Superman Returns

SUPERMAN RETURNS reminded me of THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE —  I couldn’t get past Brandon Routh’s irritating and pointless Christopher Reeve impersonation. It struck me as a particularly stupid idea… it would be like doing a James Bond movie and hiring someone to do a Sean Connery impersonation. The imitation works for satire…but for a drama? I don’t understand the thinking behind it. Why couldn’t they just let Routh create his own, unique portrayal? At least Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth weren’t forced into imitating Gene Hackman and Margot Kidder (though the performances by Spacey and Bosworth are surprisingly bland). 

By attempting to xerox the original SUPERMAN movie, all director Bryan Singer managed to do was force comparisons at every turn… and SUPERMAN RETURNS simply didn’t measure up on any level.  I was constantly reminded how much better the first two movies were…and how genuine and charming Christopher Reeve’s portrayal was.

4 thoughts on “Superman Returns”

  1. I got the impression that Singer was afraid to mess with what poeple liked about the 1978 and ’80 movies.
    I’ve always preferred the idea that Clark Kent was the genuine character–embodying an immigrant’s wish to live the American Dream–and Superman was the disguise he wore to fight crime on ths side.
    I enjoyed Deborah Joy LeVine’s concept in the first season of LOIS & CLARK, where Kent had used his power of flight to travel the world, developing a journalist’s interest in various cultures before deciding to settle in Metropolis. Here was a character who could go toe-to-toe with Lois Lane and be attractive to her on his own, without the tights and cape.
    Singer reduced Clark to a goofy disguise with very little screen time. He shouldn’t have waited for a sequel to tell his own story.

  2. I was disappointed too, and my kids, age 8 and 12, admitted afterwards that they thought it was kind of boring. I thought the set pieces were fine, specifically him rescuing the jet crash. I agree with Roger Ebert’s evaluation about Superman grimacing and straining as he saves the plane–Superman has limits? We’ve seen him set back time by reversing the tilt of the earth, flying into outerspace, stopping nuclear missiles… would he have had more problems with an Airbus or a 747? And since Lex Luthor repeatedly uses Kryptonite to bring him down, isn’t it high time he started taking precautions. Come on, Superman has a brain, right?
    I came away thinking the movie looked good but lacked heart, for some reason. Now, the next night we sent and saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest…

  3. I haven’t seen the movie yet – not out here in the UK yet, but you’ve reminded me how much I enjoyed The Brady Bunch movie – yeah, I know, I know… I just love franchises that are able to poke fun at themselves.

  4. Interesting…I found the film a terrific sequel and homage in the best sense of the word. And I thought Brandon’s portrayal was not at all an impersonation but well-realized. I had some trouble with some of the plot points that I thought undercut the drama, but we (a whole bunch of us) thoroughly enjoyed the film. And Singer finally did some things with the flying sequences that captures some marvelous moments of flight.
    I think ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ is the summer film that felt flat…


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