Superman Returns (2006)
Superman returns to discover his 5-year absence has allowed Lex Luthor to walk free, and that those he was closest to felt abandoned and have moved on. Luthor plots his ultimate revenge that could see millions killed and change the face of the planet forever, as well as ridding himself of the Man of Steel.
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Superman Returns was a valiant effort by Brian Singer but sadly both the director and the lead actor Brandon Routh's careers haven't flourished. The film was criticized for its length upon release but it wasn't a disaster either critically or financially. This is what this film eventually is- a middling affair that would soon be forgotten in the deluge of superhero films that were to follow that decade onwards. You can give it a watch though and there are some great scenes scattered throughout.
While it's nice that Singer wanted to keep the spirit of Chris Reeves alive, this story is a bit lame. We didn't need Lex Luthor in what is a rip on Superman The Movie, or the love story and the half kryptonian child. (Although when the kid squashes that guy with a piano, that's hysterical). The one thing they did right was Superman's powers. He's truly Superman in this movie. Shot in the eye, lifting a yacht, listening to the entire world. The movie needed more of this, and less of Lex Luthor. A good attempt.
I have always had a love hate relationship with the Superman Movies.first I loved Superman:The Movie(1978)..I consider that one to be a true American all time classic 2nd, I equally loved Superman II(1981) just and much as I loved the original Superman movie...both of those movies set the standards that I believe all comic book movies should be measured by. they are great.3rd, then came Superman III(1983)...okay, this one isn't quiet as good as the first 2 movies. but none-the-less, it does have its moments, and it isn't bad..it just wasn't that great.,,,a few plot holes, but it was still an enjoyable movie 4th, Superman IV:The Quest for Peace....what the hell happened? Its daylight in America and China at the same time, Supes steals all of the worlds nukes, Nuclear Man isn't really nuclear powered(nope he's solar powered)....Mariel Hemmingway can breathe in outer space... and the movie only got worst and worst. so bad that I found myself wondering if adults had really wrote the script, or was it written by a bunch of 3rd graders 5th, then came the Superboy TV series in the late 1980's(which depicted Superman/Clark Kent in college)..not all bad..but not really good either (it lasted one season and then got the ax) 6th, Hollywood just would leave Supes alone...then came Louis & Clark: The new Adventures of Superman. ...again, not bad, ...but not great either...And I never liked Dean Cain as the man of Steel, he was too boyish looking 7th, then came Smallville......Smallville destroys the entire background of Superman's past(Earth past) by placing him in the same high school with Lex Luther in the same town(and they are best friends...but Lex doesn't recognize him when he's superman ...this is pathetic I had given up on the Superman franchise after Smallville.But then came "Superman Returns" .........this was the first truly enjoyable Superman since 1983. Although it still falls short from the Glory of Superman I&II, it is better than Superman III and all of the skimpy Superman related TV shows that have been hasten onto the airwaves over the last 20 years.Brand Routh gives a solid performance as Clark Kent/Superman the special effects are wonderful(fantastic) ..the producers reused the old John Williams music score.....the story is good(although I admit that I did have some issues with Supes using his superpowers to stalk Lois Lane at her home) The writers went back to the basic for this one.this is a must see movie,it gets it right! and it makes up for the 20 years of bad Superman TV shows ! ! ! ! ! !
I really want to embrace this film with open arms. From the time that I was a child, I sat captivated by various Superman incarnations (most notably the first two Christopher Reeve movies), then got into the "Supes" spirit again when Smallville hit the airwaves on television. When I saw this movie in the theater on its premiere night in 2006, I thought it was absolutely incredible. With a bit of reflection, however, it is clear that "Superman Returns" is little more than wasted potential.For a basic plot summary, "Superman Returns" sees the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returning to Earth from a long hiatus of searching for the remains of his home planet Krypton. Upon his return to Earth and re-entry into the Clark Kent persona, he notices some major changes afoot. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is now married (husband played by James Marsden) and has a son (Tristan LeBeau), as well as a Pulitzer Prize for the article "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman". One thing that hasn't changed, however, is Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) being up to his old nefarious deeds.I could prattle on and on about why this is a sub-par movie, but that dialogue can be summed up in two key bullet points:-First, is the utterly inconsistent plot/storyline. Though director Bryan Singer wants us (the viewers) to believe that the world has "moved on" from Superman, it is as if nothing has changed whatsoever. Clark still gets a job at the Daily Planet, all the characters act/look the same, and even the typical "Supes vs. Lex" rivalry is renewed with little to nothing new interjected. The only addition? A potential child figure in the life of the returning hero. Without giving away any major spoilers, this is a TERRIBLE addition to the movie and only serves to complicated things more (as opposed to adding any real emotion).-Secondly, the writing/dialogue is atrocious. Spacey is not a good Lex Luthor (though whether by casting or given dialogue I am not entirely sure), Bosworth is a middling Lois, and Routh can only channel Reeve (again, a failure to "move on" in the storyline). The two actors who really stand out are Frank Langella (playing Perry White) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), and even they are not on screen all that much.Simply put, "Superman Returns" is a movie for its time...and nothing more. It was made to capitalize on the burgeoning success of Smallville, which had thrust "Superman mania" back into popular culture once again. Singer does an okay job of playing to those who just wanted to see the suit, cape, Reeve impersonation, and flying scenes, but other than that he turns in an utter stinker.Ironically, while the cannon established in this effort wipes the events of Superman III & IV off the map, "Superman Returns" will likely not ever be considered cannon in its own right. For rabid Superman fans, this is frustrating considering the massive potential that could have evolved from a truly great film at that time.The final verdict: Unless you care about nothing else but the visuals, this will be a severe disappointment. You'll want to love it, but it doesn't ever give you a chance.