Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Superman Returns

All told, I don't think that Superman Returns was a very good movie. I enjoyed Superman, the Motion Picture and Superman II much better. Even Superman III was more enjoyable although the whole Richard Prior bit was a bad idea.
The problem with Superman Returns is that the director, Bryan Singer, was too respectful of the earlier movies. A lot of the structure of the movie and some of the dialog was lifted from the original movie. They even re-used Marlon Brando which added nothing to the movie.
The problem here is that the tone was very different than in the original. It would have worked a lot better to start fresh instead of continuing from movies made in the 1970s.
Then there is the casting. Brandon Routh did OK but he was imitating Christopher Reeve instead of doing his own version. Kate Bosworth continued a recent trend of putting pretty young actresses in roles that call for older, stronger women (along with Batman Begins and Fantastic Four). I never believed for a second that she won a Pultzer. She didn't even seem up to being a real reporter. She came across more as an intern who couldn't afford a sitter for the child she had at 18.
Regardless of the actress, Lois with a child is just weird.
At least Luthor wasn't over-the-top camp. The original movie had a of of good points but Luther wasn't one of them. On the other hand, Luthor's plans to kill billions was over-the-top without camp.
I didn't care for the Superman-as-Christ theme. This was never part of any other Superman adaptation but it was central to Singer's version.
The movie looks great. The flying sequences are pretty convincing although Superman's take-offs seem a bit gentle.
I don't like the new costume. Specifically, I don't like the texture of the suit or the rubber "S". I don't like Superman's trunks changing into speedos and I don't like the way they padded his "package" so it looked like applause excited him.
Bryan Singer plots often have huge holes in them. This was no exception. Just for starters, we have a new shuttle launch and they let reporters onto the plane? Come on.
What with licensing and all, Warner will not lose money on the movie but it's hard to believe that this will revive the franchise.

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