DC League of Super-Pets reviewed

DC League of Super-Pets reviewed

The latest entry in DC Comics animated film franchise is an uninspired adaptation of (Super)man’s best friend

WHILE there have been a lot of misfires with live-action adaptations of DC Comics characters, the same cannot be said of their animated film franchise, which boasts some of the strongest entries in the superhero genre. Batman: Mask of Phantasm, which was Warner Bros Animation’s first theatrical release, remains a cult classic to this day, with famed critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert calling it one of the finest Batmen to ever be put on screen.

Ebert added that “animation can do some things that live action can’t” and over the three decades Warner Bros have been producing animated movies, that remained true as seen in movies like Superman: Doomsday, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, pushing the boundaries of the genre years before the novelty of R-rated superhero movies were the standard.

However, their latest adaptation DC League of Super-Pets is among the weakest entries in the deck. Loosely based on the comic series Legion of Super-Pets, it centres on Krypto (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), Superman’s pet dog and a band of super-powered rescue animals, among them: a mixed-breed Chihuahua (voiced by Kevin Hart) and a super-speed tortoise (voiced by Natasha Lyonne).

For those unfamiliar with DC Comics lore, Krypto was baby Kal-El’s companion aboard the ship that was transported to Earth. Krypto possess the same abilities as the Man of Steel and despite originally being only a minor player in the comics, the character over time gained strong positive reactions to the point it has been officially canonised as part of the larger Superman universe.

The adaptation does not stray too far from Krypto’s origin story in the comics – with Krypto sneaking into Superman’s crystal ship and growing up with him on Earth. They both become trusted saviours of Metropolis, carrying out various missions together.

There are multiple narrative threads at play within the movie. Krypto’s position as Superman’s closest friend is threatened when Lois Lane enters the picture. Kate McKinnon voices Lulu, an evil guinea pig who has cracked the code of harnessing the power of Kryptonite, giving herself superpowers and the ability to incapacitate Superman. Krypto teams up with other animals to rescue the city from the threat of annihilation.

The plot neatly ties up all these loose ends towards the end, and any sustained interest at this point unfortunately would be lost at the predictability of events. Dwanye Johnson brings a monotonous reading to Krypto, and John Krasinski’s Superman has none of the charms or wit that the character is known for.

The few inspired choices were Keanu Reeves as the Caped Crusader, and Kate McKinnon’s larger than life Lulu that made for some amusing moments within the movie. The animation is entirely dry, bringing none of the vicissitude the genre has seen in recent years with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

This movie seemed more suited to Sunday morning television programming for children instead of a worldwide theatrical release.

source – The Vibes


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