Thursday, March 7, 2013

Superman Returns

And the final release from the Superman franchise so far, Superman Returns from 2006, directed by Bryan Singer.

Superman has been gone for 5 years travelling through space to visit the site of his exploded home planet Krypton. Meanwhile the world has got used to being without him, and Lois Lane has even won the Pulitzer prize for her article "Why the world doesn't need Superman." And then he comes back to find that while he was away everyone, including himself, has got 10 years younger. Kate Bosworth was just 23 when she played Lois in this movie. Brandon Routh was 25, which is only a year younger than Christopher Reeve in the first movie, but he still looks too young, especially if we are to believe he has been on a 5 year sabbatical  Do reporters that young get sabbaticals, or win the Pulitzer?

There was a major costume redesign which went with the darker blue, and the burgundy coloured cape recalling the Dark Superman colours from Superman III. And they added raised texture and details to the shield and his boots. Meanwhile Kevin Spacey turns in a high powered performance as Lex Luthor although we were all fed up with his real estate plots by now. In fact the storyline of this film sucks (again). Maybe it is the essential flaw of the Superman character that he is so ridiculously powerful it is difficult to come up with an opponent to truly challenge him.

So what does that leave us? Well, although he is a touch young looking I really enjoyed Routh's performance, particularly his recreation of Christopher Reeve playing Clark Kent which is spot on. There are also some fun moments including Superman coming up against the Gatling gun on the roof of the bank robbery with the bullet flattening against his eye. Again this is a bit of storyline that makes no real sense, what was the robbers' plan? To steal the loot and then set up a super gun on the roof and kill everyone? Maybe they should have spent some time on an escape plan instead.

The repeated Christ imagery that the film-makers give us with Superman is a bit laboured and, to be honest, boring. Spacey is good but Luthor is an idiot (again). Bosworth looks to be about 16 but everyone else is fine. And the thing is, I really like this film. I enjoyed it the first time I saw it and I enjoyed it again now. What could have done if they had ever found the correct story for Reeve or Routh? Maybe Doomsday would have worked. Still I am all set up for this summer's Man of Steel now. Bring it on.

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