A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this animated action story pits Superman and his pal Batman against almost every other supervillain and hero. Superman is framed for a murder he didn’t commit, but the authorities are determined to bring him in, and the task falls to many of the heroes who once fought alongside him. And when the government places a $1 billion bounty on the caped crusader, every villain in town tries to collect. The film starts with some intriguing questions about right and wrong, but the latter half is near nonstop super-battles, with plenty of destruction.
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What's the story?
Capitalizing on economic and social upheaval, supervillain Lex Luthor rides a wave of populist anger into the White House. President Luthor’s first job: frame Superman for murder and order his arrest. But the caped crusader won’t be taken easily, and his pal Batman has his back. Every hero in town tries to enforce the arrest warrant, and when Luthor announces a $1 billion reward for Superman’s capture, the supervillains are eager to jump into the fray. Can Superman and Batman fend off all these attacks and prove the charges are false? And in the meantime, who’s going to stop the massive kryptonite asteroid that’s on a collision course with Earth?
Is it any good?
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES starts off with a bit more depth than the average superhero yarn. When Superman protests his innocence, other heroes are forced to takes sides. Should they obey their orders, from the president no less, or should they defy the commander-in-chief and help the caped crusader? And this isn’t the only thorny dilemma: twice, superheroes must take on extremely dangerous tasks, possibly sacrificing themselves, to save others. These are tough moral questions, but the film doesn’t delve too deeply into them.
Instead, it focuses on the action when Superman and Batman are attacked by dozens of superheroes and supervillains. The second half of the movie is near-nonstop combat, and some of it is pretty intense. The fight scenes aren’t bad, but they aren’t anything that hasn’t been seen before either. Still, it’s interesting that an animated film aimed at younger viewers would even try to introduce such weighty issues.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about following orders. Should superheroes always obey the president’s instructions, even whey they are told to arrest Superman? What do you think of Power Girl’s decision to question these orders?
What kind of crises would prompt people to elect well-known super-villain Lex Luthor President of the United States? How does his rise to political power parallel other elections throughout history? Can you think of other movies that feature evil people who are elected to high office?
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