Friday, November 28, 2014

On DVD: Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006)

2006 was not a good year for Superman.

The live-action "Superman Returns", meant to be a retelling of "Superman 2", wasn't exactly big box office. Making matters worse, Warner Bros.' animation division released a DTV that was even worse.

"Superman: Brainiac Attacks" has one thing going for it, and that's the return of Tim Daly as the voice of Superman, with Dana Delany as Lois Lane. After 6 years away, Daly can still pull off the dual role of Superman & Clark Kent. Unfortunately, casting the villains was hit or miss.

Powers Boothe was called in to play Lex Luthor, as apparently, Clancy Brown was either unavailable (SpongeBob SquarePants might have something to do with it), or wasn't asked back after yeoman's work for nearly a decade as Luthor. The end result? Well, Boothe paid more attention to Kevin Spacey's attempted homage to Gene Hackman in "Returns", and went a little over the top. Lex's sexy sidekick, Mercy Graves, ends up going 1-on-1 with.........Jimmy Olsen, who has a crush on her. Granted, Mercy (Tara Strong, replacing Lisa Edelstein) tells Jimmy she finds him cute, but that may have been just a ploy, nothing more. Meanwhile, Jimmy finds that a Daily Planet food critic has the hots for him, and that's a running joke for much of the 76 minute movie.

The plot, such as it is: Brainiac returns to Metropolis, his ship disguised as a runaway meteor, which happens to crash into LexLabs. Brainiac (Lance Henriksen, ex-Millennium) steals the data from the computers, then hijacks a multi-million dollar satellite that Lex just sent into space, and uses it against Superman. Somewhere along the way, Lois is taken ill, thanks to something injected into her bloodstream, and Superman must travel to the Phantom Zone to find a cure.

Here's the trailer:




Complicating matters is Supes contemplating disclosing his dual ID to Lois, but we don't quite get there. I think if they'd continued to animated series, they'd have gotten to that point eventually. Bruce Timm's designs still work, but Timm had nothing to do with the movie, which is a shame, because he would've made more sense out of this. Too many subplots spoil the party.

Rating: C.

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