But the more you love the world of superheroes, the more you will appreciate seeing Superman toss his pet dog, Krypto, a squeaky toy shaped like Batman. And you will appreciate it even more when my new favorite Batman, voiced by Keanu Reeves, comments darkly (of course), “I hope that toy is licensed.” It may take a second viewing to catch some of the smallest details, like Krypton’s red sun and the reference to needing someone to say his name backwards. Be sure to stay all the way to the very end of the credits for one more DC Comics in-joke featuring the man behind the voice of Krypto, Dwayne Johnson.
Krypto and Superman (John Krasinski) have been best friends since Kryptonians Jor-El and Lara tucked tiny Kal-El into a rocket ship as their planet was exploding and puppy Krypto jumped in at the last minute to keep the future Clark Kent/Superboy company. In present day they work as a team to keep everyone safe from bad guys, both those from Earth and those from other planets. Krypto loves being Superman’s best friend even more than he likes saving the world. That is until Superman starts spending a lot of time with his girlfriend, intrepid reporter Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde). And then a very powerful supervillain uses green Kryptonite to take away Superman’s powers and holds him and the rest of the Justice League captive.
I’ve often said superhero movies should be judged on their bad guys, and the one in this story is a lulu. Literally. But let’s back up a little bit. Superman is worried about neglecting Krypto as he prepares to propose to Lois, so he takes him to an animal shelter to see if he can find a friend. This is a challenge as Krypto does not really know how to talk to non-super animals (parents will appreciate the Steve Buscemi “fellow kids” joke).
The shelter has quite an assortment: PB, a sweet pig (Vanessa Bayer), Merton, an amorous but near-sighted turtle (Natasha Lyonne), Chip, a high-strung squirrel (Diego Luna), Ace, a cranky dog (Kevin Hart), and … Lulu, a hairless guinea pig (Kate McKinnon) who was once a lab test animal for none other than billionaire bad guy Lex Luthor (Marc Maron).