Review: Superman vs. The Elite (2012) My Reviews 06 DEC 2012

Superman’s effectiveness as a superhero and a deterrent comes into question with the arrival of a teleporting superhero group known as The Elite, led by the media hungry telekinetic, Manchester Black. The Elite are not afraid to kill in order to stop the bad guys – permanently, putting them on a direct collision course with the Man of Steel, whose refusal to put a final end to the problems plaguing the world seems to have alienated the people who once adored him.

Is there still a place in our modern day world for the kind of superhero ideals that Superman embodies?

Superman vs. The Elite is an animated superhero film based on Joe Kelly’s “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?”, a story published in Action Comics #775, back in March 2001. The movie is directed by Michael Chang and features the return of George Newbern as Superman, and David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen, reprising their roles from the DC animated universe. It is the 14th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

After not quite enjoying the last Superman solo outing that was 2011’s “All-Star Superman”, I’m pleased to report that I genuinely, genuinely enjoyed Superman vs. The Elite. The pacing, the story, the character development – everything is right on the money, and the threads all combine beautifully to create a strong story that reaffirms just why we need the classic superheroes to still exist.

It’s a fairly simple and straightforward story that is told, but it has plenty of the necessary drama and twice as much action as that, making for an exhilarating comic book story that is both sure to entertain, as it is to get you thinking.

The animation is solid and bold (though it does feature a slightly off, British Pop sort of musical start intro sequence which doesn’t quite fit in with the film in my opinion), with very smooth choreography and great looking character designs – though admittedly Superman does come off a little too goofy at times thanks to his big eyes and silly chin. Nevertheless, for the most part this is a brightly coloured, strongly animated movie whose style is most certainly good on the eye.

In terms of the aural experience, it feels good to have some of the classic voices return to the characters they voiced so long ago, and mixed with with a very solid soundtrack, Superman vs. The Elite is certainly a polished package.

Overall, there is very little not to like about this film, as it looks good, sounds good, has plenty of superhero action to share around, and most important of all, tells an accessible, thinking man’s story which is guaranteed to entertain. Definitely recommended if you can lay your hands on it then!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.