Combustible Celluloid
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With: (voices) Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Clancy Brown, Eric Bauza, Xander Berkeley, Corey Burton, LeVar Burton, Ricardo Chavira, Grey DeLisle, Michael Dorn, Hector Elizondo, Jennifer Hale, Allison Mack, John C. McGinley, Jerry O'Connell, Robert Patrick, CCH Pounder, Susan Roman, Fred Tatasciore, Tony Todd, Thomas F. Wilson, Chiara Zanni
Written by: Stan Berkowitz, based on a comic book by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness
Directed by: Sam Liu
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for action violence throughout and a crude comment
Running Time: 67
Date: 09/29/2009

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Caped Scapegoats

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lex Luthor (voiced by Clancy Brown) manages to get himself elected President of the United States in this straight-to-DVD animated film, mainly due to troubled times and a general sense of fear and dread. As in Watchmen, he puts a ban on superheroes, unless they are willing to officially work for the government. Neither Superman (voiced by Tim Daly) nor Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) are willing to sign up for that, so Luthor frames Superman for the murder of one of his men, Metallo, and Batman tries to help clear his name. Directed by Sam Liu, the feature centers on the interesting relationship between the two title heroes, but wastes time with lots and lots of cameos by other superheroes and super-villains. The film's effective, epic, post-apocalyptic feel, as well as the smaller personal moments, get swallowed up among too much other stuff, spread far too thin. The animation is not bad, though there's a definite body fetish going on here, as seen in the various, over-developed men and women. (I far prefer Max and Dave Fleischer's masterful Superman cartoons of the 1940s.) Warner Home Video's DVD comes with lots of featurettes, mostly promos for other superhero titles.

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