Monday, July 28, 2014

Superman: Unbound (2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Superman: Unbound (2013).

Another DC animated movie. These movies take one story from comics and make animated version of it. This time it is Superman: Brainiac. Problem with this approach is, you don't know what the premise of story is. When you read stories in comics, you have previous issues and story continues from them. In these movies, it take some time to figure out what is characters relationship status at this point. Comic collections have same problem, but there is more to read and you get what you need to know from that. Movies are little over hour and there is no time to explain relationships of characters.

Given the problem I mentioned above, it is strange how much these movies spend time at beginning on fight scene, that is not related to main story. Ok, it usually shows all superheroes fighting, but it takes time from the main story. To be honest in this movie it was good, that beginning too some time from ending. Ending started to get bit repetitive. Movie could have been better, if it spent less time with Superman and more time with Brainiac.

I have said few time I don't like Superman as character. What happens around him is more interesting. My favorite Superman story is first twelve issues of Irredeemable. It tells story of Superman like superhero turning into supervillain. It could have been elseworlds Superman story, but DC didn't want to do that. These twelve issues study superheroes like I want Superman to be studied. Another good one is Superman: Red Son, where Superman landed and grew on Soviet Union. In this movie, only interesting Superman related moment is, when one man wonder, if Superman has left them so they can learn to survive without his help. That told how presence of Superman has made citizens of Metropolitan dependent of him. But that part of Superman is rarely explored in Superman stories.

Superman would be interesting character is storied took that route. Clean cut boy scout is boring. Good for this movie, it has interesting villain. This was first time I really liked Brainiac. I am sure I have read comics with him, but I don't remember anything from those stories. Movies have one thing comics doesn't have. Voice. They have also moving pictures, but this time voice made the difference. Voice made character intimidating and alien. Brainiac is alien robot, who collects information by collecting cities and studying them. He keeps miniaturized cities in his ship. He probes universe with robots. When robot finds interesting planet, it send signal to Brainiac and Brainiac comes to planet to collect city.

When you have good, almost unstoppable villain, you need good ending. Not like this had. It is Babylon 5 level disappointment. First Superman can't do anything to Brainiac and then when movie needs to end... To be honest ending made some sense, but I could easily argue why it didn't. It is almost carbon copy of ending of The War of the Worlds. In that movie ending was bit disappointing, but it made sense. Now that I think this more carefully, main story is quite close to The War of the Worlds. No wonder I liked that part of the movie.


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