Superman vs. the Elite Movie Poster Image

Superman vs. the Elite

(i)

 

Strong violence countered by positive messages, good story.
  • Review Date: June 11, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie champions justice and fairness -- acting selflessly and thinking about others -- rather than violence, anger, and revenge. As one character says, "When people get scared, they tend to jump on a bandwagon without thinking about who's driving."

Positive role models

Superman is an excellent role model here, even though he tends to get into a lot of fights. Even when the world seems to get excited about revenge, violence, and anger, Superman still preaches tolerance and fairness. Also, his constant companion, Lois Lane, is shown as an intrepid, brave, and smart newspaper reporter, helping in whatever non-super way she can.

Violence

As with most of Warner's animated DC Comics superhero movies, this one is heavy on fighting and fantasy violence; in fact, violence is one of the movie's main themes. Lots of punching, pummeling, battering, smashing, and slamming, and images of war between two fictitious countries. Only a little blood is shown, usually trickling from noses or lips. Bad guys are tortured, and a little girl is in peril in a flashback.

Sex

Frequent sly innuendo. The Menagerie character clearly wants to sleep with Superman and keeps dropping not-so-subtle hints. (He has a "fine ass," she hopes he has the "stones to do me," etc.) In this story, Superman and Lois are married and have an intimate banter; they talk about kissing and eventually do kiss. Lois is shown in a nightie.

Language

Superman vs. the Elite takes advantage of Manchester Jack's hometown slang and gets away with some words that many Americans may not know. These include "sod off," "wanker," "tosser," "git," "jackholes," and "poncy twit." Also several uses of "ass" and "damn," plus "hell," "son of a bitch," "pissing," "bastard," "scum," "crap," "sucker," "sucks," "dungheap," "sphincter," "frigging," "freakin'," and phrases like "got a pair" and "give the finger." A character also says "oh God."

Consumerism

Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. One mention of "tweeting."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The character known as The Hat seems to have a drinking problem. He's almost always seen swigging from bottles of wine or a cone-shaped martini glass. At one point during a battle, he says, "I have to sober up!" In a flashback, the father of a young boy and girl is shown to be a mean drunk, throwing back several bottles, with booze dribbling down his cheeks.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Superman vs. the Elite is one in a series of feature-length animated DC Comics superhero movies that have been released direct-to-video. Like the others, it's filled with fantasy and comic-book violence, though the movie's ultimate message is one of tolerance and fairness. Language is fairly frequent without being terribly strong and includes many British slang words, like "bugger" and "wanker," as well as several uses of "ass" and "damn." There's some sly but frequent sexual innuendo, and one major character seems to have a drinking problem.

What's the story?

After a destructive battle with the Atomic Skull, people begin to wonder why Superman (voiced by George Newbern) simply arrests such dangerous types, rather than destroying them. Enter the Elite, a new super-team consisting of Manchester Black (Robin Atkin Downes), Menagerie (Melissa Disney), Coldcast (Catero Colbert), and The Hat (Andrew Kishina). In a darker and more complex world, as a war rages between the two nations of Bialya and Pokolistan, the Elite pleases the public with their uncompromising methods, torturing and destroying the terrorists, while Superman's belief in tolerance and justice begins to seem increasingly outmoded. Is Superman obsolete, or can he find a way to apply his old values to a new situation?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Like All-Star Superman before it, SUPERMAN VS. THE ELITE is an exceptional animated superhero movie. It's violent and has some adult subject matter, but it also has a strong, thoughtful story and worthwhile messages. It's based on a comic book from 2001, which brilliantly reinvents Superman, explores his mythology, and takes him into a dark, complex new time. This movie proves that Superman's legend is timeless.

Director Michael Chang uses the film's 75 minutes wisely, balancing tense action scenes with character-driven moments while never losing pace. The background work, ranging from big cities to the surface of the moon, is effective without being dazzling, and the voicework is outstanding. Newbern returns as Superman, bringing doubt and humanity to the Man of Steel's voice, and Pauley Perrette -- famous as tattooed goth chick Abby Sciuto on NCIS -- makes a terrific Lois Lane, gritty and gravely and ready for action.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence. How much of it is necessary to demonstrate Superman vs. the Elite's themes about tolerance and justice as opposed to anger and revenge? Is it ironic that the movie's message about not using violence is filled with violence?

  • Why does the character The Hat drink so much alcohol? Does it affect his performance in battle? What are the real-life consequences of heavy drinking?

  • Are there real-life cases or incidents in which the Elite's methods are preferable to Superman's methods? Why or why not?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 12, 2012
Cast:George Newbern, Pauley Perrette, Robin Atkin Downes
Director:Michael Chang
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
Run time:74 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:action violence and some language

This review of Superman vs. the Elite was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMitchell Charleston June 17, 2013

Another great acomplishment for Superman.

Awesome movie. Great animation, a decent amount of action, and everything. I totally recommend this Superman movie.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMy1ten0baby January 6, 2014

No Kids

This show is named by a really violent scene.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old February 18, 2015

good movie

I watched this when i was 10. I got it for christmas and it is pretty violent. The villains are pretty bizarre, but unbrave kids or kids not used to these types of movies probably would get uncomfortable during Manchester Black torturing bad guys. There's not really any sex, and theirs only a bit of swearing, but violence and drinking is the worst things in this movie. Hat, the skinny, long haired sorcerer, drinks lots of wine. He literally gulps whole bottles down and then throws the empty glass away. This is not for your kid if you don't want them hearing the " A- word" or getting exposed to terrorist refrences , or frequent drinking, but overall, this in my opinon is a great movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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