Movie Review: ALL STAR SUPERMAN – 2011
One of the greatest Superman comic stories has been adapted into an animated film, which tells the story of the last days of Superman himself. My Comic Book Review of the story can be found here, while this is my Movie Review of ALL STAR SUPERMAN…
Blank Page Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
ALL STAR SUPERMAN can be considered a compilation of the Man Of Steel’s greatest moments and achievements as he winds down his life, and how he decides to leave his legacy to the world. After being sabotaged by Lex Luthor into absorbing too much solar radiation, Superman develops a sort of ‘super cancer’ which overloads his cells with the end result of killing him. The story shows us how the greatest super-hero on Earth, prepares for eventual death.
As amazingly creative and brilliant ALL STAR SUPERMAN is, it seems like it would be inaccessible to newer audiences as a stand alone story, given it’s many references to the Superman mythos and canon stories. It’s not a pre-requisite to know all details of everything, however, a lot of the concepts, plot points, relationship between characters are based on pre-existing scenarios that are referred to, however, casually. For example: To understand the impact of Lois Lane finding out Superman’s true identity of Clark Kent, one needs to be aware of the years of effort that’s gone into maintaining that deception.
Despite this, it’s a wonderful animated adaptation of a great comic story that is able to convey a lot of the impact of the book into movie form. Despite some editing of certain subplots from the graphic novel, the story flows at an even pace, and is able to maintain the necessary tone and impact of the comic. Frank Quietly’s simple unpolished artwork is replicated very closely in animation. The characters feel real, within the world of a comic. The jaw lines are exaggerated, yet subtle. The clothing has seams and wrinkles that move with the characters. Superman’s shortened cape gives him a regale look, while also maintaining his somber and wise attitude.
This characterization of Superman has a lot of tones that have certain finality to them. Almost being a record of his last moments on Earth, ALL STAR SUPERMAN gives us the superhero in a wiser, more reflective personality. This is evident as he narrates his adventures to Lois Lane while taking her on a tour of his Fortress Of Solitude.
The movie features many characters and villains from the history of Superman’s long career, while providing him with some final threats to deal with; namely, Lex Luthor. The story works on great levels of in your face action, coupled with contemplative tones that subtly analyze the impact and effect of the character archetype of Superman in the modern world. A brilliant adaptation, ALL STAR SUPERMAN, while not being the best choice for fans unfamiliar with the characters history, is a must watch for Superman-iacs.