Superman: Doomsday DVD Review

Published 6 years ago by

supermandoomsday1 Superman: Doomsday DVD ReviewSuperman: Doomsday is NOT a Superman cartoon for the kiddies. On the contrary, this straight-to-DVD feature is pretty adult, a fact quickly established in the first ten minutes when Doomsday, the unstoppable devastator from the early 90′s “Death Of Superman” story-arc, brutally murders a team of Lexcorp researchers who unwittingly unearth him, while Lex Luthor himself puts a pistol to the head of a female assistant and blows her brains out.

Even Superman’s character gets bumped up from PG to PG-13 status in this flick. His relationship with Lois gets a modern, adult rendering, best illustrated in an early scene where the pair of them are alone in the Fortress of Solitude, swapping innuendo about the best way to do the horizontal tango without inflicting too much bodily harm to Lois. (What fanboy hasn’t pondered the physical mechanics of super-sex?)

But hey, sometimes a more adult tone is necessary for a story to be properly told. Even if it is a cartoon story.

Utilizing their extra length of chain, DC animations guru Bruce W. Timm, along with co-writer Duane Capizzi and co-director Lauren Montgomery, let their freak flags fly, spending a good fifteen minutes on Doomsday’s swath of destruction and Superman’s lovin’ troubles, before placing Supes and Supes-killer center stage in Metropolis for their legendary showdown.

supermandoomsday2 Superman: Doomsday DVD Review

And what a showdown it is. If nothing else, I would say that the 10+ minute slam-fest between Superman and Doomsday alone is worth watching. Forget The Incredible Hulk vs. The Abomination; Supes vs. Doomsday is the real clash of the titans. In just three punches it becomes apparent that Timm and Montgomery totally get the characters they’re playing with. Cars, skyscrapers, moving trains, the very ground underfoot, all become party favors for Superman and Doomsday to knock each other through, bash each other with, or crush one another with. This is everything that Superman fans WANT to see: two guys who can’t be hurt going to ridiculous lengths to hurt one another.

Of course by now we all know how the Superman death saga plays out: trading one last, epic, final blow, Supes takes out Doomsday at the cost of his own life. But it’s at this point that Superman: Doomsday stumbles. Unlike the comic books, where various DC heroes tried to fill Superman’s shoes until four mysterious “Supermen” hit the scene, the movie opts for an abridged story involving Lex Luthor, The Fortress of Solitude, super-clones, and, of course, Superman’s J.C.-like resurrection. None of the latter half of the movie is too atrocious; but at the same time, the story is never quite as thrilling as those initial forty minutes of action. Lucky for the film, those first forty minutes are enough to carry the rest.

supermandoomsday3 Superman: Doomsday DVD Review

The only two major gripes I have with this flick are that 1) Not one other DC Universe hero ever makes an appearance, and 2) The idiotic sub-plot explaining Clark Kent’s absence while Superman is dead.

Apparently, Superman: Doomsday takes place in an alternate reality where Supes is the lone superhero on Earth, because once he’s gone, Metropolis is overrun with emboldened criminals in the blink of an eye. No Batman, no Wonder Woman, no Justice League. Just Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson, holding down the fort. Unacceptable.

Even worse, to explain where Clark is while Superman is dead, the filmmakers chose to go with a half-baked sub-plot about Clark Kent going on assignment in Afghanistan to do some war reporting. When Superman dies, and Clark is never heard from, they figure he is just another victim of an unjust war. Yawn. (I watch animated films to forget reality, Mr. Timm, not to be preached to.)

VERDICT: If you were a fan of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, or any of the other DC animated series masterminded by Bruce Timm, then Superman: Doomsday is definitely worth your while. If you are a fan of pro-wrestling, and feel like that industry hasn’t been delivering a fair quotient of body-slamming mayhem lately, this flick will be up your alley, too.

DVD EXTRAS: None to really write home about. Commentary, trailers, the usual.

(Release date: September 17, 2007. Featuring the voices of Adam Baldwin, Anne Heche, James Marsters, John Di Maggio, Ray Wise, and Adam Wylie.)

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TAGS: superman, superman: doomsday

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  1. I’m guessing that, like me, you reviewed this DVD after watching Batman: Gotham Knight, and thusly decided to check out some other straight-to-DVD DC releases. I’ve got to say that I agree with almost everything in the review, with one exception being the argument about Superman being the only superhero on the planet. I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I actually prefer it to be this way. Leaving Supes to deal with everything without backup is what he does most of the time anyways, right? Since when does Batman have any help at all (besides Robin or Batgirl…which isn’t really any help if you ask me, but that’s another argument altogether)? After watching Justice League: The New Frontier, in which you are absolutely inundated with help from every hero imaginable (I think the sheer number of heroes was a tad excessive), I think Superman is presented better without any help.

  2. Oh, nice review, I will check this one out. Any other superhero cartoonmovies with a more darker side?

    greets

  3. Nice review, Kofi. I really liked the release. I’ll admit I never did follow Superman in the comics. Yes, I own a couple issues of the “Death of Superman” but they are still sealed, bagged and boarded. I, like yourself, really enjoyed the fight between Supes and Doomsday and thought the rest was subpar.

    ***SPOILER BELOW ***

    However, I did enjoy the banter between “supermen” when Supes met up with his clone above the city. Overall I enjoyed it and, although I may be in the minority here, I liked it much more then New Frontier.

  4. Steven –

    Check out Hellboy’s two animated movies, especially “Sword of Storms” it is incredible.

  5. Thanks for the great review, Kofi. I appreciate you taking the time to do this. :D

    While this, IMO, was better than Gotham Knight, New Frontier is the best DC DTV thus far, IMO. Still, this was really good. It’s best if viewed as a completely seperate, all new story rather than an actual adaptation of the Death of Superman storyarc, because that’s essentially what it is. If you thought this was a straight adaptation of the story then you will be very dissapointed. Besides, how could they have taken a story that was told over the course of YEARS in comic books and cram it into a cartoon movie that’s under 90 minutes? It’s impossible, this was the best possible outcome. That being said, some things didn’t have to be so drastically different from the comics, namely the Lois/Superman relationship, I don’t see why having Clark propose to Lois and reveal that he’s Superman needed to be “retconned” for the DTV. IMO, that made Supes/Clark’s relationship with Lois a bit more “honest” (for lack of a better word). Kofi, I also agree, it was dumb to send Clark to Afghansstan, it was just really, really, flimsy, and I too disliked that there were no other heroes in this reality. It would have been great to see Batman say a few words at Supes funeral, along with a few of the other Leaguers. But overall, I liked this, this is what I wanted to see in a Superman movie for the most part; a truely evil, billonare Lex Luthor (nothing funny about him!) but NOT the main baddie, LOTS of action, specifically Supes fighting things, challenging things, and winning, kryptonite virtually non existant, a NEW Fortress of Sollitude, and a tough Superman. I was also pleased that they got 4 villains into the film without resulting in the cramped, bizarre Spider-Man 3 feel or completely failing like other films such as Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin. Hopefully DC does this with their films someday. :)

  6. I saw this one a few months ago and wasn’t that impressed. I guess it’s partially because I really can’t stand Anne Heche as Lois and the second half (as described in Vic’s review).

    Overall, it just made me miss JL Unlimited.

    Vic,
    You should really check out Justice League New Frontier. I’d love to see what you think of it.

  7. correction: Kofi’s review (not Vic’s). Sorry about that

  8. I have it in my Netflix queue, ready to watch on my Roku Box when I can find the time.

    Vic

  9. I thought this DVD was horrible. I read the original comic book saga (Death and Return of Superman) and loved it. That’s what I expected this DVD to be… an animated version of that tremendous story. Instead the DVD had an abbreviated version of that storyline, and then went downhill with some random storyline that had nothing to do with the Superman/Doomsday story.

    Instead of making a fantastic movie based on an Epic comic book arc, they decided to capitalize on the Superman/Doomsday name with a random, fluff storyline.

    This is the first Superman related DVD I’ve ever considered returning to get my money back.

    Don’t be fooled thinking this is an animated version of the comic storyline… maybe that’s why I have such a bad opinion of it. That’s what I expected based on the title, but instead it’s Superman versus Superman with a dash of Doomsday.

  10. I agree with RTS. If I hadn’t read the comic first, I may have liked this more but this DvD strayed from that story soo much, this could have been called something completely different.

    Kofi is right that this is not meant for children.

  11. Screenrant….I know you guys are busy as hell, but is a Justice League: The New Frontier DVD review on the agenda for sometime in the near future? :-)

  12. @KEL

    Wasn’t planning on it, bro.

    Vic

  13. Just watched this. Wow what a stinker.
    It’s hard not to get around Anne Heche being Louis’s voice.

    • Edit: It is difficult to get around it, is what I meant.

      (hopefully soon there will be an edit function here, lol)