That's the worst movie I've ever seen.Don't waste your time on this piece of shit.
[5.8/10] I don’t know what to do with Superman: Brainiac attacks. It exists in a weird liminal space, where it seems to want to be a part of the DC Animated Universe -- the cinematic universe that includes Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited -- while also not being a part of it or, more importantly, following its cues. The result is a mixed up, boring movie that doesn’t work as a part of the thing it’s aping and doesn’t work as its own thing either.
Brainiac Attacks brings back a half-dozen voice actors from Superman: The Animated Series, including the voices of Superman himself, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and even Ma and Pa Kent for one brief scene. But then it switches up the voices for the villains, including the titular evil robot, Mercy Graves, and Lex Luthor. That last one is the strangest choice, as Attacks uses Powers Boothe in the role, shortly after he played Gorilla Grodd, one of Lex’s major rivals, on JLU.
Worse yet, Boothe and the script don’t play Lex as the mercenary, calculating businessman who gave Superman fits in prior encounters, but rather as a bumbling, foppish, constantly over his skis fool. I don’t know if this is how they assumed Kevin Spacey was planning to play the character in the contemporaneously-released Superman Returns live action film or what (I assume this movie was meant to capitalize on that release) but it’s an odd choice that not only disconnects this Lex from the one Tim Daly’s Superman faced down so many times in the DCAU, but just feels tonally off for the character.
The same goes for the art style. Everyone and everything here looks pretty much like it did on Superman: The Animated Series, especially with DCAU vet Curt Geda directing. But much of the animation and design feels just slightly off, enough to be noticeable to longtime fans, with slightly simplified outlines and sequences that lack the verve and charm of the prior designs. It raises the question -- why borrow the DCAU art style at all if that’s what you plan to do?
The same could be said for the whole movie. Later DC direct-to-video releases would play around with the art and tell their own independent stories, with varying degrees of success. BUt none of them seemed so jumbled about whether they wanted to play off the storytelling universe that ran from 1992 to 2006, or break off in a new direction entirely. It results in a sort of uncanny valley for all of Attacks something that’s close enough on the surface to prior shows, but yet different enough to be off putting.
That’s reflected in the writing as well. Despite a story credit for Christopher Simmons, who penned several episodes of Static Shock and an episode of The Zeta Project, the screenplay for Attacks was written by Duane Capizzi, who had no prior writing experience in the DCAU. Unfortunately, that shows, as far beyond Lex Luthor, these characters don’t have much in common with their prior versions and the storytelling approach that paid such dividends across the DCAU is missing here.
Lois Lane is no longer a firebrand and smart operator. Instead, she’s just someone who...gets herself into danger frequently to get a story? She almost becomes one-dimensional in that regard. There’s efforts made to attempt to develop Jimmy in particular and to a lesser extent Perry, but they’re fairly thin and Jimmy’s is connected to a head-scratching crush on Mercy at the expense of his Hollywood Homely co-worker.
Superman himself is fairly bland here, with his emotional throughline being whether to come clean about his secret identity to Lois. There’s meat there, but Attacks leaves most of it on the bone. There’s a clever enough headfake over Superman telling a false vision of her in the Phantom Zone, but of course the movie ultimately chickens out, rather than actually confronting what it would mean for Supes to come clean. His end epiphany is a pretty facile one -- that Lois is always getting herself into danger regardless of him, so he doesn’t have to leave town for her safety. But that always felt like false jeopardy and a five-minute retirement anyway.
Worse yet, the dialogue bungles all of this. There’s a strange declarative bent to pretty much everything Superman says, to where he isn’t allowed to have any sort of inner life but rather must vocalize everything he thinks in pure exposition. That infects much of the movie, with everyone’s conversations seeming miscalibrated and unnatural, particularly when the movie tries to get romantic with it.
Of course, much of this material feels like set dressing for the inevitable big giant fights, and those aren’t much to write home about either. If you’ve seen any past fights between Superman and Brainiac, there’s nothing new here to tune in for. Superman punches robot guy. Robot guy changes forms slightly. Kryptonite and laser blasts are involved until Superman finds the right macguffin sauce that not only lets him take down Brainiac but also revive Lois, Sleeping Beauty-style. If this movie were intended for someone who’d never seen a Superman fight before, then maybe that’d be fine, but then why all the strange, half-hearted efforts to connect with the DCAU?
Nevermind the fact that Brainiac and Lex’s motivations are a little odd here. Brainiac wants to assimilate all knowledge as usual, but he mostly seems interested in destroying Supes and his plan for doing any of this beyond punching things is pretty opaque. Lex wants to be thought of as Metropolis’s real hero, but his plans to collaborate with Brainiac and/or save the day are garbled and mostly relegate him to being the film’s unfunny comic relief.
All of this amounts to a boring, platypus of a film, one that seems to want to pull from the successes and good will of the DC Animated Universe, but only uses the most surface-level details, resulting in a weird mishmash of different, poorly-mixed ideas. Most of the time, it’s more dull than outright bad, but it’s also not worth much more than as something to pass the time.
I was never a huge Superman fan and I hate those uber villains like Braniac. This movie has very little plot just mindless destruction.