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The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest

   

Movie review of The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest. It tells the story of how the world’s 2 foremost superheroes met. They initially dislike each other’s method of operating. Clash over a mutual attraction to Lois Lane. And develop a grudging respect for each other … While defeating the plans of Lex Luthor and the Joker as well!

The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest (1998) starring the voice talents of Tim Daly, Dana Delany, Kevin Conroy, Clancy Brown, and Mark Hamill

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Batman: The Animated Series. I consider that to be the yardstick that superhero cartoons should be measured by.   The same people did the same treatment of Superman in the animated Superman series, with the same excellent results.   Both shows developed the main characters as real human beings, with all of the problems and concerns that they faced. They made the audience care about the people underneath the colored spandex.   In the second season of the Superman cartoon, three consecutive episodes detailed the meeting of these two heroes. With their very disparate methods of working, and views of the world.  And threw in a struggle between the two of them for the romantic interest of Lois Lane, as well.

Movie review of -- €˜The Batman Superman Movie: World's Finest' -- €“ telling the story of how the world's 2 foremost superheroes met, initially disliking each other's method of operating, clash over a mutual attraction to Lois Lane, and how the develop a grudging respect for each other -- €“ while defeating the plans of Lex Luthor and the Joker as well!

Oh, and the Joker and Lex Luthor are here as well.   It’s not that they’re not menacing, or important.  They’re both, and I’ve never heard Mark Hamill more maniacally happy than his portrayal of the Joker here.  But this movie is really about the interaction between the main characters.   These two villains, however, cause the catalyst for their meeting, and much of the dramatic tension as well.

Plot to kill Superman

The basic plot has the Joker steal an old emerald statue.  Except that it’s not emerald, it’s really Kryptonite, the only substance capable of killing Superman.   He takes his large chunk of Kryptonite to Metropolis, to proposition Lex Luthor with a simple exchange. The death of Superman in exchange for a Billion dollars, to finance the Joker’s hedonistic lifestyle.   Initially, Luthor refuses.  It’s not that he doesn’t want Superman dead. He simply can’t trust a live wire like the Joker to keep his name out of it.   But the Joker never learned to take “no”€ for an answer …

I won’t spoil the rest of the movie except to say that it’s excellent, with both heroes reflecting on their roles, their feelings for Lois, how each other operates, how different — and similar — €”they are to each other.   There are also various traps, fights, revelations, back-stabbing, etc.   But what do you expect from Lex Luthor, Mercy Graves, the Joker, and Harley Quinn?

It’s an excellent movie. It plays as though the three episodes were originally scripted to be a movie, that was broken up into three episodes when that didn’t happen.   I truly enjoyed it, as did my four younger children who watched it with me.  It has a high replay value as well.   I strongly recommend it, rating it 4 stars out of 5.   The only reason to not buy it is if you already have the second season of Superman on DVD. Or if you’re rooting for the villains. 🙂

Editorial review of The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest, courtesy of Amazon.com

This feature-length tape began as a three-episode story line on the animated TV series, a superhero crossover where Bruce Wayne visits Metropolis and the Dark Knight meets the Man of Steel for the first time. The two heroes mix like oil and water, the law-and-order Superman suspicious of Batman’s rather ruthless methods; but they form an uneasy partnership when Lex Luthor and the Joker team up to take on the duo. To add a personal dimension to the already edgy rivalry, Wayne romances Lois Lane under Clark Kent’s very nose.

The stylized animation and sharp design of the TV series give the limited animation a sleek, smooth quality and an energetic sense of movement. Timothy Daly supplies the voices for Clark Kent and (in a deeper register) Superman, with Kevin Conroy performing the same vocal trick for Bruce Wayne/Batman; but Dana Delany only has to worry about one persona as Lois Lane. The once-and-future Luke Skywalker, cult film star turned voice actor Mark Hamill, provides the Joker’s cackling banter. — €”Sean Axmaker.

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