Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Superman Returns: A Review

I can't help it, I simply must write about Superman Returns. And you know what? Given that today is Independence Day and almost no other icon is more associated with "the American Way" than Superman, why the hell shouldn't I?

Superman Returns marks the triumphant, well, return of Superman to the silver screen. In a film that at once homages the great Superman and Superman II films and erases the horrible Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, the franchise has, like Batman, successfully reinvented itself.

Relative newcomer Brandon Routh, a cause for concern to many Superman fans, pulls off Superman and Clark Kent with surprising ease. True, his dialogue was kept to a minimum and the appropriate "depressed" emotional state the character was in probably helped his acting seem better than it was, but Routh pulled it off nonetheless. Kate Bosworth was solid as Lois Lane, though it's no secret that she's not anybody's first choice for the role, and Kevin Spacey was fantastic as a new, quasi-Gene Hackman Lex Luthor. The rest of the supporting cast was more than adequate, and it was a nice, poignant gesture by Bryan Singer to reunite Eva Marie Saint and Marlon Brando on-screen one last time.

The plot was fairly simplistic and involved Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence. Astronomers had found the remnants of his old homeworld, Krypton, and being the prodigal son, he left to see if he could find any other survivors. To give away anything else would be an injustice to filmgoers who haven't yet seen it, so that's all I'm going to say.

Take heart, however, in that the film's execution was superb. Bryan Singer once again balances action with character and layers every aspect of the film with depth that it may or may not have needed. In either case, the film is better for it. It may seem like directorial oversight that some of the plot points of the film are left unresolved, but you needn't worry; it's clear that this was the intent. After all, you don't make a movie like Superman Returns and not plan a sequel or two.

I, for one, am already eagerly waiting.

Postscript: My one complaint about the film: the rather blatant omission of the final part of the oft-spoken phrase, "truth, justice, and the American way." Has Hollywood seriously become so disenchanted with this country's political atmosphere that it's now embarrased to admit that both it and Superman are American institutions?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes to all. :)

There are already sequel rumors, of course. One interesting one being united Routh and Christian Bale for Batman vs. Superman. Could be interesting once these "new" franchises build up some steam.

Posted by Geoffry on July 4, 2006 - Tuesday - 10:12 PM

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...