Superman Returns

SUPERMAN RETURNS poster Brandon Routh

Rating: 1.75 of 5 ★¾☆☆☆ 

I finally got to see this movie I have heard oh so much about.

At first I kept thinking Smallville – how I was momentarily surprised that Martha Kent was so old. How much I like their version of Lois Lane better. But even though they cast rather young people, it’s not a ‘Superman as a teenager’ story and realistically they wouldn’t want to do anything to intentionally draw connections between the two projects (like use Aaron Ashmore or Erica Durance who are good in their roles). I moved beyond the Smallville thing pretty quickly.

Of course Kate Bosworth was miscast as Lois Lane and wasn’t good. But she didn’t drive me as crazy as I thought she would.

Also, I get that he’s in love with Lois Lane. But really, I think if it were me I’d be bothered by how disdainful she is of the Clark persona. That’s got to kind of say something about who she is as a person, and I don’t think it’s a good thing. Although, I think this version of Lois was a little less disdainful than some incarnations past.

James Marsden is actually really good. It’s probably his X-men experience and having worked with Bryan Singer before, but he’s really good in comic book movies. He gets the right tone of taking it seriously and being authentic in sometimes ridiculous scenarios. He needs to stop playing the really good guy that women leave for the one they really love.

Parker Posey always grates so I never like her. I don’t care if her character is supposed to – it’s still too much and I don’t like her.

Brandon Routh actually wasn’t that bad. Yes, as my brother pointed out, sometimes when he was just standing there in the Superman costume he still looked like it was a digital person. I think maybe they tried to clean him up too much as Superman to differentiate him from Clark Kent and that’s what made him look like he had a plastic quality about him.

I liked the story. I read two major complaints: that Lex Luthor coming up with some land scheme was lame and not large enough and that morally Superman having a kid out of wedlock that he isn’t raising is inconsistent with the wholesomeness of the character.

The land complaint is just ridiculous. It’s not like some real estate scheme where he’s trying to buy up a bunch of land and create Lex-ville. He’s forcing a new continent to exist which will damage the fabric of our planet. It’s the furthest from a low stakes lame scheme you can get.

With the kid – I can’t say that’s an inaccurate observation of a dissonance between the character and the story. I can say that it’s sort of not the point. What Bryan Singer is doing is drawing a powerful parallel between Superman’s experience with own father. That’s why he used the Marlon Brando footage in the beginning, to set up that Clark had a detached relationship with his own father, that there were a lot of things he never understood, the weight of being his father’s son. So, to then take on the mantle of a father in a similarly withdrawn way is a really interesting and dynamic move for the character. Now what’d I like to see in the sequel is for Lois to leave poor Richard, figure out the Clark/Superman thing and then they can all be a happy family.

The thing I like about all of this is that Superman was created as such a one dimensional character, which is one of the reasons he was never one of my favorites. But he’s really evolved in both film and tv and there are a lot of layers and angles and things now that make the whole mythology more interesting. I think he’s been handled a lot better than a lot of the Marvel characters who are inherently more dynamic and interesting, which is kind of too bad.


June 3, 2007 | Review , | this post contains affiliate links