Superman Returns (2006) Review

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Hiding in the bushes it’s a bird…

Superman Returns (2006): 4 out of 10: This movie is definitely missing the spark that made the first two Superman films fun. (I am talking about 1978’s Superman and 1981’s Superman II, of course. Superman III was pretty awful and Superman IV is one of the worst films of all time). Among the issues is that Superman comes across as a bit of a jerk and a bully in this film and the franchise isn’t all that better for it.

Superman has gone away for five years in a plot contrivance that threatens to sink the film before it can begin. The claim is that he is seeking the remains of his home world (Not to sound like a comic book geek, but he if gets his powers from our yellow sun, he shouldn’t be flying past Pluto let alone halfway across the galaxy.) He comes back, sort of says hi to mom, tortures his poor loyal dog with a tennis ball and heads to the big city where he stalks his ex-girlfriend Lois whom he didn’t even tell he was leaving and who has clearly gone on with her life.

And I’m not exaggerating the stalking. Superman hangs outside of her house using superpowers to snoop like some DC comics version of a cautionary Lifetime movie.

Lex Luthor is also back with another stupid plan, though Kevin Spacey plays the character well and a surprisingly talented Parker Posey fills both the Otis and Mrs. Teschmacher shoes.

Both leads (Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth) have zero chemistry with each other and considering they were passionate lovers, their conversations are pretty stunted and mundane.

The action sequences are decent but the entire film seems to drag at two and a half hours and there is a distinct lack of joy. You know something fun, like everyone putting their Kryptonite up on E-bay, or Superman dating a supermodel to make Lois jealous. That kind of thing. Everyone seems so damn melancholy. Speaking of melancholy, I noticed that Superman never asked about any disasters he didn’t prevent while he was on his so-called vacation. Maybe a trip over lower Metropolis to see Ground Zero would have given him a reason for all the moping.

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