Superman Returns Just Didn’t Fly

I’ve eagerly awaited the coming of Superman Returns to theatres for quite some time now. I was a big Superman fan in my younger years (the movies and the actual DC comics). Even though in retrospect, Superman III was very silly and Superman IV was horrible, I thought they were pretty good at the time. I also got into the Superman-related TV shows such as Lois and Clark, Superboy and, recently, Smallville.

So, when I heard that ex-X-Men director Bryan Singer got tapped to direct the latest Superman film, I was all excited. He did a pretty decent job with the X-Men franchise, after all.

Time passed and information regarding the new film started to leak to the press. I was doubtful of Singer’s selection of Brandon Routh as Superman. Sure he kinda resembled Christopher Reeve but that shouldn’t be the only basis for his selection. Well, this is the first time I’ve heard of him so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and wait till I see him in action before I pass judgement.

Then photos from the movie started to appear on the Web. I didn’t like the swimsuit texture of the suit, the maroon cape, the small S-shield on his chest and that ridiculous small S-shield on his belt buckle. Well, maybe I wouldn’t notice it much when I’m actually watching the movie.

Last night, we watched Superman Returns at the Werribee Plaza cinema. Due to some Coke promo, we were able to watch the movie for only $5 each. And it was lucky that we did, too. Because I was disappointed with the film overall.

If you haven’t watched the movie yet and have every intention to do so, I have to warn you that there would be spoilers ahead. If you believe me that it is not worth watching, then by all means, read on. If you still want to watch it anyway and don’t want to get spoiled, stop now and just read this later.

Anyway, the new movie seems to have started where Superman and Superman II (yes, the original Superman movies with Christopher Reeve as Superman) left off. You can forget that Superman III and IV ever happened. My point is, we should pretend that the first and second movies actually already happened in this movie’s continuity. But if that’s true, then why did they rehash the exact same lines of dialogue from those two movies in this one?

I’ll admit that I’m a geek and that I have the dialogue for the first two movies ingrained into my brain. So when I heard the exact same dialog used by the same character on the film, it was a little jarring, if not unbelievable.

And what’s with Clark/Superman? Clark drank beer? I thought Superman doesn’t drink! He drinks milk. It’s a morality thing. Superman should stand for all that’s good and alcohol is generally considered not good for you. Sure, it makes Superman more idealistic than realistic but that’s who Superman is. If you want somebody who has less moral fibre, we have Batman for that. That annoyed me. And Superman has a bastard son?! Meaning, he had premarital sex and not safe sex. Sheesh. In the story, Lois has already moved on with her life after Superman disappeared for five years. She already has a fiance and a child. And what does Supes do? He tries to cut into someone else’s lunch? Is that right? Homewrecker! It’s so un-Superman. This should have been titled Bizarro Returns.

Lex Luthor is supposed to be this smart person but when he had a chance to kill Superman, what did he do? He let his goons kick Supes around until he was near the edge of a cliff. Then when Lex had a chance to stab him, instead of aiming for the chest, he stabbed him on the side. What for? Didn’t he want to kill him? Why take the chance? Then he let Supes fall into the sea where, of course, he got saved by Lois.

Then, while Supes was in the presence of all this Kryptonite, he was still able to lift an entire island made out of Kryptonite and throw it into space. Wasn’t Kryptonite supposed to render him powerless? It was crazy.

Then there are these parts where the people are standing and looking into the heavens evenly spaced apart from one another. What the heck was that? It was so unbelievable. There were a lot of times when I know I should feel excited by what’s happening on screen but I didn’t. I’m still wondering why. While watching, I kept on thinking why I felt more excited watching Spider-man or Batman in action but not Superman in this film. I still don’t know why.

I also hated that there were a lot of boring parts in the film. I feel like some scenes were completely unnecessary or could’ve been shortened. I also hate the fact that they had Clark return to Smallville with his mother but almost nothing happened there. Except for the mean thing than Clark did when his dog wanted to play ball with him and he threw the ball with all his strength. Of course the dog wasn’t going to be able to find that ball! Evil, Clark. Supermeany.

As for Brandon Routh, although he did look like Christopher Reeves on most shots, he couldn’t manage Chris’s benevolent smile. When Brandon smiles, it looks more like a smirk. I also feel like his performance as Clark/Superman was a bit wooden. Jimmy Olsen seemed to have performed better. But maybe it was the writers’ fault for not giving the main characters more character-development scenes. They seem to have concentrated too much on the visuals.

I could go on and on about the bad stuff so I’ll just stop here. For the good stuff, well, the visual effects were great. But you have to expect that by now with the level of technology at the studios’ disposal. And somebody flying isn’t such a big deal anymore. Spider-man swinging from building to building, now that’s amazing!

I kinda like the homage to the first films though like the ending where Superman flies off and takes orbit around the Earth. That was cool.

All in all, I disliked the film. I couldn’t stop ranting about it last night. And now, I was able to put some of those rants into writing. I can finally sleep soundly tonight.

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Published in: on July 1, 2006 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment