Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Superman vs. The Elite Review

In Superman vs. The Elite, the latest from DC Entertainment's direct to dvd animated line, themes of  pheomenal power and even more phenomenal restraint are at the forefront as the man of steel's reverence for the sanctity of life is challenged  when an edgy new team of super powered individuals calling themselves "The Elite" burst onto the scene. Led by the charasmatic and calculating Manchester Black, The Elite instantly garner public apporoval by demonstrating their willingingness to get their hands dirty and make the hard choices that Superman avoids. Namely, in dispensing lethal force on the world's criminal element. As people everywhere seems taken with the rockstar-esque Black and his motley crew of  hard hitting anti-heroe's and their promise to clean up, Superman recognizes the immense danger The Elite pose through their casual and reckless displays of "might makes right" and  braces for the inevitable showdown while all the while contemplating if the world truly has moved on to a place he cannot follow as his old fashioned, mid-western values seem to have lost their relevance and become somewhat of a parody in an increasingly fearful and calloused modern world.
I enjoyed this movie a lot. Not only does it deliver the goods in terms of action and thrills, but it also manages to be a moving and thought exploration into what truly makes Superman a hero and why his high moral standards and no killing policy when dealing with the world's most vicious monsters, though not an easy road to tread by any means, is at the end of the day superior to the instant gratification of eye for an eye championed by The Elite.
That is not to say that the thought never crosses Superman's mind, and during his brutal standoff with the volatile team, one actually experiences a twinge of panic for Superman as the paragon of truth, justice, and the American way comes closer than ever to crossing that line.
Simply put, this is one of the best from DC Entertainment's animated line thus far and, for readers of Superman in comics, a refreshing alternative to the characters attempted more edgy and sci-fi ish "New 52" revampment that, aside from Morisson's current run on "Action Comics" has left a decidedly sour taste in the mouths of many longtime DC loyalists. Now more than ever we need to be reminded why the ideals embodied by heroes like Superman are still a pivotal part of our culture and this movie does the job near perfectly.


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