Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

What first captured my attention when seeing the newest DC animated movie was the art direction. Everyone looks like he’s popping steroids regularly and in the case of Amanda Waller, where that wouldn’t work; they make her look even more obese than before. It feels like being back to the worst of the 90ies excesses in superhero comics, when overbulging muscles were the norm and body shapes exaggerated beyond everything humanly possible. But when you get past the awful art, you realize that there are even more substantial reasons not to like this movie. None of the characters feels alive; all are like puppets who merely act out their script. The art direction doesn’t help and only emphasizes that effect.

Another problem is Luthor, who is intentionally written less smart than he used to be. That he didn’t foresee the radiation effect of the kryptonite meteorite is unlikely. He’s not portrayed as awfully stupid as in Superman: Brainiac Attacks, but he’s far from his peek performance. And the explanation with the kryptonite drug doesn’t really explain that away, as a smart Luthor wouldn’t have taken it in the first place. It’s a bummer, as the notion of Luthor as president had so much potential, all of which is completely wasted here. The plot of the movie makes only sense in the most general sense, but falls apart under closer scrutiny. It’s only a set-up for just another fight between some heroes/villains and the titular duo, a fight who is neither very original nor very interesting.

Well, after such excellent outings as Wonder Woman and Green Latern, there had to be a dud coming sooner or later. Hopefully the next animated DC movie is back to form.