Superman: Brainiac Attacks (2006, animated)
Plot: Brainiac (Lance Henriksen) arrives on Earth attempting to suck all the technology from the planet. But after Superman (Tim Daly) stops him, Lex Luthor (Powers Boothe) aligns himself with Brainiac, building him a stronger body to eliminate the Man of Steel forever.
This is pretty poor for the most part. The music is goofy, the jokes are corny, and Lex Luthor is a complete goofball. Seriously, they made him into a clown. There’s even a scene where he’s at a Luthorcorp Luau party where he’s trying to crack jokes. It comes complete with a ‘is this thing on’ line. Ugh. And after every Luthor line, which are almost all horrendous, his assistant Mercy has to back it up with a lame pithy comeback. The one saving grace of the film is that Brainiac is pretty cool. He’s a good villain, and for what it’s worth, this made me really want to see Brainiac in a live action Superman movie which I’m convinced will just never happened. It’s got some solid action, but there are so many things that prop up throughout the movie that are really annoying. I’m not a big fan of the Jimmy Olsen character and we see way too much of him in this film. At least he’s not wearing his little bow-tie. And one of my biggest Superman pet peeves is the constant mention of ‘Ooooooooooooo, could Clark Kent be Superman? Wait a min…nah, that’s ridiculous.’ I accepted many years ago that Clark Kent can hide himself with just glasses, but when you constantly bring it up, I start to lose that suspension of disbelief. Stop harping on it! There’s a scene where Lois is in the hospital and Perry White and Olsen get a little too dramatic. This isn’t horrible, but it’s pretty much a forgettable movie.
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Barely Passable Entertainment)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Lance Henriksen as Brainiac
-Brainiac is the one saving grace of the movie. He’s a pretty interesting villain. I also like how he refers to Superman as ‘Son of Krypton.’ His understanding of Superman’s past makes Brainiac feel like a more important villain.
Worst Performance: Powers Boothe as Lex Luthor
-Awful. Awful. Awful. Powers Boothe is a cool name, but his voice for Luthor is anything but. He’s almost Tommy Lee Jones/Two-Face Batman Forever level campy. He’s infused with a smorgasbord of terrible dialogue. I just want to forget this ever happened.
Best Line: “How ironic. Brought to your knees by a device intended to drive the likes of me away.” –Brainiac to Superman
-Just a cool villain line and delivered really well.
Worst Line: “Oooo, brain freeze.” –Lex Luthor after Brainiac is frozen by Superman
-Superman and Brainiac fight three times, and I think the first one is the best. You actually see Superman use his powers unlike in Superman Returns. Freeze breath, heat vision, etc. And Brainiac goes crazy as well, controlling missiles and a bunch of other crap. Solid fight.
-So Superman goes into the Phantom Zone through the Fortress of Solitude, but he gets out and conveniently arrives in downtown Metropolis. Huh?
-When Superman is in the Fortress, you see all the cool Superman shit: Crystals, opening portals, talking to Jor-el, yadda, yadda, yadda.
-Did we really need to see Jimmy Olsen go inside a giant Lex-bot? The whole scene is completely unnecessary. Mercy is trying to get Jimmy’s camera which has evidence linking Luthor to Brainiac. And in the end, the camera breaks by accident anyway. What a waste of time.
-I had to dig deep for this one, but Jonathan Kent tells Clark he should get laser surgery and get rid of his glasses. Martha has to remind him he doesn’t actually need the glasses. I think Jonathan Kent is showing some age there…
Bad Ass Moment:
-When Brainiac is finally defeated, there’s a pretty bad ass explosion in the sky.