Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #9 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Now we’re gonna skip ahead by a few decades to 2006 with the last Superman film in the form of Superman Returns.
I remember seeing this film in the cinema back in 2006 and thinking it was really good, but I was 16 and very foolish and I think I was getting over the heartache that I got from X-Men 3 so this film sort eased the pain. But after repeat viewings over the years on TV, the film actually got worse and worse and I really started to hate it. So has that changed in 2013? Let’s have a look in this review shall we?
In terms of the plot well Superman Returns sort of tries to fit itself into the old Superman film continuity by including Superman 1 & 2 but ignoring films 3 and 4. In this film it tells the story of Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence. He finds that his love interest Lois Lane has moved on with her life, and that his arch-enemy Lex Luthor is plotting a scheme that will destroy the world, starting with the United States.
This film had some potential, I like the concept of Superman leaving and having to reestablish his connections with his family and friends, especially Lois Lane. The problem here is that execution of the story is a bit messy, since this film tries to fit into Superman 1 & 2 there’s a lot of inconsistencies and plot holes that arise that tamper with the overall story. Add to that Lex Luthor is attempting an evil scheme that’s very similar to what he did in the first Superman film. And speaking of the first Superman film, there are a lot of homages/references to the first two films to the point where its a little more annoying than it is necessary.
Now let’s talk about the cast and let’s start with Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman. Routh certainly looked the part and looked nice as a modern version of the Christopher Reeve character, Routh was obviously an unknown actor at this time and this film made his career big in the future. I think he did okay as both Clark and Superman, however I wasn’t sure if he had the same level of screen presence that Reeve had back in the day. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane: A reporter who works with Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, and former lover of Superman. Also forget about Superman, Lois Lane is the invincible one. Did you see her in that plane sequence? She flew all over the place, getting smacked about and yet she was completely fine when Superman saved and landed the plane. And what about that bit in the sinking boat when she gets decked in the head by that heavy door? HER NECK SHOULD HAVE BEEN BROKEN OR SOMETHING. Yet she just gets knocked unconscious, so unnatural and unrealistic. I don’t understand.
As for Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor he was honestly the best person in this film. I guess that’s a given because Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey after all, but yeah I loved his version of Lex, he’s still incredibly vain but is much more serious and makes for a much more interesting version of the character when compared to Gene Hackman. Also Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski was okay as Lex Luthor’s henchwoman, she was pretty, the problem was that she was so annoying and high-pitched in her voice that I couldn’t stand it. And then there’s James Marsden as Richard White. I forget he’s the nephew of Perry White and fiancé to Lois Lane, to me he’s still Cyclops from X-Men just without his sunglasses. I basically don’t care about his character because he gets in the way of Superman and Lois romance.
I also want to mention Frank Langella as Daily Planet editor Perry White, he was very good and had the same amount of charisma that Jackie Cooper did back in the older films. Also Sam Huntington makes for a Jimmy Olsen and Tristan Lake Leabu as Jason White, the son of Lois Lane and Superman is just there. I’m not too keen on child actors and this kid is not really terrible nor is he amazing, he’s just there. And lastly from beyond the grave Marlon Brando reappears as Jor-El which is a nice reference to the past.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is pretty damn good, I mean when compared to the old Superman films it’s a hell of a better. This was the film that finally gave us a proper good-looking film with updated CGI, convincing fight sequences and nice action scenes. The two best scenes in the sequence when Superman saves the plane and when people are shooting Superman and that bullet hits eye and bounces off. Unfortunately these moments are few and far between and these are the best points in the film because the scenes of characters talking and developing the story aren’t all that interesting. As for the soundtrack by John Ottman is nice, Ottman’s rendition of the classic Superman theme by John Williams is faithful and sounds pretty epic, as for the rest of the soundtrack it works in places but it’s not one I’ll remember any time soon.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my knowledge of the Superman comics is pretty much non-existent, so again I can’t really answer this department.
So to conclude Superman Returns is just a disappointing film especially since its coming from director Bryan Singer who gave us two good X-Men films prior to this. There was potential for this film to be brilliant and it had some nice ideas, but the execution was off, with numerous problems and plot holes this film just wasn’t the Superman film that fans were hoping for.
Rating: 6/10 (Oh this film just hurts me, disappointed is the word of the day)
So there’s my review people, only 21 more to go. So have you seen Superman Returns and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!