Superman Returns

Back from Krypton

Main Cast: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Parket Posey

Director: Bryan Singer

Plot Summary: Superman, having gone out in the futile hope to find his planet intact, returns to Earth amidst much fanfare. Lois Lane, however, has moved on to marry another man, and Lex Luthor stole a number of crystals from the Fortress of Solitude. Superman must deal with them both!

I was saying to my friend after the movie that it’s hard to relate to Superman. I mean. he is well neigh invulnerable, except against one particular thing. Therefore, his characterization suffers from a one-dimensional bias that is difficult to overcome. Christopher Reeve did it by dint of his strong personality. The current actor, Brandon Routh, does not quite have the presence of Reeve, but I think he did a pretty good job. Certainly Clark Kent has more personality than Superman, which is amusing in an ironic sort of way.

In any event, the movie does deliver some good thrills. As expected, the special effects are top notch and really allow the strength, as well as powers, of the Man of Steel to shine through. We get the sense of his immense power, and why he pretty much can fly all around the globe “putting out fires” (some literally!) and saving lives. I kind of feel sorry for the guy, having the weight of humanities problems dumped on his shoulders, but the plot clearly (and some cases, blatantly) compares him to Jesus Christ. He even. well, I won’t spoil any surprises, but just know that the comparison is there.

As for the villain, Kevin Spacey does a solid and amusing job as Luthor, but I can’t help but wonder why the writer/director/producer didn’t come up with a super-villain worthy of the Man of Steel. Kryptonite was used, of course, to negate Superman’s powers, but really this sort of is a cheat in a way. I also have to mention that I enjoyed seeing Parker Posey, usually an indie actor, playing Luthor’s scatterbrained girlfriend.

I don’t want this review to come out strongly negative. I did enjoy the movie, and they did what they could to make it exciting, but Superman the concept is such a tricky thing to pull off without going over the top. You can humanize him, which they have done, but they also point out that he really isn’t human. Overall, a good action/drama that flows smoothly and is entertaining, and certainly a solid addition to the genre.

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