Thursday, April 21, 2016
Superman: Doomsday (2007)
Clark Kent supposedly heads off to Afghanistan to act as a foreign correspondent but, in reality, he heads to the Fortress of Solitude to spend some intimate time with Lois Lane as Superman. While Lois admits to Superman that she's not satisfied with the secrecy, as well as her suspicions that he's really Clark, employees of LexCorp working on a drilling operation discover a buried spaceship and accidentally release a powerful and lethal monster known as Doomsday. After killing all of the workers, Doomsday goes on a homicidal rampage across the countryside, attacking and brutally killing everything he comes across, eventually making his way to Metropolis. Upon learning of this, Superman heads to the city and fights Doomsday in a devastating and violent battle that ultimately ends in both warriors seemingly dying. The world, especially Metropolis, mourns the loss of its greatest hero, with a special memorial being erected in the city in his honor, and the people he knew personally, like Lois, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and especially his adopted mother, Martha Kent, find different ways to cope. Crime rates go up in the weeks following his death but things take a surprising turn when Superman seems to rise from the grave just in time to save some kids and Lois from the villain Toyman. Metropolis and the world at large celebrate this sudden but welcome miracle, while Lois gradually becomes suspicious as to whether this really is the man she knew, especially when Clark doesn't return to work at the Daily Planet and he doesn't visit his mother, whom Lois now knows personally. Sure enough, this Superman is revealed to be a clone created by Luthor from a blood sample he retrieved following the battle with Doomsday, while he keeps the real Superman's body preserved in a large tube at LexCorp. That is, until the body disappears very mysteriously. A robot from the Fortress of Solitude retrieved Superman, who was never actually dead but rather whose vital signs became so weak that he merely appeared to be so, and, at the fortress, manages to revive him. Superman begins undergoing rigorous exercises to completely restore his strength, not knowing that his clone has begun rebelling against Luthor and is compelled to protect Metropolis his way: by using terror tactics and making an example of Toyman as to what will happen if the law is not abided by.
The music for the film was composed by Robert J. Kral, an Australian-born composer who's most often worked in television on shows like Angel, Jake 2.0, Duck Dodgers (for which he won an Annie Award), The Dresden Files, and The Inside. DC animation-wise, he's also scored a couple of segments of Batman: Gotham Knight, Green Lantern: First Flight, Superman vs. The Elite, and Batman: Assault on Arkham. He also done a lot of music for Scooby-Doo, although the movie scores he has to his credit are The Hostage and The Haunting in Connecticut. In any case, his score for Superman: Doomsday is a pretty respectable one, with the most memorable piece being the main theme for Superman himself, which is this big, grand piece that goes, "Dun, dun, dun-dun, dun-dun-dun, dun, dun, dun." It's got nothing of the Superman theme that John Williams composed back in the 70's or even the main theme for Superman: The Animated Series, but it's an adequately heroic piece of Supes. The other most memorable pieces of the score are the frantic-sounding, somewhat bombastic themes for Superman's battles with Doomsday and the clone, and the sad, tragic-sounding theme when he seems to die in Lois' arms after killing Doomsday. I can't describe or hum the rest of the music but I do remember it fitting the scenes it accompanied, which is all you can really ask for in a film score.