Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Superman Returns

Another week and another movie knocked off our backlog. This time it was the much anticipated Superman Returns and we were keen to see if Brandon Routh could fill Christopher Reeve's spandex suit as the Man of Steel. Here's a short summary of the plot…

When astronomers discovered the location of Superman's home planet of Krypton, or at least where it used to be, he left Earth to discovery if anything remained of his race. Five years have passed and now the Man of Steel has returned to find a world where much has changed. Returned to find that his arch-enemy Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) has been released from prison because he wasn't there to testify at his trial. Returned to find that his foster father Jonathan Kent has passed away. Returned to find that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has had a child and is engaged to Perry White's nephew.

Now Lex Luthor has a new scheme for world domination. Taking advantage of our hero's absence, he's returned to Superman's Arctic fortress and has stolen the Kryptonian crystals that were used to create it. He plans to use them to raise a new continent in the Atlantic, which will wipe out most of North America leaving Lex with a monopoly on real estate in the area, regardless of the millions that will perish in the catastrophe. Can Superman regain the people's trust after deserting them for so long, thwart Luthor's dastardly plans and save America and can he win back the love of Lois Lane?

Well, after the dross we were served up with Superman III and IV, this one gets the franchise back on a decent footing. The story follows on from the plot of Superman II where General Zod and Luthor are defeated in Superman's Arctic fortress so a certain knowledge of what has gone before is expected of the audience, especially regarding the love interest between Superman and Lois Lane.

Kevin Spacey is excellent as arch-villain Luthor although the role is much darker here and there's not nearly so comic a bent as Gene Hackman gave to it. Kate Bosworth does a reasonable job as Lois Lane but not nearly as well as Margot Kidder did but as for Brandon Routh, he was pretty good but I didn't feel that he got into the character well enough, especially that of Clark Kent. Christopher Reeve simply was the transition from comic book to big screen as both the mild mannered reporter and the indestructable super-hero. Maybe Routh will develop if he plays him again and make no bones about it, there will be a sequel but for the moment he's got a way to go.

Is it worth going to see? Yes definitely! Fans of Superman, and I read the comics as a kid, will lap it up. If you haven't seen Superman II (where have you been), then it's definitely worth a rental first to catch up on the story. As for the sequel, I seriously hope we don't get another Lex Luthor tale. There's loads of other villains to choose from so how about something with Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Bizarro, Metallo or one of the many others.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction.
My Rating: 9/10

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