Monday, July 09, 2018

My Review of Superman Returns (2006)

Written by Bryan Singer & Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris
Directed by Bryan Singer

Superman: "Listen; what do you hear?"
Lois: "Nothing."
Superman: "I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one."

Before he'd win us all over as Ray Palmer/The Atom on both Arrow and Legends Of Tomorrow, there was a brief time in which Brandon Routh was Superman. It's not often as talked about, probably due to both Christopher Reeve and Henry Cavill's versions of the character being more prominent within the media but for one movie only, Routh more or less made us all believe that a man could fly again.

Oddly set within the continuity (or at least inspired by it) of the Reeve movies, Superman Returns has the titular hero returning to Earth after being absent for five years and catching up with a world that has changed around him. The biggest change being that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is now married to Perry White's (Frank Langella) nephew Richard White (James Marsden) and has a little boy named, Jason (Tristan Lake Lebeau), who is heavily implied to be Superman's kid throughout the movie.

I'm not going to lie. In terms of chemistry, both Routh and Bosworth don't really radiate much chemistry, even though they're believable enough in their dynamic as Lois and Clark and Lois and Superman. Heck, in Superman's absence, Lois even wrote a scathing article on why the world didn't need Superman even though this movie proved otherwise of course.

Of course while things have dramatically changed for Lois, things somewhat remain the same for Lex Luthor. This time around played with a slightly darker tone in Kevin Spacey, the bald billionaire still wants to cause chaos and kill Superman and yet again nearly succeeds in both before getting his respective comeuppance.

Spacey's take on Luthor isn't quite as beguiling as Hackman's was in the way but it's still preferable to what Eisenberg would do with the role a decade after this movie's release. Lex gets to have some decent scenes with both Lois and Superman and also has another ditzy female assistant with Parker Posey turning in a charming enough performance as Kitty Kowolski and character wise, she's better utilised that either Richard White or Jimmy Olsen (Sam Huntington) are in this movie.

In terms of movies, it's not actually a bad one as such. All the leads are fine in the role and Routh's near resemblance to Reeve is actually striking enough to make you believe this movie could exist in the continuity of the latter's. Saying that though, Lex's plot is a bit too run of the mill at times but the movie does succeed in giving the character a decent return.

- Noel Neill appears at the start of the movie as Lex's elderly wife who dies while Jack Larson is the bartender in a scene with Clark and Jimmy. We also got some Jor El, courtesy of this movie being allowed to use recording of Marlon Brando in the role.
- Amy Adams who would play the role of Lois after Bosworth, actually auditioned for this movie. Then again, she was also in Smallville, which Brandon Routh auditioned for.
- Zod was meant to appear in the movie, but the role got scrapped at the last minute.
- Even though this film was a box office failure, it actually out performed Batman Begins, which was considered a success.

Superman Returns isn't quite the triumph for the Man of Steel that everyone was hoping for at the time. While it's a movie that could've lost about half an hour and maybe gone for a different antagonist other than Lex Luthor, it's a decent enough take on the character with Routh being charming enough in the role.

Rating: 6 out of 10

No comments: