July 3, 2006

Review: Superman Returns

I saw Superman Returns over the weekend: It was just OK.

Maybe I'm getting
cranky in my old age, but I thought the story, well, a bit boring and hugely anti-climatic. Where was the gravitas? This is SUPERMAN! Defeating nameless gunmen and giant slabs of rock seems so... unsatisfying, though the plane rescue scene generated some fun energy.

I don't think its just me - I saw it with my nephew, who is 16, and he was bleary eyed, bewildered and as bored leaving the theater. I mean, I saw
the Break-up and, despite the tepid reviews, enjoyed it - it was a fun date movie. But then again, I didn't expect as much, because it wasn't hyped as the second coming (of Superman).

Oh, and by the way, Brandon Routh is not Christopher Reeve, and you know what? That's OK.

I read a number of reviews that compared the two, with Brandon suffering in comparison, but I disagree. He was good, playing Superman and Clark with a personable naivete that didn't seem dumb, but aware - consciously believing the best in everyone because he wants to expect the best. I found all the performances good, though I thought James Mardsen was among the best - you really wanted his character to do well; no small thing considering he was squarely the fly in the "Lois Lane and Superman" romance ointment.

The movie will do well - its fine, as far as it goes, and there were some some nice, um, extensions to the Superman mythology that should make the sequel more interesting.

80 comments:

Cipriano said...

Yeah I also saw Superman and i thought it sucked! I don't think it was your age, it was just a very stupid story.

deepsat said...

comic books have their own charm. its fun to read the stories of super heros than to watch them on the big-screen. the human aspect on screen makes all the difference!! you should be glad not to have seen the indian super hero.. Krrish... besides saving the world, he can dance around the trees with his lady :-)))

Trekker said...

We saw it last night too and maann....what a disappointment. We should've nailed this one with 10+ yrs in prep and several iterations through scripts and directors. Last year's Batman Begins was a much better treatment I thought. Brandon Routh was actually fine. Kate Bosworth was miscast as Lois Lane. Spacey was disappointing as well. Michael Rosenbaum plays a much deeper, meaner, suave Lex in Smallville! Lex couldn't have come up with a more stupid plan than this.

***SPOILER WARNING*** hello? who's gonna buy that barren rocky "real estate" with the richest people in the world gone. Paying homage to the Donner film is one thing but weak plot elements and holes is another ... and at the hospital scene my wife was like didn't we see this before... in The Matrix?! And why in the world would they take him to a regular ER? Helloo...STAR Labs!?

I really hope the sequel is better than this. We need to see Brainiac or Darkseid or even the Doomsday storyline ...oh but wait they've used that "death" plot element already in this one! Oh well...

Sree Kotay said...

yeah - the big mistake I think that BAD comic adaptions make is in treating the characters as SITUATIONS as opposed to stories.

I'll posit that enduring speculative fiction (sci-fi, super-hero, fantasy etc.) is because of the stories, not the settings, and movies would do better to treat them as novels they're adapting, rather than skits they're "elevating".

Updating is OK, but the Bourne Identity, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings would obviously NOT have been the same, to their detriment. And not because of slavish fans, but because those stories were GOOD - that's why they became popular in the first place.

Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman (Begins and the Tim Burton 80's) one did that - none of the other comic adaptions really did.

Roopa said...

it's true. it sucked. but brandon routh was hot. so i didn't mind much. the plot was stupid and his shoes were super-weird, did anyone else notice or is it just me?

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It was just you.

(about the shoes not the plot)

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:)

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