tek's rating: ¼

All-Star Superman (PG)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

This is based on a comic book miniseries that I've never read, though I probably should someday, because I'm sure it includes lots of details that weren't in the movie. Even so, I felt like the movie was packed with stuff. Perhaps too much stuff. It all felt pretty rushed, for a 76-minute film, and sometimes I felt like there was no segue between scenes, so I almost wondered if the DVD had skipped, or something. Anyway, it starts with Superman helping a scientist named Dr. Quintum and his team, who were involved in some project at the sun, but Lex Luthor remote controlled... some bioengineered creature, I guess... and used it to try to wreck the ship or whatever, but he was thwarted by Superman. However, it would soon turn out that his real goal was to expose Superman to a lethal overdose of the solar energy that gives him his powers. So, Superman gained greater strength than ever before, but also learned that he didn't have long to live. So he wanted to use the time he had left wrapping up some personal matters.

One thing he did was finally reveal his secret identity to Lois Lane, as well as giving her a serum he'd created that gave her super powers just like his, for 24 hours (it happened to be her birthday). Another important plot point is that Lex Luthor has been sentenced to the electric chair. However, he professes not to care, as long as Superman dies first. (It's impossible to accept his extreme hatred and xenophobia against Superman, but I do kind of understand where he's coming from, when he explains it.) The movie also introduces Lex's niece, Nasthalthia (a kind of bored goth chick), who I guess wants to rule the world. She doesn't actually do much in the movie, though, so I'd like to see if she has a bigger role in the comics. There are also various acts of superheroism for Superman to engage in throughout the movie, the ultimate (or actually penultimate) one being a fight against Luthor, who escapes from prison after drinking a super serum like the one Superman had given Lois a couple months or so earlier. I don't really want to reveal the outcome of that fight, but it was pretty interesting and atypical, for Lex (I don't think I've ever seen this kind of thing happen in any other incarnation).

Anyway... I dunno. There were parts of the movie I thought were just sort of okay, and there were parts I thought were pretty good. Aside from having too much plot crammed into the movie, I appreciated the kind of story that was being told, and thought it was generally well executed. But... I just kind of wasn't as into the overall thing quite as much as I would've liked to be. It's hard to say why. There was great action, great drama, decent humor, and of course I like the fact that the entire premise is very different from the usual Superman stories. A total downer, but in a good way, from a storytelling perspective. If I had to make a guess as to what doesn't sit quite right with me, I'd say it might be that, in spite of some modern touches, it's somehow more old-fashioned than I really care for. But that's not a bad thing, and sometimes I like old-fashioned, so... I don't know why that would bother me. *shrug* Whatever, still a good movie.

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