, they went to a place that they hadn't been before. Great story arcs, great chemistry between the heroes and villains, and massive battle royales. Unfortunately that series was cut way too short. Then DC started focusing on new Direct-to-DVD animated projects, and while they haven't been as successful as some of their previous efforts in animation, they were certainly watchable. SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY was passable, but since that story bothered me anyway, I wasn't that into it going in. JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER was a really good adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's new classic graphic novel. BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT, while ambitious, was a bit of a misstep by making us believe that this is what happened between the big-screen outings of Batman. WONDER WOMAN was the best of the lot. It was really a joy to watch. GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT left me incredibly cold. It's much too epic of an origin to tell in such a short time-span.
And now comes SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES. Now, first off, I am so not a fan of Jeph Loeb. I think his writing work is incredibly overrated. However, I did enjoy this story arc of the SUPERMAN/BATMAN comic.
That being said, I have to give HUGE kudos to Timm and the team that adapted this work for this project. They jettisoned some of the more embarrassing moments and streamlined it and made it near-perfection. The writing, directing and animation are all top-notch.
And let's give a major shout-out to longtime DC Animation voice director Andrea Romano, who had the foresight to give us the original voices of these characters dating back to the original BATMAN series. Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor. These voices are the holy trinity of the DC Animation 'Verse and to have them together again is just a wonder. There has not been another voice actor who has been able to capture these characters as well as these three performers.
The best thing about this project, aside from the massive battle royales that it gives us, is that it gives a spotlight to the chemistry between these two titans and what makes their relationship work. Is there a bit of bromance between Batman and Superman? You bet. They are each other's reminders of what is right and what is necessary. Neither of them envy the other's life, but they understand that when they are together, they may very well be at their best whether they'll ever admit it or not.
This is the most entertaining of the DCU animated films and I hope they keep up this level of entertainment."
Only problem - they set the bar too high for the future
A. Westefeld | 11/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Public Enemies was a reasonable close adaptation of the graphic novel. The artwork evoked the feel of the comic book, and the dialouge was straight out of the book in a lot of important places (Best byplay/accuracy: check out the scene where Superman is shot and Batman is trying to get the Kryponite out of him quickly. No spoilers here) And getting the actors who did Batman, Superman, and Luthor to return to the roles from the TV series added to the fun, experience tells after all. Now the only issue is that future DCU movies will not likely use actors who have popularized the characters from the TV shows for these DVDs and after Having Conroy, Daly, and Brown it may be a little disapointing. DC - take a cue from your competation. Hugh Jackman is now Wolverine, Robert Downey is Iron Man, etc. Too late for the Crisis on two Eaths DVD I know(and the preview for that was fun), but future DVDs can use actors that have made these characters familiar to our ears. "
Close, but no cigar.
Randall | Houston | 11/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was fun to watch, but I wanted something else. I have the graphic novel and was ready for something closer to it. But, alas it was not to be.
For a feature presentation based on the two biggest stars in the DC Universe, it was strange that the film only lasted about an hour. Come on DC, these are your big guns! Give them their due.
I was a little annoyed by the way the plot was handled. Characters were under used and story lines were trimmed. Although I absolutely love Allison Mack as Chloe on Smallville, her Power Girl was silly. This definitely needed more back story to feel right. Also, most people wouldn't know who Captain Atom is and this version makes him look like a smuck. I get that he is the epitomy of the good soldier and always follows his orders patriotically. But its never explained why he would think Superman is an outlaw when everyone knows all the good Superman has done and all the bad Luthor has done. History is completely tossed on the trash heap with no explanation whatsoever.
Worst of all, I had a huge problem with one big plot hole. *Spoilery tidbits coming* When Luthor frames Superman for Metallo's demise, Supes looks towards Bats and says "You can't possibly believe this, you were with me the whole time." Now, technically, Batman wasn't. But, they WERE together when we (and they) last see Metallo alive. Why Batman so quickly questions Superman's integrity makes no sense? I understand the dynamics of their relationship, but, for whatever reason, that just bothered me.
On a side note, I did like what I thought was a nod to the old Composite Superman character from the 1960's (timewise I think). You'll know what I mean towards the end of the movie, if you are familiar with the character.
Even though I'm critical, I would say this is an above average movie. Voice acting of the main three is top-notch. I'll leave all the discussion about animation and the like to others. If you want to pass the time with some familiar heroes, you could do a lot worse than this. But if you have read the graphic novel, you probably won't like it as much."