tek's rating:

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (PG-13)
DC Comics; DC Database; IMDb; Legions of Gotham; TV Tropes; Warner Bros.; Wikipedia; World's Finest

Caution: spoilers.

First of all, I should mention that in spite of sharing voice actors from the various DCAU TV series, this movie is not directly related to those shows. But it's always cool to hear familiar voices for familiar characters like Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, and Amanda Waller. It's also cool to hear Allison Mack of Smallville voicing Power Girl. I should also mention that this movie is based on a story arc from the comics, which I haven't read, so I can't say how similar or different the adaptation may be from the source material....

Anyway, the movie begins with America in an economic crisis (which reflects the current reality, though I think it's a lot worse in the movie). Lex Luthor is running for President. And he gets elected. I think it was supposed to be his third term, which is weird/impossible... but then again, later in the movie Lex mentioned that three years ago it would have been unthinkable for him to be President, so... either I misheard one thing or another, or there's some discontinuity in the writing. I dunno. Anyway, Luthor's main goal is to put an end to vigilante superheroes, and he does this by hiring them to work for him. A number of them join him, but the only three of any real importance to the plot are their leader, Captain Atom; Power Girl, who eventually has doubts about Luthor; and Major Force, who's important for a reason I won't spoil.

Anyway, Superman and Batman never trust Luthor. And eventually, it's discovered that a giant kryptonite meteor is heading for Earth. Luthor has a plan to destroy it with missiles, but as a back-up plan, he wants Superman to get in touch with him. Which he does, but soon starts feeling woozy, and realizes there must be kryptonite nearby. Which makes him distrust Luthor, and so, one of Luthor's bodyguards steps in to protect the President, and it turns out to be Metallo. So he has a big fight with Superman, and Batman comes to help. The two of them barely escape in the end, but when they get to the Batcave, they learn on the news that Metallo is dead, and Luthor blames this on Superman. He places a billion dollar bounty on Superman, so Superman and Batman try to find proof of his innocence.

Of course, countless villains show up to fight them, though most of them were being mind-controlled by Gorilla Grodd. Then the President's superheroes show up and get rid of the remaining villains Superman and Batman hadn't already stopped, but they want to arrest Superman. So there's a fight between heroes, but Power Girl eventually joins Superman and Batman. And we soon learn who really killed Metallo (Batman figured that one out, naturally). But something that happens in the course of the battle takes Captain Atom and the others out of the equation, for awhile.

Meanwhile, Luthor is working on his plan to stop the meteor, and Amanda Waller is usually at his side, usually advising against his plans, more or less. (It's unclear what her official role is here, though she seems more supportive of superheroes than I'm used to her being.) His plan eventually fails, and after that, his mental state gets progressively worse, probably in large part because he's been injecting himself with steroids and kryptonite for quite some time. And eventually, he decides to just let the meteor hit the Earth, wiping out billions, so that he can built a new, more orderly world. Of course, Waller wants no part of it, and orders his arrest... but he has a mechanical super suit which he escapes in, and tries to stop Superman and Batman from destroying the meteor.

The two of them, meanwhile, take data provided by Waller to a 13-year-old genius in Japan (who'd been mentioned earlier by Waller and Luthor, before he went completely nuts). This kid's called Toyman; I don't remember ever hearing of him before, so I just think it weird he has the same pseudonym as a certain villain, but whatever. Apparently he's been in other comic books and stuff. Checking Wikipedia, I see his real name is Hiro Okamura, which reminds me of Hiro Nakamura from Heroes, but of course the characters are totally different. Not important, sorry. Um... oh, I forgot, there was also a fight between Superman/Batman vs. Hakwman/Captain Marvel, earlier. Anyway... Toyman had built a giant robot that resembled a mix of Superman and Batman, and entered the data Superman and Batman brought him. (Power Girl had gone to see him first, and we don't see them together, but the things they say about each other are amusing.) But, before the robot could be launched remotely, Luthor shows up and smashes the kid's computer, and has a big fight with Superman. So Batman decides to pilot the robot himself, to destroy the meteor. Which presumably means he'll die, the thought of which gives Superman the anger he needs to turn the tide of his fight against Luthor. Naturally, in the end both our heroes survive, and Luthor is arrested by Captain Atom.

So, that's pretty much the whole movie. It was fun to watch. Decent story, animation, acting, battles, humor, drama, a bit of language that you wouldn't hear in the TV cartoons, but which is appropriate here. Not sure what else to say.

See also the sequel Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.


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