Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Superman Returns

Rating: B-

I stuggled a good bit with this rating. During the first half of the movie, it was an A, but as the story dragged on, the rating dragged down. While the movie is long (2 1/2 hrs), when it's done, you are left with a somewhat hollow feeling.

The movie starts out with the premise that astronomers have found the remains of Krypton, Superman's home world, so the man of steel takes off for 5 years to go see for himself. While he's gone, life on Earth goes on. Lois (Kate Bosworth) gets engaged and has a son, who is now 5 years old (hmm), and the rest of the world gets on with thier lives like nothing ever happened. Lex Luther (Kevin Spacey - the only really big name in the flick) gets out of jail, marries an old rich lady and gets her money when she kicks off to finace his eeevvilllll plan to take over the world. We'll get to his performance in a minute.

Finally, Superman returns in one of the best action/special effect scenes in recent memory. Everyone is happy except Lois, who according to Jimmy Olsen, still carries a heavy heart for the man of steel. The awkward scenes between Supes and Lois are great. They really capture the emotion of a long lost love that is returning with all the passion that has been missing. Very nicely done. Brandon Routh captures the dorky Clark Kent of Christopher Reeve to the letter. He even looks like Reeve.

Spacey basically phones it in as Lex Luther. Sure, he's evil, got his stooges around him, has a plan to take over the world, and all that, but it never seems that he's just bored with it all. A lot of the tensions of the movie take their hold in the first 4 Superman, and if you're like me, it's been a while since you've seen them, so a lot is expected of you to remember. There's no back story, the movie just jumps right in, which is distracting.

As a movie on it's own, Superman Returns is not really all that bad. As an attempt to revive the Superman franchise, it falls flat. In a world of fantastic redos such as Batman Returns, the expectations for the Man of Steel were very high. Too bad that the movie didn't meet them. Will there be a sequel? Probably. Will people see it? Probably not as many as this time, which bodes bad for Superman.