Superman Returns


Yes, I’m still thinking about Superman.

The flying, the nick of time rescues, the slow motion bullets: it all replays constantly through my mind. I think I’m in love.

Superman’s different. Aside from his obviously greater powers, he’s more truthful, honest, open — even his disguise shows little intent to deceive — not like the other superheros. No leather costume for him. No ‘witty’ quips after an action sequence. His face is there for everyone to see. It’s this straightforwardness that I find fascinating about Superman.

Brandon Routh did well. His Superman was what I was hoping for but his Clark Kent was missing something. I know the film isn’t called Clark Kent Returns but I would have liked to see more Clark. The second half of the film was all Superman. Christopher Reeves was excellent as the nervous reporter, as was Dean Cain. It might have been that Clark needed more screen time.

It might have been Lois. Sure Kate Bosworth is hot; but she lacks bite. She’s no Teri Hatcher. This Lois and Clark looked plain together and Kate’s soft performance should take some of them blame. Aside from the couple of times she asks Perry White to let her investigate the blackout, she showed no journalistic hunger. She didn’t give Clark a chance to be intimidated.

This movie does lack the depth some were hoping for but some were looking for too much. Still, more could have been added to the Clark and Lois relationship, and the Superman and Lex plot lacked a final confrontation. Not being a soap opera I wasn’t expecting these sort of things. I found the ending satisfying but reflecting on it now, Lex had a lot of time gloating about is evil plan and ruminating on his hatred for Superman but did not have a decent resolution. His plan was going fine until all of a sudden his island was destroyed and he was stranded. It would have been nice for him and Superman to get another conversation.

Oh I can’t keep the criticisms up. All I can see is Superman catching planes.

Jimmy was great. I was worried he might get sidelined with all the action and plots but he got a few good scenes. His role at the Daily Planet has grown since Clark left and appears to be their primary photographer. He’s got more presence of mind and authority than the first film but is still young and enthusiastic.

I feel sorry for Richard. He’s such a nice guy — brave, good-looking, a pilot — but it would be hard to compete with Superman — fearless, bulging muscles, dashing red underpants. He must be a tad insecure, especially with Lois and Superman’s history, but he did get to be a hero and that I liked. I like a world where everyone can be super.

I see Superman taking a shortcut through a building.

Kevin Spacey played a vicious Lex. His plan was just crazy enough to work and he had a better class of henchmen than the first film. When his chick showed concerns for Superman and the billions who would die, I was worried that she was going to save Superman from the Kryptonite again, but fortunately no. There’s more than just this that is similar to the first film. Lex wants to make his money through real estate and killing people; many lines are copied from the first film — the director Brian Singer is a bit too keen on copying / paying homage to the first film and not making his own. But I can’t blame him for that. If I made a movie, it’d probably end up being a recreation of The Matrix.

I liked the music and Superman’s theme; I like Marlon Brando’s voice over although it was repeated frequently; I like the destruction of the model village as a recreation of the end of Superman 1; I like Superman’s boots.

I see him saving people.

And the flying.

I wish I could fly.

I hope this hasn't put you off of flying. Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel. — Superman

4 Responses to “Superman Returns”

  1. Dean Cain was “excellent” as Clark? Really? I’m in the pro-Teri Hatcher camp but I was never sure about Cain. I don’t recall him acting even vaguely nerdy or awkward.

    I was very disappointed by the end of the film, with no proper dialogue between Supes and Lex. I didn’t like the ‘female assistant getting cold feet’ plotline the first time round so the encore was less than charming. I did like Kitty when she was distracting Superman earlier though.

  2. I agree with Tom. Having watched the Lois and Clark pilot last week, it’s obvious that Cain’s Clark Kent is in no way bumbling or nervous. He’s flirting and using lines on Lois the moment he arrives in Metropolis. Fricking Sleaze. Which isn’t neccessarily bad, of course. Just isn’t very traditional. Not that I’m a purist.

    I actually loved what I saw of Routh’s Kent – but like you wanted more screen time with him. Or at least him doing something.

  3. I also liked Routh’s Kent. But the film was very much focussed on Superman. What? They’re the same person? Poppycock.

    Your review captures the central dilemma of the film for me, Andy. There are several niggles I had, and yet the film had a lovely vibe to it. I’m torn. Can no one make an unequivocally good superhero film?

  4. My memory of Dean Cain is cloudy. I haven’t seen Lois & Clark since it went off the air so I’m probably wrong. In Lois & Clark, Lois & Clark hang around investigating stuff which is what I wanted to see in this film but as Lois is resentful towards Clark / Superman, they didn’t get to do that.

    I felt the enthusiastic vibe was far stronger than the problems of the film and is my favourite of the recent comic book films.