Superman Returns (2006), in my opinion, is one of the most underrated superhero films to come out of the twenty-first century. This film came out ten years ago and has never gotten the respect it deserves. One of the best elements of this film is its heart. This film out of all the films that were released from 2000 to 2010 do not match the amount of heart and soul of this film. Batman Begins (2005) does come close. Not many superhero films deal with adult themes of loss, isolation, and returning to a home and finding their place in the world. Finding yourself is never easy, and Superman goes through the a emotional and physical journey throughout.
A lot of people complain about the lack of action, however, I'll take great drama and characterization over action sequences anyway. True, there are about 3-4 action sequences throughout the film, but they are what I consider A+ sequences. The Air Plane rescue, the Bank robbery, and Saving Metropolis from Lex's earth quake, were well crafted for the time this film came out. This film showed Superman accomplish more than the Christopher Reeve era could have hoped for. Note: I love that era as well.
Furthermore, I believe the film has great cinematography by Thomas Newton Senegal and a majestic musical score by X-Men and Fantastic Four composer John Ottman. Bryan Singer's direction is great. Respectful and epic at the same time.
For all the heart and awesome technical aspects of Superman Returns, it does have flaws. My issues with the film are that the film never quite feels right at home till the Air Force One sequence begins. Maybe beginning with Lex Luthor and not Kal-el was not the best choice. Also, there film's third act with Superman lifting an island into outer space feels odd for a third act conclusion. However, these are minor quibbles.
Overall, Superman Returns is a delightful film. The cast shines, being a spiritual sequel to Superman I & II gives the film a nostalgic feel. In fact, I feel this film has a lot in common with look and tone to the two J.J. Abrams Start Trek movies. Loving reverence towards the past for sure is the big similarity. I've always thought Superman Returns was a film that attempted to be the Dances with Wolves (1990) of Superhero films. Big, bold, and emotionally charged with real human emotions. Superman Returns is an unappreciated film that both plays it safe and takes risks. Much like Superman, the film sores and deserves its place among the clouds.
Bryan Singer has made it no secret that he was going to make this film a sequel of sorts to the first two Superman films which starred Christopher Reeve. Which I though was an interesting idea even though I thought Superman 2 was lame. However, I thought the premise of Superman returning after a long absence was a great idea, unfortunately Singer's heavy reliance on the first two films really crippled this film.
Some minor film details are included in my comments below which may hint at spoilers...
I attended a screening of Superman Returns last night, and even though I'm not the biggest Superman fan, I was REALLY looking forward to seeing this film. I have to admit I had misgivings about the casting of Kate Bosworth and Brandon Routh because there were too young. However Brandon Routh was the BEST Superman yet and Kate Bosworth really did very well as Lois Lane. Kevin Spacey was GREAT as Lex Luthor, especially when he and Routh (briefly) shared the screen. However Parker Posey was wasted in a dull cliché.
The opening credit sequence was amazing. Hearing the original Superman theme gave me chills. The next 45 minutes of the film were awesome. Lex's reintroduction demonstrates at his ruthlessness even on a smaller scale. Clark Kent/Superman's return home was thoughtful and well done, as was the reintroduction to the crew at the Daily Planet.
However, because Singer assumes that we all saw the first two films he apparently does not feel the need to develop any of the characters outside of Superman and Lois. Lex Luthor's character is just a caricature of a mustache twirling villain, and even though Spacey does this very well, it's hard to take him seriously as a threat. His "evil" plan is nothing more than a rehash of Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor the 1978 film except using crystals instead of nukes. There is NO REAL logic behind his motives at all if you think about it. More importantly you just don't care if he succeeds or not. Lex Luthor's character is only validated in the very brief face to face confrontation with Superman at the end.
Let me say that Lex/Superman confrontation at the end is one of the BEST scenes in the whole film and further proof of wasted potential. Lex Luthor shows how truly evil he can be, and again Spacey does an amazing job here. The on screen presence of Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey together was SO good. Routh could really hold his own next to Spacey. Too bad Singer couldn't have found a way to elaborate on this scene or do something more interesting with the characters than just having Luther (figuratively) twirl his mustache and have Superman pine over Lois Lane the whole film.
Overall, this film is bound in a weak story with plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. The story relies too heavily on the Superman/Lois Lane love story so much so that the rest of the film, and the other characters, just feel like an after thought.
"Superman Returns" is a competent movie, generally very well produced, directed and cast. But it didn't quite gel for me. I thought it dragged at points, as Superman got bogged down with pining over Lois Lane instead of saving the day. Alas, I thought the dialogue just wasn't sharp enough to sustain these heavy-handed emotional scenes; what sort of catchphrase is "I'm always around," anyway?
Here's what I did enjoy. The flight scenes were beautiful; Superman cut a very majestic figure as he soared across skylines and starscapes. The set design was great, too, creating a modern feel with hints of the Art Deco style I associate with Superman. And I appreciated the performances of Spacey, Bosworth and Langella. Routh had a curiously small role, especially as Clark Kent, so I had trouble judging whether he was wooden or actually good at playing a modest hero.
Here's what I enjoyed less. Luthor's plan simply didn't interest me. I found the whole notion of growing a giant crystal island very surreal and not too threatening. Also, he poses a fairly boring threat to Superman. If Luthor's got Kryponite, Superman is helpless; if he hasn't got Kryponite, he's helpless. These two legendary antagonists can never really meet on equal terms. Thus, most confrontations between them must inevitably be one-sided. (Read: boring.)
I also had a mixed reaction to the CGI effects. Some were wonderful, and others looked artificial despite being very detailed. The soundtrack was great, of course, with the classic John Williams theme wisely reused - though maybe they trotted it out once too often?
The conflict involving Lois Lane's family life was pretty good, though I felt that the revelations about her son, which I'll avoid spoiling here, undermined much of the potential tension and drama in the story. I'm very glad, though, that Lois' boyfriend was depicted as a smart, handsome and capable guy instead of some dumb and unworthy "straw man" rival to Superman.
I noticed that Roger Ebert's two-star review of "Superman Returns" is already taking a lot of criticism on this site. Though I think he was perhaps a tad too harsh, I have to say that I agree with many of his criticisms. His headline for the review, "Atlas Yawned," provoked a sympathetic laugh from me. I guess I can only hope for a sequel with more action, more oomph, more...Super-heroism?
After languishing in the disappointment that was Brett Ratner's X3, I made it a point to walk into Superman Returns with low expectations. They should have been lower. It isn't that the film is outright terrible (though it has many glaring flaws); rather, I had unknowingly outgrown the Superman myth. And considering that Bryan Singer offers nothing original to the new installment, I think America will find its timeless icon a little dated.
First, there is the castingthe most important part of any film attempting to match an original that has become so iconic, its actors have replaced the comic book characters in America's collective conscience. Newcomer Brandon Routh most definitely looks the part (besides being too young), but has half the screen presence of Christopher Reeve. Although Superman isn't known for his emotional instability, it seems that Singer played it safe by limiting Routh's range to avoid having the new Superman give a poor performance. Instead, we are left with almost no performance.
Kate Bosworth is equally as bland as Lois Lane (and again, too young for the role). And with her lifeless brown hair that left me aching for her typical screen blond, she isn't even much to look at. Kevin Spacey's performance as Lex Luther also left something to be desiredthough I'm not sure exactly what. He's hardly the lovable Lex that Gene Hackman played. The rest of the cast was decent, with the exception of Frank Langella. His dull portrayal of Perry White made me wish they had grabbed J. K. Simmons straight out of Spiderman to talk about his barber.
Though suspension of disbelief is required for nearly every comic book film, the plot of Returns is so illogically strung together I had trouble letting go. At first my mind started asking questions that shouldn't be asked of Superman. What did Superman eat while he flew around the universe looking for Krypton? Does Superman need to eat? How does he breathe in space (which, to be fair, is a question that applies to the original films as well)? Once Lex Luther's plan emerged, however, I moved past the (unfair) premise questions and asked some legitimate questions. Without spoiling the plot, I'll just say that there are ways for Lex to hatch his plan for world domination without killing billions people. I didn't buy into the "necessary sacrifice."
On the upside, Singer's direction is glossy and competent. The score works well thanks to a liberal sprinkling of John Williams' original theme song, the special effects are, of course, impressive, and the action sequences especially stand out. Overriding the tension generated by well-staged and edited action, however, is a lack of any real sense of peril. And surprisingly, the pace is rather slow throughoutwhich is only made tolerable by some scattered comic relief.
Singer takes an unexpected turn toward the end of the film when he emphasizes the parallels between Superman and Jesus to the point where the audience wonders if Returns is simply another allegory in the vein of The Chronicles of Narnia. While the comparison is interesting, one can only wonder how far it can be stretched considering the Superman in this rehash stands for truth, justice, and irresponsible romances (reflecting the plot's only surprise).
The bottom line for any resurrection of a classic film or series is there better be a damn good reason. In the case of Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan ripped the decaying body of Batman from the grave, and gave him the breath of life. Batman became complex, raw, and 100% real. Although Superman is an entirely different beastone who is too busy saving people to reflect on his lack of flawstoday's audiences expect their superheroes to be tad more human. Unfortunately for Returns, in an overexerted effort to pay tribute to Richard Donner, a super-cautious Singer reanimates Superman like a puppeteer; but fails to give him life.
Having looked forward to this film for many years, I naturally went in with high expectations. And they were most certainly met. From the casting of Brandon Routh (who I actually find slightly better than Christopher Reeve because of the emotional complexity and sense of mystery Routh brings to the character) to Kate Bosworth (who i think is the BEST actress to have portrayed Lois Lane) to Kevin Spacey (different interpretation than previous Lex's but still very good), all of the actors have played their respective roles well.
As for the story, many have questioned its originality. The plot elements were similar to Superman: the Movie because Singer needed to establish the connection of this franchise with the original movie due to the many different interpretations and versions of the character over the years. Plus, a different, more serious take on Perry White, and the idea of superman's disappearance and Lois having had a child with another man were all aspects of originality to the film. Like I said before, Routh seems to have taken a more serious approach to the Superman character than Reeve but still maintains many qualities of Reeve's performance.
And the special effects...well...enough said if you've seen the film :) Overall, this may be the best of the "Superman" series, and, if not, it is definitely on par with Richard Donner's original classic.
P.S. Don't listen to the haters :) Watch the film with an open mind and judge for yourself.
I was finally able to screen the newest adventure from Warner Bros. and DC Comics Films, "Superman Returns," starring relative unknown Brandon Routh in the role the late Christopher Reeve rode to stardom upon.
Now, some 28 years after Richard Donner's classic "Superman" hit the big screen, director Bryan Singer ("X-Men," "X-Men 2"), with a trillion dollar budget, tries his hand at helming the ultimate graphic novel adventure.
Sadly, Singer is no Donner.
While wonderful to look at, and sometimes interesting to ponder, this newest version of the saga of the Man of Steel leaves one with an impressive vapidity; a passive disinterest and an emotional detachment which overwhelms one with a cold, empty feeling.
In an effort to do what last year's "Batman Begins" did to the Caped Crusader franchise bring a new dark, brooding vitality to the series, "Superman Returns" succeeds only in making one wish for the deft hand of Donner, as well as the acting ability of Reeves, Margot Kidder (as Lois Lane), Ned Beatty (as a stupidly evil henchman, Otis) and especially Gene Hackman (as the best Lex Luthor ever).
The plot takes place supposedly five years after the action in Superman II (from 1981), when scientists discovered proof of such a world, Superman journeyed there (evidently without telling anyone of his plans) to find if it was possibly a living planet. It wasn't so now he's back but things have changed in his absence.
Mainly, that his love interest, Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth, "Win A Date With Tad Hamilton"), is involved with the nephew of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, Richard (James Marsden, who played Scott Summer/Cyclops in the "X-Men" films) and they now have a young son about five-years-old.
He won't let go, however, even flying to her mansion to spy on and stalk her in a very unSuperman-like scene.
Despite that last heartbreak, it's Lane's famous "Daily Planet" editorial, "Why The World Doesn't Need Superman," for which she will collect a Pulitzer Prize (huh?), that really stings Clark/Man of Steel.
That's one of the first problems I had with this version. In the first two films (nothing matters after part two), Superman saved Lane's life at least four times (from a helicopter plummeting of a skyscraper; from being buried alive in the desert; from a plunging elevator in the Eiffel Tower; and from going over the cliff at Niagara Falls. After all of that, she writes an article saying no one NEEDS him anymore?!
Then, in a nice bit of CGI work, the powerful hero rescues her again (from a plane plunging to earth), stopping the craft from crashing nose-first on the infield of a Major League baseball stadium. It's truly an awesome scene.
Meanwhile, in the frozen North, evil madman Luthor (Kevin Spacey, Academy Award winner for "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty") is out of prison and raiding Superman's Fortress of Solitude, making off which his collection of priceless crystals.
Routh is handsome all right, and looking close enough to Reeve (except his eyes are CGI'd blue from their natural brown) to keep us comfortable (his voice, though, is creepily similar to the late actor); so I have no real problem with him in the lead role.
Likewise, Sam Huntington as bumbling photographer Jimmy Olson, was adequately goofy in comic relief; while Frank Langella (as blustery Perry White) is good in just about any role he plays (see "Dracula" and "Dave" for proof of this).
The inclusion of Jack Larson (the original Jimmy Olson in the 1950s series), and Noel Neill (who played one of the Lois Lanes in that show) in cameo roles as a bartender and a rich, dying widow, respectively, was also a nice touch.
The other parts, however, do concern me. Bosworth is just too spineless and ineffective to be a hard-nosed reporter for a major newspaper, as well as the only real confidant our hero has in his life. To me, the spunky Parker Posey (who portrays Kitty Kowalski, Luthor's gun moll) would have made a much better Lois.
As for Spacey as Luthor, well, to me, he just is not evil enough. Gene Hackman had a deliciously devious demeanor, coupled with a madman's desire to rule the world with basically realistic plans to do so. Spacey seems more of an annoyance than a real threat.
Another crime this movie commits, is that it goes on and on at least 20 minutes after it should have concluded.
Now there will be fans out there who will no doubt blast me for this opinion, claiming how I dare I compare the 1978 and '81 films to this one.
To those detractors, I simply say that this new picture invites comparisons, utilizing the same opening credits, the same theme song, archival footage of Marlon Brando (as Jor-El, speaking dialogue from the original film), even the same scene where Superman flies Lois around New York (the only thing missing is Kidder's corny voice-over).
...This would be the worst film i'd ever seen. Hmmm, OK maybe tied with Boogeyman then. Awful, truly awful.
I had low expectations and it failed to meet them! I honestly cant think of one good thing. so here are the worst points...
1. THE ACTING 2. THE PLOT 3. THE CGI (Xbox 360 has better graphics....seriously) 4. THE PLOT 5. THE DIALOGUE and finally.... 6. THE PLOT
There are so many unanswered questions, Did they make a 2:32 hour long movie then realize they hadn't put Lex Luthor and Superman in a scene together and were forced to settle for the 3 minute bit or did they actually think no-one would notice that the main hero and villain have less screen time together than Superman's son and the henchman he kills?!!
Was half the budget spent on persuading Kevin Spacey to do it?
When Superman goes to hospital, why don't the doctors ask "What the F*** do you want us to do?! He's a F***ing alien! We don't know jack about his anatomy!"?
What happened in the 5 years Superman was away to cause technology to advance 28 years?
Where the people who wrote good reviews watching the same movie?
and finally, Why? Just, Why?
BTW, for those of you wondering how come Superman could lift an entire continent of krypyonite, i think i've figured it out...
...since superman is unaffected by the kryptonite till he sees something green in the rocks, it is clearly all in his head. therefore the continent thing is just him suppressing his fear of shiny green rock....
either that or the writers are slack-jawed half-wits who didn't think that was a fairly obvious mistake.
Superman Returns is basically the 3rd in the series since it picks up from where Superman II left and it completely erases Superman III and Superman IV: Quest For Peace but it's the fifth film in the series and it's directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2: United, X-Men: Days Of Future Past) and starring Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel. Is this film as bad as everyone says? No! is it the best Superman film in the saga? No! The 1978 film and Man of Steel remain the best for me and i think as a film is good for what it is sure it has some things that don't make sense and the acting isn't all that perfect but as a movie as a Superman movie is pretty good it has good effects and a great Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor who is as good as Gene Hackman was in the first 2 films. Superman Returns might not be perfect or even awesome as the first film was but is definitely better than that 6.1 that IMDb gave it.
First, let me just comment on what I liked about the movie. The special effects were fantastic, and very rarely did I feel like I was watching a video game. There, that is the last nice thing I have to say about this film. In fact, I would just like everyone reading this to take note that I can't even put into words how hard it was for me to write this review without swearing.
I have innumerable complaints about the film, but four major complaints jump to mind. My first major complaint has to do with the incredible cheesiness of the "plot twist" (if you can call it that since most people probably saw it coming a mile away) where Lois's 5 year-old son turns out to be the super-powered child of Superman. When the crying super-child throws a piano at Lex's henchman to save his mother, I almost got up and left the theater. Singer could have made a much better Superman movie without resorting to cheap gimmicks like a seemingly fragile but latently super-powered illegitimate child. It's been 5 days since I saw the movie and I still want to vomit.
My next major complaint has to do with the fact that Superman lifts a continent made out of kryptonite up into outer space. It doesn't take comic book guy from the Simpsons to point out what's wrong with that. I don't know how many comic books Brian Singer has read, but when Superman is exposed to even a small amount of kryptonite he barely has the strength to stay on his feet. Whoever had the idea to have him fly a large island made out of his greatest weakness into space has no business being associated with any Superman-related projects ever again. The concept is as ridiculous as making a Dracula movie where the title character has a stake through his heart and still manages to fly a spaceship made out of garlic into the sun. Why not just have Superman eat kryptonite? He can eat it and then brush his teeth with it, and then go to sleep in kryptonite pajamas. That's not any more absurd then having him hoist a continent of kryptonite into space and then fall powerless through the atmosphere without burning up in re-entry or splattering all over central park when he hits the ground.
My third major complaint has to do with the fact that Singer slaps movie-goers across the face with religious symbolism the entire movie. I have to take issue with his characterization of Superman as the only son of a God-like Jor-el sent to Earth to be a savior. Jor-el wasn't all-wise, he was just a scientist. And he didn't send his son to earth to be a savior, he threw him in a rocket and hurriedly fired it into space because his planet was about to explode. I'll buy the Christ allegory if Brian Singer can show me the part in the Bible where God sends Christ to Earth because Heaven was about to explode, and then radioactive pieces of Heaven become Christ's primary weakness. Furthermore, the "crucifixion" scene where Luthor stabs Superman in the side with a kryptonite "spear" just makes me want to slam my face into a brick until I'm too brain-dead to notice the brazenly obvious and inappropriate symbolism that will be tainting the man of steel for the foreseeable future. They might as well rename this movie "Superman Returns: the Passion of the Christ."
And speaking of Luthor, my last major complaint has to do with Singer's depiction of Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor is a shrewd, cold-hearted business tycoon who is more apt to run for President (which he does in the comics) than try to destroy the world. The man wants money and power; he wants to be in charge, not wreck everything. Yet the Luthor we see Superman Returns, as well as all the previous Superman movies, is a wacky theatrical dunce who comes up with zany schemes to destroy the world. If Singer had the slightest loyalty to the characters instead of the (quite awful) previous Superman movies, this film might not be such an unbearable travesty. Maybe Singer's next project can be a Batman movie where he focuses on the interpretation of Batman from 1960s TV show. ZAM! WHAP! POW!!
To summarize, I don't know what I hate more, the movie itself or the fact that so many people seem to be giving it good reviews. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you don't hate this movie then your opinion is wrong. I sincerely encourage anyone who reads this not to see this movie if you haven't already. Don't see it, don't buy it when it comes out on DVD, don't rent it...basically don't contribute any money towards it in any way. This movie does not deserve to make any money. In fact, I think that for every person that sees this movie, Bryan Singer should be fined 45 billion dollars. If you're a Superman fan and you really want to see this movie, just bend over and have someone kick you in the balls and you'll get the same experience without having to waste 2 hours of your time.
******* Contains spoilers. Please skip if you have not seen the movie, or more importantly, liked it********** So, let me see if I understandwhat this movie taught me:
1. Superman was in space for five years to find out if Krypton, or at least parts of it, still existed. I'm guessing this, of course, because at no point in the movie was that ever extrapolated on. You know, we're just kinda/sorta supposed to know because he did the same thing in the comics. Don't you read the comics? No? Anyway, back story is for sissies.
2. This is supposed to be the actual sequel to the original Superman, not any of the others. No, really. Honest. So what if feckless mannequins like Brandon Routh have none of the warmth and charm of Christopher Reeve? (In fairness, three and four *should* be utterly forgotten.)
3. Speaking of sequels, isn't it great that the "writers" took it upon themselves to redo the same catchphrases and mannerisms of the original characters? Why, that wasn't lazy at all. Seriously, God knows how many script doctors and producers and marketing kids mutated this thing. It took 33 uncredited writers to come up with the Flintstones movie. The Flintstones!
4. Big deal if the merchandising whiz kids at AOL Time Warner made the red in Superman's costume some kind of bizarre burgundy. (Don't *you* salute the Burgundy, White and Blue on the flag? I know I do.)
5. Starting the series from scratch would be terrible idea. So what if Batman Begins was both a success both critically praised and financially? That doesn't prove relaunching a series actually works. It's this kind of thinking that helped the kids at AOL Time Warner (I refuse to let them off the hook by disavowing AOL's stench) lose almost a billion dollars a few years ago. It takes guys who are waaaaaay smarter than me to lose that amount of money. I could never do it, and I'm pretty ambitious when it comes to blowing cash.
6. That Marlon Brando is quite an actor.
7. Lois Lane: Pulitzer Prize winner, devoted mother, yet not allowed to stay up past ten o'clock on school nights. Casting 23-year old Cate Blanchett was a stroke of genius. I figure Lois must have won have won her Pulitzer when she was, what, fifteen? Say what you want about Margot Kidder's descent into utter goofiness, at least she made a believable world-weary reporter, not a little girl playing dress-up.
8. Speaking of Lois' kid, isn't it great that she and Superman had Super Rugrat? I assume he and Lois had sex again sometime after that whole Fortress of Solitude escapade. Remember, Clark's superkiss at the end of number two erased her memory. Otherwise Lois would just get preggers without any prior knowledge of how it happened. Which really ought to be a good reason not to kiss the guy, otherwise you'll forget where you parked your car. Or maybe she was seeing James Marsden at the exact same time and figured the baby was his. Wait -- does this mean she was cheating on Superman?
9. Anyway, back to Super Illegitimate Kid, who manages to kill a guy with a piano. True, the guy was a creep who had it coming, but shouldn't any child of The Man of Steel be taught that killing is very, very bad and deserves a time out?
10. Let's hear it for Supes being a paragon of virtue. Was that Clark and Jimmy drinking at a bar during work hours? It's also nice old Super Jealous found time in his busy schedule to illegally spy on Lois's home life with his X-ray vision. Just another example of the Patriot Act in action. And who's more patriotic than Mr. Burgundy, White and Blue?
11. Nice to see Lois has all the fealty of Olive Oyl. Sure, she's got a nice guy waiting for her at home, but Superman can still literally sweep her off her feet and float over the city in a loving embrace. Gee, I sure wish they did that in the 1978 version. Wait they did?
12. Then there's Lex Luthor, with his wacky pals he met in prison. What do you want to bet he has tattoos on his body like Robert DeNiro's in Cape Fear? For five years this genius had time to plot revenge on Superman and come up with a diabolical plan for world domination, and the best he can come up with is the same real estate scheme back in 1978? (Whoops, I mean 2001. Whatever.) This guy should be selling time shares in Florida. I wish Lex gave the 'people will pay through the nose for land' speech in the 1978 version. Wait really?? What a coincidence!
13. Lois still has a brain the size of a chick pea and stows away aboard Lex's yacht. Exactly the sort of thing an intrepid Pulitzer Prize-winning teenager would do. Luckily Lex trumps her stupidity by deciding to kidnap her and Super Ankle Biter instead of doing the logical thing and call the police for trespassing. Oh well, logic is also for sissies.
14. The last scene of Superman flying around the world was a nice touch. Golly, I sure wish they did that in the 1978 version. Wait, really? Aw, come on!
I suppose I could add more, but I'm getting an ulcer just regurgitating this offal. This isn't meant to change anyone's mind. If you loved the movie, no amount of pointing out the HUGE flaws will make a difference. But hey, a movie like this involves turning your brain off. And off and off and off.
I became curious enough to re-watch this movie after seeing Brandon Routh's performance as Ray Palmer/A.T.O.M. in Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.
I feel that it is a highly underrated film and gets an unnecessary bad rap. Brandon Routh's portrayal of Clark Kent/Superman, I feel, is second only to Christopher Reeves, whom he does a great job of capturing.
The action scenes are top-notch and fun to watch. It even has one of the most brutal fight scenes in any Superman movie which could be a bit hard to watch. Yes, even more than the Zack Snyder movies.
This movie is far from perfect, but it is a lot better than what it's given credit for. I do recommend checking it out.
I saw the original "Superman: The Movie" when it was released in theaters. It was an epic event. It would be unfair to expect the same from "Superman Returns" but the filmmakers are inviting comparisons since they rely so much on certain events that occurred in the first two films, even going so far as to reuse some of Tom Mankiewicz's dialog. It's obvious when watching the film that a lot of money and hard work went into making it...with the exception of the screen writing which is where this film falls short. It insists on making several characters dumber than they would appear. Take Richard, concerned about an old article Lois wrote called "I spent the night with Superman". Richard boy, she has a kid. She obviously spent the night with SOMEONE before she met you. If you really stop and consider it, every character in the film is basically commanded by the script to do something kind of dumb in order to advance the unimaginative story.
Perry White assigns Clark Kent the task of looking into a mysterious blackout. At no time in the film is it remotely hinted that he has been doing anything of the sort (or anything at all, when you think about it), whereas Lois in defiance of White is seen in several scenes looking into it, and it becomes a major plot point. Meanwhile Kent (Superman, mind you) is doping around the office.
The powers of Superman are well known. And writers can have a lot of fun being resourceful with them. But not in this film. Everything Superman does is predictable. By comparison think back on the way Superman saved California after the bomb struck. Things like having the train run across his back in part 1 or freezing the lake with his breath then dropping it on an out-of-control fire in part 3 are what I'm talking about.
The music wisely incorporates John Williams classic score, but a lot of cues are overused, especially "Can You Read My Mind?" which has little place in this film considering the tepid relationship between Superman and Lois. It could have been used to great effect just once, when she visits an unconscious Superman in the hospital, where everything she feels for him comes to the surface. Instead, we're hit over the head with it practically every time they run into each other.
I thought Luthor's plot had interesting promise. But I find it puzzling that after his test run in the Atlantic Ocean Metropolis is basically now literally standing on shaky ground, and the skyscrapers all have questionable structural integrity after the shock-wave ran through them, shaking the foundations to the point that all the windows shattered in every building and even the Daily Planet's iconic sculpture topples from atop the building.
Director Singer certainly subscribes to Richard Donner's "verisimilitude" approach to the first film, the lack of which is what killed the series in the 80s. I like Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. You could recast everyone else for all I care. Kate Bosworth is a walking pot of boiling water. Feisty and headstrong are one thing, but i think they pushed that too far in this film. Why in hell is Richard or Clark/Superman attracted to her?
I've noticed a lot of people, hungry for this film to come out, are satisfied with the product. If this review has a low "helpful" score it's because they are blindly supporting the film. This review was written for anyone who knows how to discern between quality and quantity, particularly when it comes to film. I so very much wanted to love this film. Hollywood studios have a way of systematically destroying every decent franchise they get their hands on. In spite of my relative disappointment of the movie, it's far from being horrible. It's just not great...like it should have been.
This movie was extremely poorly conceived from every angle except technological. I stood and watched everyone waddle out of the theater, their faces drained like their lives flashed before their eyes -- eyes wandering at their neighbor, wondering if it was just them. I mean, how could the movie really be bad. Nobody'll admit it, it's a classic case of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. "Who am I to question a movie containing a guy who stops a jet liner?" But the fact remains, every member of the audience is thinking what I'm writing right now. I actually plagiarized their faces.
Obviously Lois is only aroused by power, she won't even have a cup of coffee with the Superman With Glasses who doesn't stop jet liners. It can't be the look in "his" eyes to the depths of his soul or anything like that. In the old Supermans, she had some level of connection with him, he wasn't priority number 1, obviously, but it strengthened her character that she was "torn". I bet Henry Kissinger would have even won this Lois over before Clark Kent.
And now it's official, Kryptonite does to Superman what eating at McDonalds does to the avg. person.
SUPERMAN "ONE" He loses his earth dad, then finds his real super dad, the story is captivating every step of the way. He's human, he relates to people and he feels love for people, he relates to highschool students, he relates to people who feel different. He relates. The Superman Returns superman seems to relate only to Superpeople and it seems he's just "doing a job" when he's saving people.
There's something about Clark that Lois likes, she's really internally in love with him but can't admit it, and when he comes into the picture as Superman, it throws a kink in the on-the-rocks love. Without Superman, she would've fallen in love with Clark (at least that's what the movie points to, whether it was the intention or not). Superman Returns is a love story between a woman and SUPERMAN, Clark is like a pile of horse maneur to Lois. Literally.
SUPERMAN TWO I just watched it again. As a kid, I "thought" I enjoyed the action, but now I know it was the STORY that held me then too, watching it over and over again. If I saw Superman Returns as a child, I would've hated it then too, I think.
There is so much heart and soul and superpower going around in this movie, it's sick. Superman gives up his powers for love as a world plot is going on and meanwhile, MEANWHILE, Lex Luther's got something fantastic up his sleeve.
SUPERMAN THREE Now there's a three-way love story between Superman and Lana and Clark, only humanity wins and Clark's inner nature beats Superman's power, because when his SUPERmoral nature is gone and he's SuperHUMAN (who does human things with his superpowers), she sees it's not the power of Superman that she's in love with, it's not SUPERpowerman, but SUPERMORTALman that she loves -- and who's really SUPER. And when she tells Clark she "prefers" him to Superman, he is elated, he has made a human connection again. He wants to be accepted for who he is, not just for his ability to bend steel. THIS IS THE KIND OF STUFF THAT'S MISSING FROM SUPERMAN RETURNS.
Clark super-sneezes to help the kid get a strike - humanity again. Plus, it's an INERESTING use of superpowers. He's not just using straight brute strength.
He crushes the coal into a diamond for his woman because she had to sell hers, love is the only thing that drives him to use his powers other than for saving.
It seems there's nothing at stake in Superman Returns. Even in Superman Three, we see the damages caused by the nemesis' world domination plot.. we see suffering, we see how it effects Pryor and others and people in the middle of it.. there's no damage, esp. emotional from Lex's plot to sink the US. We see a glob of crystal thrown into space.. Superman had to get very creative in the first three Supermans in order to stop the plot against him, he couldn't just "access" his superpowers. In the first one, he had to stop two missiles going in different directions and then break his universal mandate and erase history to save Lois' life... (this was THIRTY YEARS AGO!!") In the second one, he had to outsmart three guys that he was already more POWERFUL than, but combined with Lex's genius, and the villains' immoral tactics, Superman's overpowering wasn't enough, he had to work one against the other and outsmart them... In Superman III, again, his superpowers weren't enough to win.. He had to outsmart a computer that calculated everything it saw. He couldn't use straight aggression on the computer because it calculated it in advance, so he had to use a benign acid that would only become deadly to the computer after the computer responded to the aggression. And he found that acid earlier when he couldn't simply use his superpowers to BLOW out a fire because it was a chemical fire, so he had to use his superbrains -- he couldn't carry water, so he froze a lake and dropped it on the fire.. Now in Superman Returns, he simply lunges the island into outerspace, like a night temp for UPS. He doesn't need to figure anything out, he just uses his "super strength". And Lex Luther's brilliance was shown at the premeditation level of a junkie who just ran out of junk.
To say nothing of the fact that he threw that island into outerspace after getting stabbed with a KNIFE of kyrptonite right in the bloodstream AND the island itself was dripping kryptonite spores in his face, but he just averted his eyes and nose like it wasn't Grey Poupon he was looking at.
Script? Terrible. No plot. No depth. No meaning. This film rendered Superman as a meaningless hero, a hero with no archetype. In the original film, he represented America in the Cold War. Here, he represented nothing but a Hulk.
Sure, the actors were fine. Kevin Spacey was a fine choice, among others.
This still does not resolve the problem that this film had no depth whatsoever. I cannot see how anyone can come away with anything meaningful from this film, when Superman was, and is, daily created to be a meaningful hero in not only comics but also in people's minds. This was a real waste of money considering how many directions this film could have taken.
Just a few instances: Lex Luthor could have been a villain of global corporatism, political domination, totalitarianism, and on and on and on. He was just another goofball Hackman incarnation.
And Superman? For what did he stand in this film? Nothing but another hack "savior" figure.
Wait until it comes to the dollar theater if you see it at all.
This movie is a very poor attempt to make money using a classical theme. I used to love Superman movies, but this one made me want to shoot myself. Very poor acting, outrageous special effects, and a plot equal to zero. To summarize : Superman leaves earth, because scientists discovered pieces of his home planet, some were in space (duh) , doesn't tell his girlfriend anything before leaving (duh again), takes off in a spaceship (?!?),comes back i think 5 years later, and look forward to hooking up with his girlfriend again (who is now razing his son, which son, in my humble opinion is at least 7 years old). And what about that Lex Luthor ? Trying to grow a new continent in order to sell land ? Please !!
I vote 1 out of 10 for this movie, only because i am not allowed to vote 0. If you have anything else to do with your time, don't go to see this movie, and even if you don't have anything else to do, stay home and watch TV !
Don't get me wrong the first 4 Superman movies were great Christopher Reeve was a great actor he was great as Superman. But Brandon R.o.u.t.h is better. And this movie is better then the first 4. This is a great movie. It as a lot of action. Man of steel is better. But still this is a great movie. It has great acting. A great story line. It has great special effects. This great movie. All the Superman movies are great. There is no such thing as a bad Superman movie that is just critic superstition. This is a great action movie. I need more lines and I am running out of things to say. This is a great movie. All the Superman movies are must sees. See this movie. It is so cool.
I was totally surprised and blown away by this movie! First of all, Superman Returns takes you back to the original cinematic universe of Superman 1 and 2. When the movie started and I realized that, I was pretty skeptic, I didn't believe that it could work 26 years after Superman 2 (actually it was 36 years, when I was watching it). Then when Clark Kent returned to the Daily Planet, and I saw that the actor (Brandon Routh) is actually doing Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent, I was like "Oh no, this will be bad!". The same thing with the young photographer, Jimmy Olsen - the actor was playing the exact same character. I didn't like the concept. But then I said to myself, okay, I'm gonna go with it, so I kept watching the movie, and very shortly I had to realize that it actually works! It was funny, it was exciting, it was emotional - it was everything that a classical Superman movie needs to be! Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane was amazing! She was actually not trying to copy Margot Kidder, she was doing her own thing, but still remained Lois Lane. I would say, as far as acting goes, Kate Bosworth was the best thing in this movie.
A couple of things I didn't like:
1. In the first half of the movie there were some pretty bad CGI moments. There were some scenes where Superman almost looked cartoonish. Thankfully it was only 2 or 3 scenes, the rest of the visuals and CG were pretty good - especially considering that the movie was made in 2006.
2. Kevin Spacey was not a good Lex Luthor. He probably was told to do Gene Hackman's Lex and it just didn't work. At least in the first half of the movie. In the last hour or so, it seemed like he started to adjust the character to himself a little bit, and that did make him more believable as Luthor.
In the last half an hour the movie was flying! There was action, there was suspense, drama and a lot of emotion - but not too much! It was just perfect. I was actually in tears, which doesn't happen to me very often.
By the way, I did like Man Of Steel too, I didn't mind that DC eventually took the franchise in that direction. But I have to say, I did like Superman Returns even more. This one I loved! This is not the kind of superhero movie that fans expect from DC and/or Marvel in 2016. This rather takes you back 20-30 years in time and helps you feel what it was like when as a kid you were cheering for Superman.
Thank you, Bryan Singer and whoever else was involved in it!
This was my first movie to see Superman on the big screen, before I saw "Man of Steel" when it came out seven years later. I never saw any of the old films in theaters, but only saw them on TV. After when this movie came out, critics enjoyed it, audience have mixed feelings, and sadly didn't go well at the box-office which it all leads up to another reboot instead of a making a sequel. So, does this movie hold up or does it really deserves to be forgotten? Here it goes: the movie acts as a sequel to the first two movies, while it ignores Lester's concept for "Superman II" and ignoring the third and fourth movie. However, the movie takes place in modern time, instead of taking place in the late 70s or early 80s. Furthermore, it tells about Superman making his return from searching the remaining of his home world Krypton as he has been gone for five years, while Lex Luthor is wanting to destroy Superman and creating "land" of his own. Also, Lois Lane has moved on from Superman as she wrote the article which it completely shocks Superman for her receiving a Pulitzer Prize on her work called "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." So, how is that movie? As much as I love "Man of Steel," and I am glad that its getting a sequel; but at the same time, I wish if this movie got a sequel. There are possible reasons on why this movie failed because of either the movie wasn't marketed really well; it is due to other movies that came out the same date as this or probably is that everyone in this world weren't ready for having Superman to be brought back, because of "Batman Begins" came out a year before this came out in 2006. I guess people weren't ready to see another "Superman" movie, because they were very much in the mood for having Batman to come back. Also, a 6.1 on IMDb is really low, which I think is unfairly treated, and I think the movie just needs a little love. I know "Man of Steel" got a 7.2, which its good; so, why can't this one have a good rating like "Man of Steel" or the other two good "Superman" movies? Just saying. I don't think this movie deserve the hate it gets. I remember that Bryan Singer just drop off to direct the third "X-Men" movie, so he can direct this one instead. I know he wants to direct the third "X-Men" movie, but Fox just ended up not being patience so they can make the movie without him as Brett Ratner directs it instead. Difficult choice, if I may say so. Anyway, I will admit that the premise of the movie feels similar to Richard Donner's movie like Lex Luthor wants billions of people to die. You think they should at least try something new and different. Also, which its a minor nitpick, I don't mind Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane but they could at least find someone better to play Lois Lane. She is like the equivalent of Katie Holmes from "Batman Begins" because she looks slightly young to play the role. Nevertheless, I thought she did a fine job, but could of been someone better to play Lois Lane. Also, compare to "Man of Steel," the movie may have some fine action scenes but I wish if it had more action scenes so the filmmakers don't have to stick by the books on making a traditional "Superman" movie like the others. So those are my only issues with the movie. What is good? I thought Bryan Singer's direction was actually really, and has a very unique to style on how he wants this movie to be. Aside from Bosworth, the rest of the cast all did good. I thought Kevin Spacey makes an excellent Lex Luthor, but also updating from the role that Gene Hackman played originally. For Brandon Routh, I thought the look of him for not only looking like the part for playing both Clark Kent and Superman, but that he looks very much like Christopher Reeve. He really does give an outstanding performance, and was able to channel the role very wisely. The special effects are really good, which that takes care of the lame FX from "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace." I do appreciate some of the nods to the original movies by Donner like having Marlon Brando as Jor-El, its wondrous moments, and of course, hearing the theme song by John Williams. John Ottman's score is very well done for paying respect to Williams' score and making new material on his own. I wasn't bored by the movie as it goes at a good pace, and I did get teary eye from the part that Superman gets beat up Luthor's men as it makes me think of Jesus getting whipped by the Romans. Of course, other comic book movies may have some religious aspects like what this movie did. I do like where Superman tells Lois, when he says that she wrote the article that doesn't need a savior, but he hears everyday when people are crying for one which that many Christians will feel about that. With that said, I think "Superman Returns" deserves another look, and I do think its close enough to be as underrated as "Man of Steel." I enjoy it, and I'm giving it a 9 out of 10.
or: It's a bird ? It's a plane ? No, look... It's a disaster ! or: No need to look up in the sky.
or: (... OK, that's enough.) If singer tried to make a romantic titanic like movie to crash the box office record, he failed. The SR structure can't do this, the dark and restricted color scheme (I would call it "wishi-washi"), the boring usual dialogs, the clown with advanced alien technology, the missing fun and magic, etc. makes the movie completely disappointing.
It simply doesn't work.
The main thing at a character like superman is, that he is a superhero. That's the core, the most important thing.
Love trouble and a sadly lost depressive Supersoftie can maximal only be a facet in a 2:40 long Superman movie, not the whole time.
Because then it is not a superman or superhero movie anymore. It's like a (and in this case a very bad and boring) social study, where every 30 minutes a person flies around.
That's a big difference.
This movie is a joke. Holy skywalker, this is Superman, so give us Supervillains, Superaction and the most important thing, Superfun.
We want ENTERTAINMENT ! Singer, if you want to make a 2:40 long soul love trouble drama about lost and sadly people ? Then take normal human characters and make a yentl remake.
They say: Superman returns. And then, supersadlysoftie stands in the door.
Maybe singer has tried to kill the legend without kryptonite, but one bad movie can't do this. Don't give up, they plan a sequel...
Next time singer (and Warner Brothers), make a superhero movie, not a depressive superlame soap, or let it be. A superhero movie means a colorful fantasy with a lot of fun and magic.
This movie is like a very cheap chocolate box with a super cover. Yes, technically there are all sorts in, yes, there is a lot of small talks, there are a few jokes, a view action scenes, etc, but the only one what all these worse pieces have in common is their poor quality.
It's not more than a super boring patchwork and one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my live.
The ridiculous cast strategy (Cast them young as possible, so we can make sequels in the next 25 years) gives the rest. Kate Bosworth plays a 22 year old star reporter, she's looking like 19. Superman was full five years away, so he slept with her 6 years ago, so she was 16, (looking like 13) and a daily planet reporter, wroting "I spend a night with superman". Warner Brothers, that's too much.
Routh is not so bad, he is playing a little bit wooden, but the whole movie is wooden, so... ?! Temporary good were marsden and sometimes posey. The rest, forget it. Even spacey, this is not his terrain.
Reeve/Hackman/Kidder were acting so easy, with fun. What a difference.
The Jesus poses at the end are ridiculous too. What the hell should that be ? The problem here is, they mean this serious, not as a joke. Next time Spiderman or Batman or Ironman falls and rises like Jesus or angels ? Or they speak with god directly. Why not ? They are superheroes, saving human lives every day. So at least one talk with god every week should be possible... Oh my god.
Maybe this was not the real announced movie, instead it is from a bizarre dull parallel universe.
For the warner brothers this superlame depressive flick will be possibly the greatest disaster in history. Not only because of the money.
I understand how difficult it (maybe) was to create and transport some messages or feelings, but showing lone, lost and sadly people isn't new and thousands of movies or TV-Shows did it better, in very old or new ones like magnolia. And the flying frogs there were more impressive than this flying superwoman, sorry, superman of course.
Singer and WB, that's simply nothing. In fact it's even more than nothing, it's like a black hole that destroys the passion for (comic/superhero) movies and steals us three hours of our life.
Mrs. Smilla's little brother. (Very angry and green like the hulk.)
There are so many things wrong I don't know where to start.
The pacing of the film...there's no flow to it. The first hour feels rushed. There's no time given to anything. The movie just jumps back and forth between Luthor's plan (I'll get to how ridiculous that was later) and little moments that don't amount to much. Clark makes a cameo on the farm, has a few lines of pitiful dialogue with his mother (terribly acted by the way), has a little flashback to his youth and the next thing you know the guy is back in Metropolis and gets his job back in a throw-away line. Even the first action scene is rushed. Supes has been gone for almost two decades so you would think the first shirt rip and "welcome back" would be iconic along with the music. It's not. It's a half second shirt rip and the next thing you know we have a pilot saying "we have an unidentified bogey coming". I thought the clips online were edited but it turns out they're not. It's those little things that irritated the hell out of me.
The musical score. This score (specifically the choir) just beats you over the head. You would think something epic was happening on screen when the choir kicked in but more often than not there wasn't and it made me chuckle to myself a couple of times. It was like the music was trying to make the action scenes more than they really were.
And speaking of the action....repetitive comes to mind. There's only so many times I can watch Superman catch or lift something before it starts to get stale. As the movie goes on he lifts heavier objects...great. I swear I almost think they repeated him catching some guy in the movie. The very hyped plane rescue was underwhelming to say the least. Honestly, most of the clips online are just about the entire sequence. I heard this scene was supposed to be 10+ minutes. Felt more like around 3 minutes. Most of the footage during that sequence is Lois and passengers bouncing around the plane. And then on top of that they have to ruin that scene with a line Christopher Reeve said 10x better.
Also this felt more like a natural disaster flick than a Superman movie. Those little crystals sure do cause plenty of trouble. There are more "tremor" scenes in Superman Returns than the Jurassic Park movies combined. You always know when something big was going to happen because you would see a closeup of a pencil holder or some random object shaking on the desk ad nauseum. The 3rd or 4th time I saw it (I seriously lost count) I was almost tempted to leave. I honestly couldn't believe the mediocrity I was watching.
Which leads me to Luthor's plan. One of the worst plans I've ever seen in a comic movie (topping Ra's magic microwave in Batman Begins). The bad part of this plan is it takes up so much of the damn movie. From the start this plan gets a lot of attention and it goes NOWHERE. By the time the third act rolls around (after Lex has executed his little plan) and you see Lex, Kitty and his henchmen sitting around on this desolate rock looking bored I wonder what the hell it was all for. They couldn't come up with anything better than this? The performances....
Superman/Clark Kent - The performance of Routh was underwhelming and I can't blame him. I blame the writers. Routh is given absolutely nothing to say as Superman or Clark Kent. He's just THERE. If the guy isn't staring or lifting something he's non-existent. Maybe they decided he couldn't act and scrapped his lines...I don't know. Anyway, how am I supposed to care for him? Lines like "Bye Lois", "I'm always around" is not what I call character building.
Lois Lane - She's given plenty to say...but her character was so cold throughout the whole film I honestly didn't give a damn about her either. She just has a bitchy look about her that I couldn't warm up to. Her chemistry with Superman is nowhere to be seen. The only reason I can see Superman and Lois have a romantic history is because of the past movies.
Lex Luthor - Spacey sleptwalk through this movie...maybe because he can play this kind of character in his sleep. After all the (camp or menace) threads it turns out Lex is basically the same as Hackman. He has his Ms. Tesmacher 2.0, same wigs, same plan. The only difference is he gets his licks in on Superman. Their little showdown was a VERY underwhelming scene mainly because Superman stands there like a statue and says NOTHING before getting his ass kicked.
This post is getting long in the tooth so I'll just say the rest of the cast was adequate.
As far as the big revelation with the kid goes....I was so disgusted with S:R by the time it happened that I really just didn't care anymore.
Overall I would say this movie is a colossal failure on all levels.
The only good thing I can say about Superman Returns is some scenes were very pretty to look at. That's about it.
Let me start by saying that I was SO looking forward to seeing this movie despite reading some of the not so great reviews on this site. I trusted the people who gave it high marks and made it sound like it was as good as or better than the original. My husband had doubts going in, but he is a HUGE comic book fan, so I figured he was just being picky. Boy was I WRONG! When we left the theater (which was surprisingly empty by the way) there were a few faint claps and absolutely no conversation. Usually when a movie is good you hear a few "Wow, that was great!" comments when you are leaving. I heard complete silence. Out of respect, both my husband and I left the movie theater without saying a word. It wasn't until we got in our car and shut the doors that my husband finally burst out and said, "God that was horrible!!!"
Although the movie had many elements from the first film, they were just not pulled together as well. The main problem was the storyline which was pretty thin and had a numerous plot holes that did not make sense. Brandon Routh looked great, although during a couple of points in the movie I found myself distracted by the bad blue contact lenses, his pasty white skin, and his bushy eyebrows which should have been plucked a bit. Still, he is a great looking guy! His acting was good, but the script didn't give him much to do. There were not enough scenes of him as Clark Kent to create the full persona of the character. I saw a faint resemblance to Christopher Reeve, but not enough to say they were identical at all. What made the Christopher Reeve performance great was not just the actor himself, but the fact that they gave him a lot of time on screen to play both Superman and Clark. This made the audience believe that there was enough difference for him to "maybe" pull off the disguise. Plus, how stupid can people be to not put two and two together and realize that both Clark and Superman were gone during the same five year time span! Duh!
Kate Bosworth was WAY too young to play Lois Lane. True, she is much more attractive than the original actress Margot Kidder, but the spunk and spark of Lois was just not there. Her character seemed bland and depressed for most of the movie. There was also no chemistry between her and Brandon Routh. Ihave to say that one of the main reasons that I went to this movie was for the supposedly heightened emphasis on the romance. Just wasn't good enough. The whole storyline with Lois and her son was also unbelievable. ****SPOILER WARNING**** I couldn't buy the fact that she would given up on Superman coming back so quickly as to convince another guy that this kid was actually his child and not someone else's. Plus, didn't Superman erase Lois' memory of their time together in Superman 2? It was unclear to me how much super power this child actually had. The kid had ample opportunity to show it by saving their lives at numerous points, but only chose to do it once. Also, was Lois making him "fake" being an asthmatic and in fragile health or did was the kid actually having asthma attacks? My husband and I are still debating that one. How did Lois know that Kryptonite didn't affect him before Lex was waving it in front of him? Just not enough info. was given to make the audience understand what was going on. I echo another reviewer who said they just could not picture Superman as a "deadbeat dad". Superman is just beyond this whole illegitimate child thing. Whoever thought this plot line would breathe new life into the Superman saga was completely wrong!
Kevin Spacey was very good at Lex Luther, but the script just wasn't good enough for his great acting abilities. I give him credit for doing what he could with the role. Again, the whole plot with him creating a new continent out of crystals from Superman's Fortress of Solitude completely does not make sense. Who would want to buy land on an island made of sharp pointy rocks? Ouch! Plus, Lex and Superman had only one scene together throughout the whole film!
A few final comments on the lack of believability in the plot. How could Lois and Richard possibly locate Superman while in that tiny seaplane with only his head slightly bobbing above the water? How could tiny Kate Bosworth dive in and pull a 225 lb. man out of the ocean? Finally, how could Superman have enough strength to lift that crystal continent out of the ocean and toss it into space when he still had a chunk of Krytonite in him (which later almost ended up killing him)? The whole thing does not make sense!
Regarding the special effects, they are technically amazing, but not enough to make up for lack of plot in the story. I think they should have invested their money in better writers. I'm not a big fan of special effects anyway, so I guess I'm not the best one to comment, but during several points in the movie I grimaced and felt like I was being shaken up in a blender! The noise and motions on the screen were that jarring. Are special effects supposed to feel that way? I found myself wishing for them to end!
I just want to close by saying that in retrospect I enjoyed the two minute preview clip they showed to "Spiderman 3" coming out next year more than I enjoyed this movie. I hope the folks working on that film right now don't make the same mistakes as they did here.
I am a huge movie fan and I am hard pressed to tell of a film that I didn't enjoy just a little, until now. I loved the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, even the one with Richard Pryor. I was so disappointed with this film. Brandon Routh does a good job portraying the physical presence of Superman and I think he is a decent actor, but they don't give him enough to do. Kevin Spacey is evil as Lex Luthor, but nothing exciting. Parker Posey (I am definitely a fan of her work, Mighty Wind anyone?) is terribly under utilized. Kate Bosworth is no Margot Kidder and James Marsden is just plain boring. There were so many long sequences of Superman flying and thunder rolling and seas thrashing and not enough of a plot. Where is the romance or the comic relief or something? I know everyone is going to say, "But this is a new Superman movie". The movie is called Superman Returns and it supposed to pick up where the last movie left off, so it should have at least had something of a tangible connection to those films. I would like a refund and so would the other 20 people with whom I spoke outside the theater, including my two children. Crap, total crap!!!!
I guess this movie is a fitting tribute to the first Superman film,as it is just as crummy and painfully long as the original.
After an opening scene consisting solely of murky intergalactic visuals, the credits pay homage to the even-crummy-looking-for-their-time futuristic sweeping credits of the original Superman film.
Then there is some more murky stuff. Ma Kent sees some kind of murky ruckus on the farm, and spends a good portion of my life slowly walking up to some debris in the cornfield. Then Superman sneaks up on her and faints.
Next we catch up with Lex Luthor in a scene about many murky close-ups of an old lady as she dies. We don't see Luthor's face until the end of the scene, an early instance of the film's drive to leave no hackneyed stone unturned. Lex Luthor is a guy who doesn't like Superman because he is not human. Also, he probably doesn't like humans either, as the movie occasionally features some kind of plot about Lex Luthor planning to kill most of Earth's population.
After a while, Clark Kent shows up back at his old job (I forgot to mention, he had been away on a five year trip where nothing happened). Then he finds out Lois Lane has an illegitimate kid and is dating Cyclops. It upsets him so much that he loses control of his super strength to such an extent that he accidentally breaks a picture frame.
At this point we see that Miss Lane is on some kind of jet attached to some kind of space shuttle. It is some kind of important event on account of it is on television. Then we learn that there are people in a control room monitoring this event. There are also people watching it on television and there are pilots in the cockpit. The film then reminds us that these people are involved by cutting between them for most of the summer.
As the events leading up to the inevitable disaster started to build, I excused myself to get a soda. I accidentally walked back into the wrong theater and watched that movie about Al Gore showing slides in its entirety. I tried to find my way back to Superman Returns, but I somehow wandered into Prairie Home Companion, which I watched twice in a row. Then it was time to stop messing around.
I walked back into the first theater, found my seat, and looked up to see that the impending Lois Lane space shuttle disaster was almost upon us. Still, it seemed to be taking forever, so I wandered around the theater, met a girl, got married, raised a son and sent him off to college. While attending my son's medical school graduation, I remembered that I should probably check in on Superman Returns, so I excused myself and raced back to the theater only to learn there was no need to hurry. It still took about another half hour before things went wrong for Space Shuttle Lane. When they did, Superman saved everybody, which was pretty cool.
. And then there is a a subplot where Superman turns really creepy and starts stalking Lois Lane and her family with his x-ray vision and super-hearing. Then he tries to get her to cheat on Cyclops, who seems like a good guy.
Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is involved in some kind of contest to display every possible generic villain behavior before the end of the movie. I forgot to bring my scorecard home with me (they give you one at the door), but I think he scored damn close to one hundred percent. I hope he wins the million dollars.
At this point, things start to gear up for the big murky finale. I think maybe the projector was broken, on account of the movie seemed to be in some kind of loop for a while here. I remember seeing murky things growing out of the water, Superman getting sick, Superman getting better, back to the murky things, he's sick again, no wait, he's okay again.
Then Lex Luthor unleashed his final bad guy move: yelling at his girlfriend a little bit.
Then Superman died and came back to life. I thought the movie was over, so I left.
Ninety years later, the nursing home where I lived felt a little chilly. I realized I left my sweatshirt back in the theater, and I went to retrieve it. When I did, I was slightly surprised to find that Superman Returns wasn't over yet. I tried to ask some of the viewers what I missed, but most of them were only skeletons with long gray beards by now.
I sat back in my old seat and watched as Lois Lane puttered around her house for a while. Then Superman showed up and started quoting the beginning of the movie, and since I already saw that part I thought it was okay to leave.
So that is my review of Superman Returns.
Oh, also, if you like jokes about people eating dogs or jokes about one dog eating another dog, you will love this movie. On account of there are two jokes like that in it.
I saw the movie last night and I really wanted to like it. My expectations for the movie had been going up and down ever since I heard it was being made. Some days I'd see something spectacular and some days I'd be disappointed.
Yet being the kind of fan I am, I had high hopes for this movie but in the end I was sorely disappointed.
While I love the Richard Donner movies I didn't like their sometimes campy nature or the changes they made to Superman's character and his powers.
Singer however chose to take the worst elements of the Donner movies and put them in his version.
While his Lex Luthor is slightly darker he's still nothing more than a shyster, a conman and a common criminal. He's no more intelligent than when Gene Hackman played him. Kevin Spacey does his best to play Luthor well but ultimately he falls victim to shoddy writing and unremarkable dialog.
His henchmen are more two dimensional than even comic book henchmen. Most of them literally have no dialog in the movie.
****SPOILERS AHEAD**** Kitty Kowalski is almost exactly the same character as Ms. Tesmacher. She seems to be as evil and cold as Lex Luthor but she proves to be just an underling who melts after seeing Superman in trouble and quite predictably betrays Luthor.
The biggest disappointment in the movie was Frank Langella as Perry White. I wasn't a huge fan of the over the top Perry White in the Donner movies but at least he had a soul. He was after all said and done, a veteran reporter who cared about the truth and a good story. Langella's Perry White is nothing but a corporate stooge. He wants everyone to concentrate on the Superman related stories because they sell papers even though every other paper is doing the same thing. He doesn't care about the real stories, the real mysteries like the black out and what Lex Luthor is up to now that he's out of prison.
The worst thing about Langella is that he's DULL! Some actors can be quiet and sober and yet have an undercurrent that lets you know that still waters run deep. Frank Langella is puddle.
Brandon Routh is not a bad actor. He's OK but again there is not a single memorable line in the whole movie. Not the actor's fault. His movements are clearly meant to look graceful, like even the slightest movement of his fingers effects the way he flies. But it still looks choreographed and artificial.
Lois Lane while badly written was surprisingly well acted by Kate Bosworth. Unfortunately, again, for a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and writer, she is about as eloquent as any teenage on Dawson's Creek.
James Marsden was my favorite actor in the whole movie, mostly because he looks more like Superman than even Routh. Without any superpowers he manages to figure out Lois Lane's message, flies a plane to the location, gets on board Luthor's yacht and rescues Lois and her son.
The only moving moment in the movie is when they are all trapped pantry as it is flooding with water and the ship is sinking. You see them slowly going being immersed in the water. You know Superman's going to come by at the last moment to rescue them but still you can't help but feel sorry for them.
As I said before the plot is very haphazard. Unlike Singer has said, this is not a movie about a superhero returning and trying to find his place in the world. As soon as he returns the world welcomes him back with open arms. Lois is the only one who's not happy to see him back. Even Luthor is happy to have Superman back because it gives him a chance to settle the score with the man of steel.
Superman is shown to be probably one of the dumbest heroes in the universe. A big green piece of meteorite is stolen from a museum, Lex Luthor is out of prison, he now has knowledge about Superman's powers and weaknesses, and yet he's still not able to connect the dots enough to know Luthor would be using kryptonite against him.
According to the movie the only thing Superman is good for is lifting really, really heavy things. The action sequences are all incredibly predictable.
Superman's back and there's gonna be trouble, hey na, hey na, Superman's back! Well, hey, if Batman can begin again, Supes can come back to Earth, so to speak, right? Only this time it's not the late Christopher Reeve or even George Reeves, it's relative newcomer Brandon Routh as the Man o' Steel. Seems he's been gone lo these past five years in deep space, checking the general vicinity of where Krypton once existed. (Astronomers reported they'd found traces of the planet, so off Superman went to check out his home; oddly, neither he nor the astronomers mentioned that he was leaving.) But now he's back, and so is, coincidentally, Clark Kent. After reunited with his Earth mom Martha (Eva Marie Saint), Clark returns to work at the Daily Planet, greeted enthusiastically by Jimmy Olson ( ) and less enthusiastically by Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), who's really moved on. Seems Lois has fallen in love, gotten married, and given birth, all five years ago. Huh, how about that. Her hubby is now an assistant editor at the Planet and is conveniently the nephew of Perry White, played by the magnificent Frank Langella.
Meanwhile, Superman isn't the only one making a comeback after five years; seems Lex Luthor, put away in prison for what was supposed to be many life sentences, is out on appeal, or something. Anyway, he's up to no good, and it involves killing billions of people and forcing the survivors to bow to him and lavish him with money and gifts and so on. Kevin Spacey plays Lex this time around, and he's a great choice - megalomaniacal without being hammy, which is a fine line. Makes one even forget the great Gene Hackman. (Of course, we all know the pitfalls of having a villain who has a stronger personality than the hero, don't we, Tim Burton?) So Supes is back, and Perry wants Lois to cover his return, but Lois wants to cover this weird blackout that affected pretty much everyone (notably, a Space Shuttle launch that winds up being saved by Superman, as you've no doubt seen in the trailers). Could the two issues be related? "You're reporters - find out!" Perry growls at his young charges.
There have been scads of comic-book-related movies over the past decade or so, with varying degrees of success, and from what I've read of this one it was a bit of a disappointment, both critically and financially (it made $200 million in the US, but it cost $270 million to make). Having said that, though, I liked it. Plenty of great action, as you'd expect from a director like Bryan Singer (who left the X-Men series just to do this). For a change, the big action scenes don't feel particularly staged, as they can in superhero movies - you know, "Looks like it's time for Our Hero to.... uh..... lift a train with his bare hands!" and so forth. There were a few "ooooh" scenes that had me gripping the sides of my recliner, especially the plane-about-to-crash scene.
Routh was pretty good as the Man of Steel: taciturn and resolved but conflicted and isolated. Watching him, I got the impression that there was more going on in his head than there ever was in Reeves' mind; hey, I'm sure Christopher Reeves was a heck of a nice guy, but he wasn't a terribly good actor. His acting style was more cartoony than realistic, and nowadays that's not a good style, even for a comic book movie. But Routh looked the part and, even more importantly, sounded the part as well. (Look for a line from him that echoes his first meeting with Lois Lane in 1978's Superman: The Movie.) Spacey, of course, was a lot of fun as Luthor. Mean, evil, intelligent, with a touch of humor and glee - what more could you ask for in a supervillain? Of course, even Spacey can fall victim to a somewhat tepid script; I loved it when Luthor basically tells Lois Lane his evil plans. This information comes in useful for Lois later on. But regardless, at least Spacey didn't have Luthor laugh maniacally or gesture wildly. You know, hallmarks of cinematic madmen for decades.
Bosworth was miscast as Lois Lane, though. She didn't look the part (check out her huge forehead - how come the set stylist didn't have a lock or two fall over her brow?), and she came off as whiny, petulant, conceited, and..... well, just plain annoying. Other actresses who could have done a better job are Keri Russell, Claire Danes, and Scarlett Johansson, all of whom were considered for the role. It's just a flat performance by an actress who looked at times to be a bit overwhelmed by the role.
So, overall - not a disappointment. Not that awesome thriller that Spider-Man was, not as fantastic as the X-Men movies, not as mysterious as Batman, but still loads better than Daredevil, Elektra, and Fantastic Four. Some sincerely harrowing scenes and a solid performance by Routh lift this one enough to compensate for the weak female lead.