This is a really interesting animated film that dives into the question of what would happen if Superman had grown up within the Soviet Union, instead of Kansas. This adapts a rather unique story line, one that honestly has a bit more depth than this movie does. That being said, this is actually still quite solid and a very interesting premise to explore. It’s also one that covers a lot of ground, and perhaps could have been extended when it comes to length in order to flesh things out further.
It definitely dives into the concept using an interesting selection of moments and alterations on the many iconic DC heroes. The world is largely the same, but things definitely do adjust and it’s really fascinating to see where everyone ends up. Again, I did have some issues with some topics not being explored further. It’s like a highlight reel of the years, and you don’t get enough context in the opposition of this Superman that works his way to supreme command.
The motivations, and the dilemmas are interesting and you can really get the various perspectives at play here. I just wish certain moments such as the use of the Green Lantern Corp, or what Lex was doing had more of a focus. It’s largely just from the perspective of this Superman, with glimpses at what everyone else is working on. It did have a good balance of action, and politics however. Touching key points in history, and creating a convincing alternate timeline to explore.
The voice work here was generally excellent, Jason Isaacs put together a deep in thought Superman. Lois Lane (Amy Acker) had a strong voice in this one as did the really the creative Lex Luthor (Diedrich Bader). I found the animation work to be generally alright in this one.
It definitely captured the essence of this story in its scenes, and had some really neat visuals when it came to the adjustments of the various characters at play. Still, the backgrounds could have used more depth to them. It seems to carry the lighter style that other DC animated films have had, not really pushing the detail far enough. Still, it looks fine being better than some of the others and the action is very well done. It feels intense, and you also get a good sense of the world as it progresses over time.
Superman: Red Son is a solid take on what’s an absolutely fascinating premise, yet one that could have been taken further. There were so many sudden moments in the narrative that could have used more time to have fleshed them out.
It acts like more of a greatest hits for this concept, instead of spending enough time covering some rather key things that get skipped along. I mean, you get glimpses and it just felt like some aspects could have had a deeper impact if we could have seen them with more depth. I thought it definitely did have some amazing moments to it, with great action and it handled the key DC heroes very well throughout.
Some good lessons, and a neat alternate type of history to explore. It’s really great to see animated efforts like this doing something wildly weird and so different. It’s a good medium for this type of setup and it is an intriguing narrative. I also enjoyed seeing the core values of the characters, and how they might become slightly twisted as events unfold.
Superman: Red Son Review at Home with Standard Viewing