Movies: Superman Returns

We took what seems like a very long 2 1/2 hours of our day yesterday to go see the new movie, Superman Returns. I’m pretty wishy washy about this one. I don’t hate it, but its not the best either.

One of the things I’m trying to keep in mind is a quote that I heard John Carpenter talk about in the DVD extras of The Fog a few months ago. He was essentially talking about how the studios are doing a lot of remakes now to bring stories to the newer generation, as your average kid will not watch a movie that is 10-15 years old now. Updating the story line to look more current, with some current and younger stars, allows a whole new generation to be able to view the story. I totally get it, and this line of thinking got me through The Omen remake without wanting to kill myself by the end of it. Overall, for this purpose, The Omen was OK.

I think it was only a matter of time before a Superman movie came out, with the success of movies like X-Men, Batman, and Spiderman. All of these movies set the bar a little higher for comic book based movies and I’ve liked all of them, especially Batman Begins (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition), which I think is hands down the best comic book super hero based movie made so far (with Spidey and X-Men running close seconds).

I think Superman Returns is a good movie for kids who haven’t seen the original Superman – The Movie. The special effects are great, the photography looks great, and c’mon – Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor — its like butter.

But overall, for me, I enjoyed the original better. The acting was better, the story was more coherent, and the special effects were good enough. During the first half hour of Superman Returns, I had a hard time even figuring out what was going on. The flashbacks were disjointed, with no real context that I could find to place me where I needed to be mentally to understand what had been happening over the last five years.

I thought Brandon Routh did an excellent job in the role of Superman, but I think for me thats more because he totally reminded me of Christopher Reeve. I couldn’t stand this Lois Lane at all, but I can’t put my finger on why. Kevin Spacey was excellent, as usual.

If I were you, I would wait for this one to come out on DVD. Its a cool movie to watch, but if I had it to do over again, I don’t think I would pay todays movie prices to watch it. If you want a great Superman movie, go back to the original Superman – The Movie (ignore the two or three sequels, they sucked too). I think that movie was the definitive Superman movie and still stands the test of time.