18 January 2015 | squirrel_burst
Average DC Animated movie, but a real thinker of a story
"Superman vs. the Elite" isn't entirely successful in its discussions on politics and the price of power, but it's a decent superhero story. The story concerns a new group of superhero vigilantes that call themselves "The Elite". Manchester Black (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes), Coldcast (voiced by Catero Colbert), Menagerie (voiced by Melissa Disney) deal with supervillains their way: by killing them. The world seems to embrace these new heroes and shun Superman (voiced by George Newbern) as "old fashioned" and "cheesy". The conflicting ideals of these heroes pit them against each other.
The quality of the animation varies from excellent to just OK and while most of the story seems grounded in semi-reality, with the fantasy and "comic-bookiness" being reduced to create parallels to our world, a scene with giant mutant insect tanks is really glaring and doesn't fit the tone of the story. What works is the chemistry between Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane (voiced by Pauley Perrette), the themes and ideas brought up by the conflicts and the discussions between our characters spread throughout the film. Adults that are familiar with the debate, which essentially is that of whether or not the death penalty should be a form of punishment, will find that they don't last long enough but it's refreshing to see the film take a stand on an issue it really believes in and stick with it. For younger audiences that haven't seen this material before, this is a good starting point and a way to generate some great conversation. Superman believes that killing is wrong under any circumstances, but he's also nearly invulnerable so does he really grasp the danger these villains he goes up against regularly really pose? To what extent is it OK to interfere with another country's politics and disagreements when you have the power to do so? If it is OK to take the life of another person, who judges how much is enough? When accompanied with the special features and commentary the film is a more complete experience and a lot more satisfying than just the feature by itself so it's preferable to set a generous amount of time aside and enjoying the special features immediately after to complement the faults of the film. The film is only OK by itself, mostly because it doesn't really have as much bite as you wish it would considering the themes, but it's worth your while. (On Blu-ray, September 29, 2012)