Creative Destruction

July 12, 2006

Superman Returns

Filed under: Popular Culture,Uncategorized — Robert @ 2:56 pm

Mostly spoiler-free for your enjoyment. But for the truly spoilerphobic:

My wife and I saw SR in a beautiful new theatre in Oklahoma City’s awesome Bricktown urban revitalization development. (I know – “awesome” and “beautiful” in the same sentence as “Oklahoma City”. Sue me, the place rocks.)

Short review: Eh.

Long review:

The cast: Brandon Routh is pretty good as Superman; I predict he’ll grow into the role well. Kevin Spacey is compelling as Lex Luthor; there’s an anger and an intensity that Gene Hackman couldn’t manage – but Hackman’s funnier, saner Luthor also fit into the Superman universe better than Spacey’s performance. It will be hard for them to work around Spacey in the future. Parker Posey as Luthor’s moll appears to have gotten lost on the way to her plastic surgeon’s office and never found her way out. Whichever refugee from high school drama class played Lois Lane, they should replace with someone who doesn’t look 17, and who can act. The kid playing Lois’ kid was OK. Cyclops did a competent job of playing Lois’ new beau.

The plot: lame, full of holes, uncompelling. Big omission: Kal El’s visit to the ruins of Krypton could have been a major emotional tie-in for the audience – instead it’s elided offscreen and all we get to see of it is a reprise when Superman lands on Lex Luthor’s Kryptonian island. Another dumb move: Superman returns to Earth in a Kryptonian spacecraft again. Why? Did he use one to go back to Krypton, too? Why? The guy can fly in space unassisted; whats he need a big bobble-toy for? And where’d he get it? And why was he collapsing and weak when he got back to Earth?

The SFX: pretty good but a little bit too dreamy and clean, especially the Superman-flying-through-space-as-Jesus bits, which got old fast. One scene with a bullet flattening itself and bouncing off of Superman’s eye was pretty cool, though.

Overall: Eh.

(See? You could have just read the short review.)

7 Comments »

  1. It it appropriate for kids under 12?

    (I realize there is a PG-13 rating.)

    Comment by McBoing — July 12, 2006 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t recall anything too objectionable. There’s a scene where a dog has eaten another dog, and this is clear (bones, tufts of fur, etc.) but it’s played for laughs. There’s no nudity or sexual innuendo. In terms of violence, there is one scene where Superman, weakened by Kryptonite, gets kicked pretty brutally by Luthor’s thugs.

    Comment by bobhayes — July 12, 2006 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks!

    Comment by McBoing — July 12, 2006 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

  4. It it appropriate for kids under 12?

    I saw it with my 6 year old godson, and except for the part where Superman gets beaten up he was pretty much okay. That part kind of upset him.

    I thought the movie was good. So far, every review I’ve read says Kate Bosworth shouldn’t have been cast as Lois Lane. She was entirely too young for the role.

    As for the plot holes, well, it would take days to map them all out (and being a comic book fan I probably would do it). But they don’t get in the way of enjoying the film.

    One major plus is that Brandon Routh did a great job of matching Christopher Reeve’s Superman. His Clark Kent wasn’t as quirky and geeky as Reeve’s, though. And it’s too bad that the director Bryan Singer channeled so much from the original two films. I would have liked to see the franchise start all over again like with Batman Begins last summer.

    Comment by toysoldier — July 13, 2006 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  5. I agree with your “eh”. With a movie of this nature, I expected to walk out of the cimema (that’s “theater” to you ‘mericans) saying “Wow!”, and I didn’t.

    Another dumb move: Superman returns to Earth in a Kryptonian spacecraft again. Why? Did he use one to go back to Krypton, too? Why? The guy can fly in space unassisted; whats he need a big bobble-toy for? And where’d he get it? And why was he collapsing and weak when he got back to Earth?

    Actually it’s possible to handwave this one away, he needed a ship to return to earth because he was weak and collapsing. He was weak and collapsing because he’d just been to what’s left of Krypton, where there’s probably a fair amount of Green Kryptonite floating around. Obviously there was at least one Krypton ship there too.

    Comment by Daran — July 31, 2006 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  6. Dunno what happened there, I was halfway through editing when it got posted somehow. I’ll just carry on. (Some Spoilerage)…

    I just watched it with a friend and her seven year old son. This is allowed in the UK as the 12 rating allows younger children accompanied by a parent.

    The effects were OK, but nothing to write home about. The story was rather slow-paced, and the action (when there was action) was predictable. Luther’s come-uppance was distinctly disappointing – at the very least there should have been a second confrontation with Superman.

    More could have been made of Superboy’s latent powers.

    Violence: In addition to the aforementioned beating up of Superman (which really was quite graphic and disturbing), there was just one confirmed (male) violent death which took place off-screen. Also several policemen were machine-gunned at their vehicles. None were shown being shot, but there was no indication that they survived either. Lois got thrown around the cabin of a plummeting jet to a degree which would certainly have caused serious injury or death in real life, but emerged unscathed.

    Fails the Mo Movie Measure. The three female characters never spoke to each other at all.

    Comment by Daran — July 31, 2006 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  7. “Another dumb move: Superman returns to Earth in a Kryptonian spacecraft again. Why? Did he use one to go back to Krypton, too? Why? The guy can fly in space unassisted; whats he need a big bobble-toy for? And where’d he get it? And why was he collapsing and weak when he got back to Earth?”

    I guess this is why its important for people to understand the Superman story before they begin to question plot holes and the like

    1. Superman draws most of his powers from the Earths yellow sun, Krypton has a red sun. If superman flew back to Krypton, he would have gotten out of reach of our sun and then just drifted, unable to fly (or breathe?!) for lack of our yellow sun.
    2. Superman can fly/run faster than a speeding bullet yes, but not faster than the speed of light. It would have taken millions of years for him to travel the distance necessary to get back to krypton. From whats been said in supermans past I think its safe to say that Kryptonians managed to build fast than light spacecraft
    3. As has already been said, the amount of green kryptonite floating in the planets wreckage probably would have killed him if he was not shielded in a spacecraft

    The movie was gold🙂

    Comment by Daniel — April 19, 2007 @ 12:53 am | Reply


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