Superman: Red Son Movie Review Report Card (Making the Grade) | Fanboys Anonymous

Superman: Red Son Movie Review Report Card (Making the Grade)

Posted by Anthony Mango Wednesday, February 26, 2020
The latest in the line of animated DC direct-to-video films is Superman: Red Son. Is it worth the watch, or should it be skipped?

Welcome to the latest edition of Making the Grade—a review format segment here on Fanboys Anonymous where we break down the major components of something and give it a score based on the standard report card lineup: A, B, C, D, and F for a total failure.

HD Superman: Red Son photos screen shots poster

Superman: Red Son
Directed by Sam Liu
Written by J.M. DeMatteis (screenplay), Mark Millar (graphic novel), Dave Johnson (graphic novel), Kilian Plunkett (graphic novel)

STARRING: Jason Isaacs (Superman), Amy Acker (Lois Lane), Deidrich Bader (Lex Luthor), Vanessa Marshall (Wonder Woman), Phil Morris (James Olsen), Paul Williams (Brainiac), Greg Chun (Ambassador Lee), Phil LaMarr (John Stewart), Jim Meskimen (John F. Kennedy), Sasha Roiz (Hal Jordan), William Salyers (Joseph Stalin), Roger Craig Smith (Batman) and Tara Strong (Young Superman)

WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW

STORYTELLING SUBJECTS

STORY: B

I had never read the comic before, so this was all new to me. The concept, in general, is a very good one. Not only is the title a good pun, it's also a nice job of flipping the script of the usual Superman story but holding true to some of the ideals from various incarnations.

Admittedly, I do think it probably works better as a graphic novel than a movie, though. There were parts of this that I felt jumped over details that could have been more interesting to dive deeper in, but only in a medium that would allow for it. Actually, it could work as a multi-episode TV show.

CHARACTERS: C–

Maybe C- is being a little generous. Most characters have no depth to them outside of what is face value and what they bring to the table with what you already know about them.

TONE / ATMOSPHERE: B–

ACTION: Meh, it was okay. There wasn't a single sequence that stands out to me, but they weren't bad.

COMEDY: None of this was funny that I can recall, but it wasn't supposed to be.

ROMANCE: Outside of Lois saying the sex is great with Lex and Diana turning down Superman, there wasn't any romance in this. That's okay. That wasn't the focal point.

DRAMA: On the political drama side of things, that is where this film's strengths are.

TECHNICAL SUBJECTS

ACTING: D

The voice acting for the kids bit in the beginning was cringy. Then, many characters didn't get any better throughout the rest of the film. Yikes. That accent just comes off fake to me and even the Americans felt off. Deidrich Bader as Luthor...I don't know. It's not the worst we've had, but it still was strange.

VISUALS (FX, MAKEUP, COSTUMES, SETS): B

For the most part, the character models were pretty good. JFK looked awful, though.

AUDIO (MUSIC / SOUND): C–

The music was generic enough that I didn't register it. The sound design was okay for my ears.

EXTRA CREDIT NOTES

  • Svetlana Lang? Ha.
  • Oh damn, Superman straight-up murdered Stalin. I didn't see that coming. 
  • Bizarro. Okay.
  • Old Wonder Woman gave me serious Linda Hamilton vibes for some reason.
  • Nice touch with Superman not aging the same as everyone else.
  • We took care of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern...curious where Flash was during all this.
  • Luthor not turning out to be evil is astounding.

FINAL GRADE & ASSESSMENT

GRADE: C– (Pass)

There are far worse entries in these DC animated films, but there are far better ones, too. This is an interesting story that I feel is probably much better in its original form rather than this film. I'd recommend it to people who are big fans of the characters, but not the average person—especially not those who are younger and/or only interested in action, as that's not the target audience. For a one-time viewing, I enjoyed the concept more than I enjoyed the movie itself. I'm glad I watched it, but I don't think I'll ever revisit it.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FILM?
LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
THIS POST WRITTEN BY: ANTHONY MANGO

Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer and show host of Fanboys Anonymous as well as all other A Mango Tree branches including Smark Out Moment. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, media manager and more. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Extended profile here.

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