Combustible Celluloid
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With: (voices) Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Andre Braugher, Summer Glau, Susan Eisenberg, Edward Asner, Julianne Grossman, Rachel Quaintance, Salli Saffioti, Tara Strong
Written by: Tab Murphy, based on a story by Jeph Loeb
Directed by: Lauren Montgomery
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and brief sensuality
Running Time: 78
Date: 09/28/2010

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Enter Supergirl

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

As directed by Lauren Montgomery, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse looks terrific, with detailed, fluid animation and striking characters.

As the events of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies finish wrapping up, a meteor crashes into the bay. Inside is a mysterious visitor who is revealed to be Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El, who has all of Superman's powers. Superman (voiced by Tim Daly) is thrilled, but Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) does not trust her. Wonder Woman (voiced by Susan Eisenberg) believes she needs training and wants to take her to Paradise Island. Meanwhile, the evil Darkseid (voiced by Andre Braugher) wants to use her as the new captain of his fiendish army. Can Kara (Summer Glau) decide how to live her own life on her new home planet? Edward Asner (Up) also provides a voice.

Unfortunately, there are just too many characters here, and with only 78 minutes to play with, none of them come out with much depth. The experienced superheroes come across as bickering and single-minded, and the Darkseid subplot seems extraneous; it's just an excuse to add some fighting to what should be a coming-of-age story. Meanwhile, Kara/Supergirl is pulled every which way and never comes to life on her own; she's a passive character. It's too bad, since she could be an interesting role model for teen girls. Perhaps worst of all is that the movie wastes time on a "shopping" montage, in which Clark Kent buys her some clothes, and she becomes euphoric with consumerism.

Extras on the new Blu-Ray include episodes from the "Superman" animated TV series, and a new "Green Arrow" animated short, featuring the voice of Malcolm McDowell!

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