Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Movie Review: Superman Returns

Superman Returns delivers what one would expect from a Superman movie - a shallow plot, a bit of romance, a bit of action, a bit of violence, a nasty evil character that is trying to take over the world (America, anyway), and Superman rescuing damsels and other people in distress by lifting cars, slowing down crashing planes, intercepting falling buildings, and avoiding the dreaded Kryptonite. Superman (Brandon Routh who looks so much like Christopher Reeves it's uncanny - although without the acting ability) has been on a trip into the deepest reaches of space after hearing that scientists may have discovered his abandoned planet, Krypton (remember the first movie with Christopher Reeves?). After five years' absence and discovering that the scientists are wrong, he returns to earth to pick up where he left off. Superman Returns is a no-brainer but it's a reasonable bit of escapism. Kate Bosworth makes a good looking Lois Lane who is torn between her love for Superman and her de facto husband and son (just whose son is he?). Kevin Spacey's Lex Luther is suitably evil in a restrained performance that is nicely nuanced. And his plan to take over the world makes more sense than some of his 'predecessors' as he tries to get rich in a very contemporary item -- real estate. The outstanding feature of Superman Returns is the special effects which have to be some of the best you have ever seen. I am proud to say they were produced in Adelaide, South Australia. The flying man of steel has never flown so well and the destruction that Superman has to contend with is superbly rendered. Some of the shots are truly superb. Perhaps the only flaw is the rather obvious facial enhancement of Superman. If you can over the stupidity of people who can't tell that Clark Kent is Superman (except for one person who seems to be onto it), then it's a reasonable, but slow ride (154 minutes long and feels like it) -- but don't expect anything too deep. Unless you want to make something of the obvious and cliched references to saviours of the world and such things. But even they are not enough to make the movie fly as high as Superman. My Rating: *** (out of 5) Positive Review 'Superman Returns is a lush and enthralling piece of adventure storytelling that's both revisionist AND reverential, putting a timely spin on a timeless character without violating his primal appeal.' - Scott Foundas/LA Weekly Negative Review 'The bigger problem is that Singer’s weighty rhythms are disastrous for Superman, and the movie actually gets heavier in its last half-hour.' - David Edelstein/New York Magazine

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