Movie Review – All-Star Superman (2011)

Director: Sam Liu

Stars: James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthony LaPaglia, Edward Asner

After saving the world from yet another catastrophe Superman finds out that he’s been poisoned by the very thing that has given him his strength over the years. In his last days he tries to do as much good as he can in the world. Meanwhile, Luthor sees an opportunity to finally defeat the Man of Steel once and for all, and Superman has to use the last of his strength to thwart the nefarious mastermind.

So far my opinions of the DC Animated movies have been overwhelmingly positive, but All-Star Superman sits at the top of the heap. I absolutely adore this film and it works as a love letter to the whole concept of Superman. I recently read Morrison’s autobiography and in that he talks about superheroes as being mythical, and this comes through in the movie, which is an adaptation of his 12 issue story.

The emotional beats and character work are perfect and I enjoyed how it took Superman back to a time when he still had his secret identity. There’s plenty of humour as well as some threat, and it touches on basically every part of the Superman mythos. That’s not to say it’s perfect, however, because the film can feel unfocused at times. I haven’t read the original comics but I do know that it was written as 12 stories that link together at the end, and you can tell that because the movie feels almost like an anthology, and sometimes the time jumps can feel jarring. But for sheer emotional power this one is unmatched, and it’s a great love letter to everything Superman stands for, adapted from the material of one who clearly understands the character.

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