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Superman: Unbound Review

4

It's Superman and Supergirl against Brainiac with the fate of Earth on the line.

There has been several Superman animated movies so far. We've seen many stories adapted in different styles. Despite this fact, Superman: Unbound doesn't feel like just another Superman movie. Part of this could be because it's based on the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank story from ACTION COMICS #866-870. Another part could just be the specifics of the story itself.

With the threat focusing on Brainiac, it takes the story in a different direction. Past animated movies have featured villains a little more grounded. Superman vs. Lex Luthor always provides entertainment but with Superman facing an intergalactic threat and, one that was present on Krypton before its destruction, we're seeing a different type of Superman story.

One of the great things about this movie is the action starts right up. There is a kidnapping and some local terrorists are up to no good. There's plenty of gunfire and a high speed chase through the air. With all the different Superman movies, we don't need an introduction to each character. There are some minor ones such as when Steve Lombard is being his typical obnoxious self at the Daily Planet. But it all feels natural. It's simply a matter of who he is but it's clear and doesn't interrupt the flow of the movie.

Even though the story isn't that old, you almost get a sense of nostalgia seeing Superman and Supergirl in their pre-New 52 incarnations. That means Superman has his traditional shorts-on-the-outside look. The portrayal and tension between Supergirl and Superman is perfect. She's still adjusting to being on Earth and is acting like a super-powered teenager. She lost her entire planet, friends and family with Krypton's destruction. Superman can't really relate to what she's feeling because for her, it wasn't that long ago. Superman has had his entire life to grow up and adjust to Earth.

We also get Lois and Clark. They are not married here. She knows his identity but their relationship isn't exactly wide known. Lois is great here. She shows just the right amount of spunk. She doesn't blink when facing the insanity of this world.

The animation is crisp with vibrant colors. This movie simply looks good. The animation style is interesting as the decision was made not to try to mimic Gary Frank's style. It suits the movie but makes you wonder why they went with Superman having a longer and narrower face. Lois has short hair and her eyes appear to be almost purple. Supergirl looks vulnerable but she kicks all sorts of butt in this film.

The movie earns its PG-13 rating. There is a fair amount of violence. During the helicopter chase, we see some blow up with no signs of the pilots miraculously jumping out with parachutes. Brainiac's attacks are extremely violent as well. While we don't see the specific damage down to individuals during his attacks, there is plenty of blood that flies across the screen. The rating description also informs you that there is one "rude gesture." I won't say who does it or what specifically it is. It felt a little out of character and obviously unnecessary for the story. But I suppose it might spice things up a tiny bit or make the non-comic readers chuckle when it happens.

The story itself plays out wonderfully on screen. The idea of Brainiac collecting cities from planets and then feeling they are no longer necessary is fascinating. Seeing his way of thinking and compulsive behavior sets him apart from the various incarnations we've seen of him over the years. That's why Geoff Johns' story was so great. Seeing this version of Brainiac makes a great threat against Superman. The effects it has on Supergirl adds to her strengths and vulnerability as well.

Special Features

  • Commentary by James Tucker, Bob Goodman and Mike Carlin. (Exclusive to Blu-ray).
  • Preview of the next animated movie: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.
  • Kandor: HIstory of the Bottle City (16:54) This is a cool mini-feature. We get the history of the city and hear from Bob Goodman, Marv Wolfman, Heath Corson, Dan DiDio and Mike Carlin. It's a great look at Superman's history over the years surrounding Kandor and the number of other Kryptonians in the DC Universe. There's mention of the want for Superman to be unique which led to the fight to at least keep Supergirl. (Exclusive to Blu-ray).
  • Brainiac: Technology and Terror (24:42) Again we hear from Bob Goodman, Mike Carlin, Marv Wolfman and Heath Corson. There is a history of Brainiac and how the sci-fi influence from the 1950s resulted in his creation and evolution. We get to see the different versions of him over the years.
  • From the Vault: "The Last Son of Krypyon, Part 1" from Superman: The Animated Series S1; "New Kids in Town" from Superman: The Animated Series S3; "Little Lost Girl, Parts 1 & 2" from Superman: The Animated Series S2.
  • A digital comic excerpt from the graphic novel SUPERMAN: BRAINIAC by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

Overall, this is a great release. I'm sure I'm not the only one a little tired of the numerous Superman and Batman releases. But this one stands above the others. It's a great story that works nicely as a separate stand alone movie. The animation looks great and the difference in style gives it a different feel. You know the story from the comics but it still feels new. The voice acting is top notch as always. DC/Warner Bros. knows how to cast the characters perfectly. If you're a fan of the original story or just love the characters, you will want to pick this up. The added extras give you further reason to make the purchase versus just renting it. This is a movie that I would definitely watch again.

52 Comments
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Posted by The Average Bear

Braniac looks like Braini-badass. I gotta go snag a copy of this

Posted by Mucklefluga

Was the preview to the Flashpoint animated movie good?

Posted by Lvenger

It was quite good. The voice acting was solid and the characters felt spot on in how they acted. At times it did seem the story dragged on what with the padding and changes made to the original and I'm not a big fan of the animation style. Overall though I'd say this was a pretty good effort. Not as good as Superman vs The Elite but a different kind of story.

Posted by ghost_runner

I didn't like this, I think the story works better as a comic then a movie.

Edited by Oscars94

I enjoyed this movie because I didn't know that much about Braniac. He's awesome!

Posted by fables87

Hope this comes on Netflix like all the other DC Animated movies.

Edited by Casval

This movie lacks (like every DC Animated) 10 or 15 minutes to have a better pace, the whole story is too rushed not to mention the weird dinner scene in Kandor. Animation wasn't that good either.

On the contrary the voice cast was excellent.

Edited by JamDamage

this movie sucked. The Superman animated films are becoming like the Superman comics. They just suck.

Posted by Ganthetsward20

Are we ever going to have more of the showcases for these DVDs? I really loved those and am really bummed they stopped doing them.

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

Above the others? So its better than Superman vs. The Elite or All Star? Both are pretty great animated movies and if this one is even better, I am going to enjoy it quite a bit!

Posted by AllStarSuperman

I was mad they didn't mimic Gary Franks art. hes my favorite superman artist. and the ending:

how brainiac overloaded and exploded was dumb. the whole overload him thing has been done so much its ridiculous. I also didn't like how it didn't set up for new krypton.

  • but over all I liked it. much better than superman vs elite but not aw good as Allstar.
Online
Edited by OutlawRenegade

This movie was good but nothing special--at all. This story was told on Superman TAS in much less time. The only highlight is Lois flipping off Brainiac, but besides making a good gif, it was unnecessarily crude. The movie was also unnwcessarily gore-y. Lois Lane and Lombard had good voice actors, but everyone else was bad or over acted. Brainiac's voice actor was miscast. Not every bad guy should sound European. They should have used the voice from JLU. I did like how creepy Brainiac was. Matt Bomer should have used his normal voice unstead of going so deep. It just sounded fake that way. The action was only okay. It was funny when Lombard thought Clark was gay. The biggest problem is this movie could not decide if it was going for an all ages audience or a mature audience. It just got old quick too.

Anyhoo, a creepy Brainiac would make a great villain for the live action JLA. He's powerful, impossible to kill, and he gives the heroes something to go all out on.

Posted by SavageDragon

I dug this and agree with the review. The action was really great and Braniac's drones were pretty darn crazy.

Posted by wade_wilson22
Edited by KryptonSabbath

@mucklefluga: I enjoyed it, wish they could have shown some clips but it was nice seeing each cast member for their character.

Posted by Mucklefluga

@mucklefluga: I enjoyed it, wish they could have shown some clips but it was nice seeing each cast member for their character.

Oh, don't you get any previews of the movie?

Edited by G-Man

@kryptonsabbath said:

@mucklefluga: I enjoyed it, wish they could have shown some clips but it was nice seeing each cast member for their character.

Oh, don't you get any previews of the movie?

It's still in the early stage. You see some rough penciled animation. It's cool seeing it in that form. It's more of an overview as to what the story is about and how they'll translate it for the movie.

Staff
Edited by SlickyMike88

I saw this , taught it was really bad:P The voice acting didn't do it for me ,I got specially annoyed by Lois voice in this :P. TAS superman had a better version of Brainiac , this one was just lame. Oh and Superman's last speech bullshit before kicking the enemies ass, just stop it , makes superman look like a dick head....overall nothing good to say about it really , watch superman/batman public enemies, , Superman/Batman: Apocalypse or any other DC superman related stuff, this one was the worst I taught :P

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

favorite scene is the lois and braniac moment lol made laugh hard

Posted by Mucklefluga

@g_man said:

@mucklefluga said:

@kryptonsabbath said:

@mucklefluga: I enjoyed it, wish they could have shown some clips but it was nice seeing each cast member for their character.

Oh, don't you get any previews of the movie?

It's still in the early stage. You see some rough penciled animation. It's cool seeing it in that form. It's more of an overview as to what the story is about and how they'll translate it for the movie.

Thanks.

Edited by maxicere

For me it's one of the most boring movies I see. (Also Superman suit is green...)

Edited by w0nd

I saw this , taught it was really bad:P The voice acting didn't do it for me ,I got specially annoyed by Lois voice in this :P. TAS superman had a better version of Brainiac , this one was just lame. Oh and Superman's last speech bullshit before kicking the enemies ass, just stop it , makes superman look like a dick head....overall nothing good to say about it really , watch superman/batman public enemies, , Superman/Batman: Apocalypse or any other DC superman related stuff, this one was the worst I taught :P

lol a dickhead? The guy took one of his cities and was going to blow up the earth, I think mocking Brainiac is justified....what's he going to say "sorry good sir but i have to take you to jail!" The movie did bore me too but I liked brainiac a lot

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Posted by saoakden

Looking forward to seeing this movie. I should get it tomorrow or Thursday. Plus I read the story that this movie was based off around the time Injustice came out.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Awesome movie

Posted by BlueLantern1995

Movie looks good, can't wait to see it.

Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf

The movie was bad. It just didn't work out in my opinion. Something was lost when it was translated from comic to movie.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Does anyone know what is the next Animated film DC is putting out after this?

Edited by yo_yo_fun

I can't wait to get this!

Posted by dementedtheclown
Posted by evilvegeta74

favorite scene is the lois and braniac moment lol made laugh hard

Yep, but they can't show Lobo doing that in a game? Overall the movie was goo, I like how Kara was portrayed in the movie.

Posted by SmashBrawler

Eh, I thought it was a pretty good movie.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@lvenger said:

It was quite good. The voice acting was solid and the characters felt spot on in how they acted. At times it did seem the story dragged on what with the padding and changes made to the original and I'm not a big fan of the animation style. Overall though I'd say this was a pretty good effort. Not as good as Superman vs The Elite but a different kind of story.

Pretty much this. i say a solid 3/5

Edited by iceslick

@g_man: I saw it too. I thought it was an okay movie. I give it 3 stars. It was just too action heavy for me and not as emotional driven as Superman Vs The Elite. I didn't like the Superman in this movie not because of the voice actor. I just felt he was written out of character. Lois Lane in the other hand did PHENOMENAL!!! She was better than the Lois Lane in Superman Vs The Elite. You're not the only one that's getting tired of Superman and Batman movies. Me and my boyfriend said it too after the movie was over. We wanted a stand alone Flash movie. I know we are getting Flashpoint but that doesn't count because it's including the entire Justice League or DC Universe. I just want one with him and the family. That's it.

Posted by weaponx
Edited by weaponx

This was the worst DC animated in long memory. Brainiac was very inconsistent and there were a lot of really boring parts. Voice acting and animation were okay. I like the gore and the idea of brainiac taking cities and that Kara was developing, but this movie just didn't work for me. I give it a 2/5 at best.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

t'was but a 3. still waiting for a dc movie to come close to Batman: Under the Red Hood. now that one was perfection.

Posted by Black_Claw

Nice to know that some DCAU episodes are on this DVD!

Edited by Lieutenant_Awkward

I'm watching it right now, it's not bad.

Posted by PowerWoman

supergirl look like not beatiful,i dont like it

Edited by cloudzackvincent

the movie was ok but i found the action to be a bit repetitive.... kinda like playing a videogame

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

@weaponx

Good to know. I will check it out regardless, but still, thanks. I also really loved both vs Elite and All Star, so I kinda thought that this wasn't going to be that good. Well, in the end, this year, only one Superman movie has to be great.

Edited by Press Oblivion

I thought this wasn't a bad movie, I liked Matt Bomer's voice over as Superman too.

Posted by manwithoutshame

I thought it was a good movie. Not as good as the comic, there's just no substitute for Gary Frank's art. Also, I thought Lois was annoying.

Edited by weaponx
Edited by SHTR

This was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. 4/5 for me as well.

Posted by AlKusanagi

I really liked it, but I'm also a huge Supergirl fan.

And how come a certain character can make a rude gesture in this, but the Main Main can't throw the bird in Injustice?!?

Edited by charlieboy

I thought this movie was fantastic and probably the best animated Superman film in recent history. I give it 4/5. Very good movie.

Posted by saoakden

I really liked the movie. I was hoping that this could lead to a New Krypton Saga adaption. The end doesn't look like it will happen but then again they could get a little creative with it. Who knows. Overall awesome movie.

Edited by DarklyDreamingDeadpool

does anyone knows when dc will release this and flashpoint paradox in europe?

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