director: Bryan Singer
writers: Dan Harris & Michael Dougherty
starring: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey
genre: Adventure | Comics
released: June 28, 2006 (U.S.)
It took 18 years to get another Superman film to be filmed, but why did it have to take so long for us to get this miserable failure? I think we could have lived without Bryan Singer's take on Superman, as he brought nothing new to the table except bringing the previous film's flaws back to life.
The film continues the story where the old films left off with Superman (Brandon Routh) returning to Earth after 5 years of absence. The world now used to living without him greets him once again with open arms. His return finds only a few to be left bitter. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on with her life and Superman only seems to complicate it even further and with his arc nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) finding another chance with Superman's return for an insane real estate plot against the world.
Now before I trash the living daylights out of this film, let me praise it just a little bit. For all it's flaws it wasn't that much of a catastrophe, due to Singer's choice in picking the right guy for the job. Brandon Routh may not be Christopher Reeves and he still may be an inexperienced actor, but he did a good job of filling Reeves shoes. As a continuation, Routh plays the part like Reeves and has the same charm and presence as Clark and has a even better body for Superman than Reeves did. Also let us not forget the other people that were up for this role Brendan Fraser, Paul Walker and Nicolas Cage.
In general, Superman Returns is not a terrible film. It ain't badly acted, nor is it badly made, but it's still a hugely disappointing film. It's biggest fault is that it's made for the wrong audience, at the wrong time and with the same plot once again. If this was made in the 80's then we would be talking about a good film. But in the 2000's people expect something different from a superhero film. They don't expect a lackluster film that is too long, without action and overtly unoriginal to be a seller. The worst thing they could have done was make Luthor again have an evil plan that had to do with land/real estate, making Superman have a son, and not have a single scene were Superman can show off his strength against a villain. And guess what they did, all of that and more.
It's amazing how many directions they could have taken the franchise, compared to what they did. Superman has countless of villains, bigger, tougher and more exotic than Luthor. And even if they still wanted Luthor as the villain, why couldn't they see how Luthor was and still is in the comics. A man bent on bringing down a alien because he believes humanity doesn't need him. Luthor's only motive has ever been on taking Superman down and not for money, but for glory of him being the human who did it. Couldn't that have been a better idea?
With all the money they wasted, it's incredible that Superman barely fights in this 2 hour and half bore. Now lets all hope that the new incarnation of Superman on the big screen will resemble more the comics in being dramatic, having big action effect sequences and actually trying to make the character resonate with audiences.