Granted the short run time doesn’t leave much time to emphasize more of the ins and outs of the graphic novels but it does take the time to dig in to the DCAU and continue the violent xenophobia that left off from the original Justice League and character Amanda Waller. “Public Enemies” though the movie is noticeably short, the crew behind the adaptation are able to balance their story enough to keep it focused on Batman and Superman, two rogues now on the run from the government after being accused of standing in the way of President Lex Luthor and defying all of his authority he’s used as a key in to world domination and deceive his followers in to believing what was nothing but smoke and mirrors that transformed in to an all out manhunt for Batman and Superman.
What makes “Public Enemies” such a great feature is that Andrea Romano and co. comprise the original cast members of the DCAU which allows this new continuity to reconcile itself with the old. From Tim Daly as Superman, to Kevin Conroy as Batman as well as Clancy Brown as Lex respectively. It’s almost like they never lost a beat as the cast provide some truly good and sharp performances; the same kind we saw in the animated series’. The production quality is no exception as the animation is streamlined with a hint of anime paired with Bruce Timm’s classic blocky physiques. Director Sam Liu whose focus on the “On the Lam” dynamic and fist fights are something worth admiring. Leaving room for just a bit social commentary, “Public Enemies” sits in the court of reminding us how deceptive televised media can be in the right hands. This deception leaves the pair to look like criminals and once Lex orders their capture dozens of heroes and villains vie for the opportunity to take down the two.
Character cameos come by the crowds from Solomon Grundy, to Captain Atom, right down to Nightshade, it’s a flipping :Jamboree of individuals good and bad looking to bring the pair down and collect the bounty. “Public Enemies” is not for the young audiences as it uses slightly adult language, but that’s made up for due to the excellent battles that take place between the title characters and mobs of DC’s character roster. “Public Enemies” is another hit for DC and its Direct to DVD animated movies and I’m glad to see Superman and Batman show how they are truly two of Earth’s gladiators in the face of adversity. As for the DVD, the double disc doesn’t leave much for us to peruse through in the way of constructive content. Disc one features five behind the scenes looks at past DCAU features which is pretty underwhelming.
Disc Two is an improvement as we get a nineteen minute look Batman and Superman in “A Test of Minds.” This nugget goes behind the psychology of the duo and how these polar opposites work so well together. “Dinner with DCU,” at thirty minutes, features a round table discussion between creators and producers all of whom discuss the different story arcs with guest Kevin Conroy. There’s also “A First Look at Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths,” an eleven minute peek in to the newest DC animated production, as well, we have “Bruce Timm’s Top Picks” where creator Timm gives us two episodes of the Superman/Batman series for our viewing pleasure. It’s a subtle end to an ace double disc edition. Sure it’s really only a bit over an hour but in the long run director Sam Liu manages to squeeze in enough action and story to make up for it. In the end this is yet another great DC direct to DVD feature with top notch production quality that sets itself apart from its predecessors.