In the new DVD release from Warner Brothers, Superman: Brainiac Attacks, embittered by Superman’s heroic successes and soaring popularity, Lex Luthor forms a dangerous alliance with the powerful computer/villain Brainiac. Using advanced weaponry and a special strain of kryptonite harvested from the far reaches of outer space, Luthor specifically redesigns Brainiac to defeat the man of steel. When Brainiac betrays Luthor and reveals its sinister plans for world domination, Superman must brave the mysterious Phantom Zone to find the strength to survive this deadly showdown.
Is it too late to send this to Bryan Singer?
It can be difficult to get excited about watching a straight-to-video cartoon, but Superman: Brainiac Attacks is a pleasant surprise. Pleasant in that the movie is done well, and not overly directed towards children. The story is well crafted, and the soundtrack is motion picture quality.
Tim Daly's performance as Superman and Clark Kent would make Bud Collyer proud, though it could be distracting to Wings fans. The rest of the cast is stellar as it is stacked with star power including Dana Delany as Lois Lane, Powers Booth as Lex Luthor, and Lance Henriksen as Brainiac.
With all the various incarnations of Superman between live action and animated television, as well as motion pictures and comic books, it can be challenging to keep track of the development of the characters and stories. In this outing, Superman is still struggling with telling Lois his true identity, the Fortress of Solitude is quite different than in other stories, and Lex Luthor is portrayed quite clownish. The direction of the Luthor character does not work at all, but that is one of the few parts of this endeavor that does not work.
On the other side of the character interpretation coin is the Jimmy Olsen character voiced by David Kaufman, and that of Brainiac (Henriksen). Jimmy is enjoyably involved in the story far more than other television and motion picture efforts. Brainiac comes across as confident and intensely dangerous, and the battles between he and our hero actually leave Superman looking vulnerable.
Movie Spoiler Warning:
This is a fun film for the whole family. It was nice to once again see Superman fighting for truth, justice, and the American way, rather than having sex out of wedlock, impregnating Lois, and then abandoning his child and her mother for five years as was depicted in the recent motion picture.
Recommendation: A little history on Brainiac and some extras would have made this DVD perfect, but even lacking a little more story and the bonuses we have come to expect on a DVD, this is well worth the investment of time and money.
Written by Hombre Divertido