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Superman Returns: A Review
"Superman Returns" (not yet on DVD)
Review by Cindy 7/5/06
Superman Returns: A Personal Review
Let me stipulate first that I am a die hard Superman fan and that I have
anticipated this movie more than any other. In saying that let me
continue by saying that I liked the film…well, no I loved it. That is
not to say that I thought it was flawless and loved every part of it,
but taken as a whole I thought it was very good.
When it comes to these superhero movies and big summer blockbusters,
movie goers and reviewers are looking for different things. Maybe you
want an epic film, lots of action and special effects, or maybe you are
looking for a personal journey for our oldest and most beloved hero. I
think that if you are mainly looking for the latter then you won’t be
disappointed in this film.
As the movie started and the all too familiar blue lettering flowed
across the screen with Williams’ Superman theme music pumping through
the speakers, my heart beat picked up with all the anticipation that I
had been feeling. It was euphoric!
What I really enjoyed was that this wasn’t your typical action summer
flick. There was depth and heart to this movie. The film was very
artistic. Gorgeous cinematography. Some of the shots of the Man of Steel
were absolutely beautiful. I loved the architecture of the buildings
especially the Daily Planet – inside and out it had that Art Déco decor.
Lovely. Having only seen the movie once, I couldn’t take it all in; but
I look forward to seeing it again and enjoying all the sets and scenery.
And there was action. It is a Bryan Singer film, after all, who did the
1st two X-men features. Look for the plane crashing sequence, and you
will see our favorite supe trying to defy physics in stopping a
plummeting plane from smashing into the ground. Very well done, full of
action, and terrific special effects. And the flying - I loved it. He
moves through the air in a way that you’ve never seen him, flawless.
What about the characters? I thought Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen was
so-so. He didn’t stick out to me as anything special. And Frank Langella
as Perry White was actually disappointing. I know that he is a great
actor, and I expected more from him. His performance really was
forgettable. Jackie Cooper was a great Perry, and Lane Smith from the
Lois and Clark TV show is my favorite Perry of all time. James Marsden
who you will recognize as Cyclops from X-men plays Richard White and
Lois’ fiancé. His performance was right on. He is a nice guy, and you
actually feel for him because Lois still loves Superman (well duh). So
much for the supporting characters.
And what about the central players?
Kevin Spacey plays Lex Luthor, and it was foretold that he was playing
the character much darker and sinister than Gene Hackman’s rendition.
And yes he does play it in a more ominous light, but I had just
anticipated more. Getting used to the dark character that Lex is
becoming in the TV show Smallville, I just expected even more of that in
the movie version. I have to applaud Michael Rosenbaum of playing a Lex
Luthor who in time will become equal to the title of the greatest
criminal mastermind in the world. Again the writers give Lex a weak plot
in this movie. This character is worthy of so much more.
Lois Lane. I love the Lois Lane character. I mean she is as important to
the Superman mythos as that of Clark Kent. Her characteristics and
foibles are famous. And I must admit that Teri Hatcher’s Lois is my
favorite because she played the role with all the familiar Lois
eccentricies, but she added to that a sensitivity that I think is key to
knowing Lois. And in Superman Returns, this iconic character was played
by Kate Bosworth who has played in other big films such as “Win a Date
with Tad Hamilton” and “Blue Crush.” I was very unsettled about the
choice of Kate as Lois. And after watching the film, I find that she
didn’t totally kill Lois. Her performance was fine. But it just wasn’t
quite Lois. I hope in future Superman films that she can step up her
Lois performance. It needs work, but it was ok.
So that leaves the Man of Steel himself. I love the Clark Kent character
more than the Superman figure. And this movie was meant to focus on the
man more than the super. Of course, in the films, they make Clark Kent
in Metropolis as his disguise; and Superman is who he really is. I’ve
never liked this because how can Lois really know him when he is a
bumbling fool as Clark and all she can see when he is Superman is the
hero? But putting that aside, I thought Brandon Routh was great. I was
the most pleased with his performance more than anyone else in the film.
He has been criticized as not being as good as Christopher Reeve and not
doing the things that Chris did, and then he has also been criticized as
just copying the past Man of Steel. But I don’t agree. Actors that don’t
play characters larger than life are criticized. These same people don’t
take the time to observe the subtle way that these actors portray their
characters. If you take the time, you just might see greatness.
This film let the viewer see a side of Superman that we haven’t seen
before. We see him as a man, and a man who is alone. There were
beautiful views of Superman up above the world listening and watching
and knowing that the world needs him, but that he is all alone. And the
sadness he feels in having lost Lois was very touching. The most
poignant moment in the movie comes at the end. I won’t go into detail
for those of you who have not watched the movie yet. But first of all
Brandon’s acting was terrific and touching in that scene. It was a
paramount turn of events for the Superman character as well. I know it
brought a tear to my eye.
Sure there were things unanswered at the end of the film…what happened
to…what about…? But I know that Singer is planning two more films, and I
am supposing that there is a three film story line which I hope includes
Lois Lane finding out the truth about Clark…eventually. Because as all
good Superman fans know – Lois and Clark do get together in the end. I
look forward to seeing to fruition this new Superman franchise of
movies. It is definitely a must see at the theater. I give it an A-.
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