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Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Dorian's Very Brief and Spoiler-Free Review of Superman Returns.
I went in hoping I wouldn't be too disappointed, and I wasn't. The film was fine. Not exactly stirring or awe-inspiring, and the only action sequence worth talking about is the plane rescue, but otherwise fine.
I thought all the actors did a good job and were believable in their roles. Yes, even the much loathed Kate Bosworth and Parker Posey. Kevin Spacey in particular pulled off Luthor with a manic glee that reminded you that the character is both frighteningly intelligent, and unrepentantly evil. Brandon Routh was likeable and believable as both Clark Kent and Superman, and that's almost all you can ask of the role.
The story was a bit slight, and that's where the greatest weaknesses of the film lay. All the time spent paying homage to the original Donner films was distracting and annoying. The film would have been better served by starting over from scratch with the Superman mythos.
The "shocking surprise twist" was one of the most blatantly telegraphed reveals in film history. On a similar note, I want the technology to punch people over the internet to get here quickly, because I'm tired of right-wing/fanboy complaints about Lois cohabitating, Lois being a single mother, and Perry White not saying "the American way."
Next film: totally needs to get Krypto in there. If only to make up for the fact that Bryan Singer was exceptionally mean to dogs on a repeated basis in this film.
Actually, I do have one major complaint, but it's a bit spoiler-ish, and it doesn't just apply to this film, but to the super-hero movie genre as it has developed in recent years. And that's the fact that increasingly super-heroes are directly or indirectly causing the deaths of their enemies in these movies. It's fine for a character like the Punisher. I can even accept it, to a point, in a film like the X-Men movies (from Wolverine, yes; from the rest of the X-Men, not so much). But in movies like Batman Begins or Superman Returns or especially The Incredibles, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and it's off-putting. I may, or may not, expand on those thoughts in the future, once I feel like I've got a better take on the subject. But, for now, in short, I find cinematic depictions of super-heroes who kill contrary to the nature of the original material.