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Superman (Brandon Routh) returns to Earth after a five-year journey to his homeworld Krypton, but he found nothing there. The world has moved on and learned to live without Superman, and so has Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), who won the Pulitzer price for her “Why the world doesn’t need Superman” editorial. And she lives with another man (James Marsden) and has a five year old kid. There seems to be no space in her life for Superman anymore – and much less for Clark Kent, who returns to the Daily Planet. “What relationship?” Lois aks when Clark wants to “talk about our relationship” with her.
But there is still work to do for a superhero – like saving a malfunctioning shuttle and the Boeing 777 that carries the shuttle and happens to have Lois Lane on board, or fighting gangsters wielding a huge gatling gun. And then there is the trifle of Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) wanting to create a new continent with technology stolen from Superman’s Fortress Of Solitude and flooding America and killing billions in the process …

For years various Superman-projects have haunted Hollywood, every director from Tim Burton via Kevin Smith to Wolfgang Petersen was attached to one, and Nicolas Cage wanted to don the cape. But it needed Bryan Singer to actually get the green light for a return of Superman to the big screen.
The problem with Superman is and has been for a long time that he is perfect. And not only perfect, but also bulletproof, super-fast, and outright invincible. And a perfect man – as every woman you ask for the truth will tell you – is a boring man. And an invincible superhero is a boring superhero, except when you want to watch a man in blue tights beat the crap out of villains for two hours.

What Bryan Singer did is to recreate Superman for a new generation. Superman has to struggle for his place in the world (again), and despite his superhuman powers, he has emotional and relationship problems just like a human being. And while it’s easy to win back the love of the public, it’s not so easy to win back Lois Lane who he left back without saying goodbye when he went on his journey to Krypton.
Not everything is new in Metropolis – Superman has changed, and so has his costume, Lois Lane is now a mother in a relationship, the special effects are better and state of the art, but Brendan Routh looks very much like Christopher Reeve in Superman: The Movie, and the style is reminiscent of Superman I and II, and so is part of the score.

If you are an action aficionado – don’t be worried because of all this talk about relationships and emotions – there is enough bang for the buck, most notably when Superman saves a burning plane spiralling towards the ground, when he faces the gangster with the gatling gun, and when he does what Superman does – rescueing the people of Metropolis from disaster. And embedding the action into drama and romance makes it all the more powerful – there is nothing worse than special effects just for the sake of special effects.
While it might be a mistake to show the most engaging action scenes at the beginning of a 154-minute movie – what a return to Earth and to the movies for Superman it is!

The acting is fine for an action/comic-film – Brendan Routh looks the part (though sometimes he looks a bit like his own CGI-character), Kevin Spacey is excellent as Über-baddie Lex Luthor, Kate Bosworth is OK (but actually a bit too young for the part), sprog Jason (Tristan Lake Leabu) is not annoying and/or ruining the film (and that’s as much of a praise as kids in movies can get from me), and the actors keep the film interesting when there is no super-action going on.

Watch it and You will believe a man can fly!

Superman Returns Movie Trailer

5 Responses to “SUPERMAN RETURNS by Bryan Singer”

  1. Movie Review Blog » MY SUPER-EX GIRLFRIEND by Ivan Reitman Says:

    […] When New Yorker everyman Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) picks up wallflower Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) he has no idea that she is really female superhero G-Girl. After she reveals her secret identity to him, she makes him swear an oath: “I’d rather have a chainsaw shoved up my ass than tell.” But Matt not only leaves Jenny after finally realizing he really loves co-worker Hannah (Anna Faris), he also can’t resist to tell his best friend Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) that he had sex with G-Girl. The already emotionally unstable Super-Ex Girlfriend is furious about being dumped and about Matt giving away her secret, and she promises to make him suffer. And G-Girl does what Superman would never do – she uses her superhuman powers to take horrible revenge. Professor Badlam (Eddie Izzard), G-Girls archfiend, offers his help – he has found a way to rob G-Girl of her powers, and he needs Matt to lure her into a trap. After G-Girl has thrown a shark into his apartment, put his car into orbit and disgraced him at work, it looks like a good idea for Matt to help take her powers away from her, at least after Professor Badlam promises to retire from his criminal activities as soon as G-Girl lost her superpowers. […]

  2. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » GHOST RIDER by Mark Steven Johnson Says:

    […] Brought to the screen by Mark Steven Johnson, the man who already slaughtered DAREDEVIL, Ghost Rider is another Marvel comic film that reeks of a cheap cash-in. As comic-adaptations go, there is an A-League (Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Spider-Man), a B-League (X-Men, X2, Fantastic Four or Hellboy), and there is a C-League, reserved for the likes of Daredevil, Catwoman, or Batman and Robin. Sadly, Ghost Rider is clearly C-League. Reportedly, the production cost of Ghost Rider was $ 110 million. It looks like most of the money was spent for Nicolas Cage’s and Eva Mendes’ salary, and the rest for creating clunky CGI (Ghost Rider moves like he’s bored stiff by the lame action. The flaming skull is decent for a B-movie but far from spectacular). No budget seems to have been wasted for a decent script or good supporting actors. The supposedly powerful Nephilim are dispatched as easily as the next bagsnatcher on the street, Blackheart’s most threatening assets are pale skin and red eyes, and suspense only arises when the trailer for SPIDER-MAN 3 is shown before the main feature. Not only the villains are crappy, it’s also hard to care for the heros when Mark Steven Johnson’s idea of communicating the feelings between Johnny and Roxanne is letting them stand below a tree surrounded by blossoming flowers in an otherwise desolate CGI-landscape … not only once, but twice! […]

  3. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » WATCHMEN by Zack Snyder Says:

    […] but not only do they not possess any real superpowers, they also lack the ethical values of a Superman – murder, rape and fascism are not unknown within their […]

  4. Movie Review » X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE by Gavin Hood Says:

    […] (for possible future X-Men Origins movies?). Suspense is limited, partly for the same reason why Superman is a bit boring – Wolverine is more or less invulnerable and there’s not much that can happen […]

  5. Movie Review » STAR TREK by J. J. Abrams Says:

    […] franchises has become fashionable (see Superman, Batman, James Bond), and if there was another big franchise in dire need of a reboot, it was Star […]

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