Superman Returns to Bore Me

Movies and Television

Another in a long line of comic book/superhero movies, with Superman Returns we’ve returned to the head of the pack so to speak. While supposed to be a “sequel,”  it’s really a carefully retooled remake no more creative or original than fucking Smallville.

© 2006 | Superman Returns | Warner Bros.

Same players: Clark Kent, Perry White, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, with additions in Lois’ son Jason White and her fiance, Richard White (played by X-Men’s James Marsden).

Kevin Spacey does a good job as villain Lex Luthor, twisted and evil enough without gobbling up too much scenery. Parker Posey does a great job as his doll sidekick, getting some of the movie’s best lines.

Newcomer Brandon Routh has the look down pat, along the goofy Clark mannerisms hiding behind the glasses. He wears the classic blue suit well, but with smaller red briefs (thanks for noticing, K.) and the flowy red cape that hides how well the skin-tight spandex fits Brandon’s ass. Somebody should call Edna and request a new supersuit!

All things considered, he does not have to do much in any part of his three-character role. I think of him as torn between Kal El, son of Krypton; Clark Kent, Kansas farm boy; and Superman, do-gooder who has to help because of his all-American upbringing and Kryptopian-Sun fueled abilities.

Director Bryan Singer, the film’s greatest asset, is smart to have given Routh relatively few lines, given that he plays the film’s titular character. All he has to do is quote the Superman classics and squeeze in some glycerin drops so Singer can do some close-ups on those pretty blues whenever he wants to show any emotion.

Kate Bosworth seems a bit young to be Lois Lane, though the character is still the same hapless reporter, allegedly brilliant but at times finds one stupid way after another to get into hot water and in need of a super rescue. And though she tries to appear to over her infatuation with Superman, she still can rattle of his vitals (height, weight) like it’s nothing but is still clueless about Clark.

In one scene it’s fiance Richard who notices the resemblance and she quickly dismisses it while reminding us that Superman’s a hero who doesn’t drink, smoke or lie. Wait? He doesn’t LIE!? Oh right, that’s Clark’s job.

A CASE FOR THE OTHER GUY: Everyone knows Lois is so hot for Superman’s chili she can’t see what’s right in front of her, and maybe that’s the problem. In this version, she’s a single mother, engaged to Richard but cannot seem to let go of her crush on Superman. Crush being the right word as he ditched her without even a goodbye to find his lost Krypton. Dude has super-speed, he coulda/shoulda found the time.

Column A: Superhero with supermodel looks, a stunning 6’4” hunk with killer blue eyes and Abs, Buns and well er- … everything of Steel. But he can’t say goodbye and his alter ego masquerades as her friend, all the while lying to her for her own good.

Column B: Handsome boyfriend with some sexy baby blues himself. Not only will he stick around with the kid, wait patiently for her to get over her blue crush, he’s good in a crisis as he comes to her rescue. And doesn’t need superpowers to do it.

Winner: Lois. Right now she seems to have it all: a superhero to literally sweep her off her feet and a fiance to cuddle with at night. Though if she doesn’t wise up and realize she can never really hold on to one, she’ll loose the one she’s got.

Much of the story, iconic lines and action sequences will seem familiar to those who’ve seen the Christopher Reeve version. There’s a plane rescue, finding the Fortress of Solitude, Superman throwing down with Luthor, with some help from one of Luthor’s own.

Superman Returns does continue the story, bringing it into the 21st century while maintaining that 20s art deco look of the comic book. I guess it’s the comic since I haven’t read it, don’t plan to and all I know of Superman canon is from movies and television as in Lois & Clark and Smallville.

Somewhere I read that it had a $260 million budget. Dude the effects were nice, Spacey was sure to get a big payday, and Bryan Singer too, but damn. No way. At least $100 million of that had to be for marketing. I know costs are rising but others have done it for much less. Hell Serenity – while not as well directed – was A) very good and B) made for “only” $40 million.

The Final Snark: Decent enough popcorn movie, but nothing new to see.

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