Its a bird. Its a plane....no its Super Stalker
After appearing in several TV shows like "Superboy", "Lois and Clark", and "Smallville", Superman returns to where he belongs. Bryan Singer pays homage to the classic Richard Donner's films by using many of the same themes that made the first two movies a classic. Even going as far as to use the original theme music and spliced video images of the late Marlon Brando, as Superman's father, Jor-El. Kevin Spacey completely masters the role of playing Lex Luthor perfectly. Bringing a darker yet twisted sense of humor to the character, that was absent in previous Superman adaptations. Clark Kent is still the same loveable bumbling oaf as we come to love, and Brandon does a palatable job portraying the Man of Steel. Altogether on the surface, Superman has all the makings to be this summer's biggest blockbuster with a marketable character and a lot of hype, but it does fall a bit short though. Don't get me wrong, I thought Singer's approach to turning this film into a continuation as apposed to a remake was a good idea, in many ways, because the original movie was so well done that all other remakes would seem cheap by comparison. However, it does seem like at times the film tries too hard to create the same emotional ties that we felt from watching the first two Superman movies. Often, feeling like the film just drags its' feet most of the time to build up the story. The film is basically about Superman (Brandon Routh) disappearing from Earth for five years in search of his homeworld, Krypton, but when he returns to Earth, he finds the world has learned to move on without him, including the love of his life, Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth). Lois is now married to Perry White's nephew, Richard (James Marsden), and they are raising a kid together. Though, the film does make you question whom the father might actually be, but I won't spoil that for those who haven't seen the movie yet. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) cons an old woman out of her fortune, so he can finance an operation that'll make him financially wealthy and get rid of Superman, once and for all. "Superman Returns" may not be as good as the hype, but it'll make you believe that a man can fly again.
As I said earlier, I thought Kevin Spacey was casted perfectly for this role and was way better than the campy Lex Luthor, portrayed by Gene Hackman. As it seems, Spacey pretty much redefines the character into a villain that's more believeable and sinister. A man who has his own ambitions as apposed to simply being against the moral ideals of what Superman is supposed to represent.
Kate Bosworth and James Marsden, were great together, in the film, as both actors seem to have a lot of chemistry with each other. In one scene, where Richard asks about Lois' history with Superman, you can almost sense a connection there between the two. Unfortunately, though, this film is supposed to be about Superman trying to cope with his loss of knowing the love of his life has moved on with her life. In the very few scenes, you see Lois and Superman together, they rarely ever speak to each other as it's mainly filled with ackward silence, yet Bryan Singer tries to make it to where you believe she still has feelings for the Man of Steel. I'm no expert on romances, but it seems like a couple that has had a history together and still have some feelings for each other, would to have more to say to each other. Plus, I seriously doubt, if Superman and Lois saw each other for the first time, in years, that the last words Superman would want to say is, "It's funny on how you say the world doesn't need a Superman. All I can hear is people pleading for one." Call me crazy, but wouldn't he say something more along the lines of "I'm sorry" or something. However, Bryan is able to establish some humanity to the Man of Steel.
Sure, throughout most of the movie, you see Bryan trying to establish Superman as a Christ-like figure, with the spliced videos of Jor-El(Superman's father played by Marlon Brando), in "Superman: The Movie." Using the infamous line, "They're a good people, Kal-El, if they wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way. Which is why I send them you, my only son." Along the way, showing Superman doing selfless acts, yet he's not above from spying on the woman he loves. Even though it seems Bryan fails to establish a lot of emotional connection whenever Lois and Superman are together, he makes up for it when they're apart. As you see how Superman spies on Lois as she talks to Richard, about Superman's relationship with her, you can almost sense how Superman wishes he could be with her. It becomes even more apparent when you see Supes alter ego, Clark Kent, as you see how he tries to act as if nothing ever happened between them but is forced to watch what could've been; when he sees Lois' new family. (Warning: Possible Spoiler Alert) When Lois sees Superman, in the hospital, and starts to cry and kiss him on his lips, you instantly see the deep feelings they onced longed for from each other. Hence, your able to still feel some emotional connection.
As for Brandon, he did a fairly decent job as Superman, and a great job as Clark Kent. Brandon was still able to portray the bumbling oaf as a loveable well to do character, yet he lacked a bit of the charismatic charm; Christopher Reeves had in the blue tights. However, not that it was totally his fault, as it seems he was given very little if any lines in this movie at all. Indeed, most of the lines Supes gets here are very brief. However, all the actors seem to fit role of what Bryan wanted, yet it does seem like Bryan tries too hard to mold his vision into whatever Donner would've done.
I know any true Superman fan loved Donner's version, but it seems like Bryan takes it a bit too far at times. For example, when he uses Gene Hackman's line, from "Superman: The Movie", when he says some speech on how land will always be marketable, not only is that used, but it's part of Lex's plot too. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first two Superman films, with Christopher Reeves, and I thought it was clever that Bryan used the line, "Statistically, flying is still the safest way to travel", to reintroduce Superman to be quite clever, but later it becomes a bit excessive. As it seems Bryan slows down the pace of this film to reestablish Superman in Donner's image, that it becomes very slow at the end.
However, that's not to say that this movie doesn't have its' action sequences where you see Superman flex his muscles. Showing awesome scenes from Superman struggling to stop a falling airplane to seeing a bullet bounce off his eye, will have fans clamouring in their seats.
Overall, "Superman Returns" will make you believe a man can fly again.