Monday, September 17, 2007

Not So Triumphant Return


Another Sunday afternoon and another chance to catch a 2006 film I didn't get to see in the theatres on HBO. This one was Superman Returns, the follow up of sorts to two classic films I love a lot - Superman the Movie and Superman II. Writer/producer Bryan Singer decides to drop from continuity films three and four and instead builds on a premise that Superman takes off for five years in space, only to return to find Lois Lane has moved on romantically and has a son.

Now, it was an okay film and it did pick up a lot of old cues from those first two films. In fact, some of the scenes seem down right familiar - from dialogue to pacing, and such. But, for me, it was not a great film. Yes, I know, this is sacriledgious statement coming from me, a life-long comic book fan. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I did those films from the 70's. Yes, the special effects capabilities of movie makers has jumped leaps and bounds since then, but this film just seemed to lack the same heart and passion those earlier films did.

I think this might be, in part, why I hadn't rushed out to the theatres to see this one nor did I feel too strong about picking up the DVD. I had heard reactions to the film as well as some of the plot beats and I realized something: this wasn't my Superman. My Superman wouldn't have taken off on an errand into space to satisfy his own curiosity about his roots - not when he had a woman who loved him (and he loved her) as well as a world that needed his super-assistance. The Kents didn't raise him with the type of values to abandon others for his own pursuits. That's why this film's whole set-up really had a false ring to it.

I guess I just prefer my heroes a bit more heroic is all.

4 comments:

Jim McClain said...

Martin, I have a blog post that I can't quite bring myself to publish about how many problems this movie has. He was like a stalker with super powers.

Doug said...

"Stalker with super powers"!! Haha! Well, I'm glad I saw this in the theater--the flying effects (and opening space shots) were just spectacular on the big screen. The PROBLEM was even ATTEMPTING to make this a "blurry sequel of sorts" to Superman II. Like Batman, this should've just been a fresh start. Not another origin movie, but not any type of implied sequel either. Nobody wanted to see Lois Lane happily elsewhere (with a kid), it should've just been a fun standalone adventure. (And perhaps something NOT with Lex Luthor or those infernal Kryptonian crystals!)

Martin said...

Jim, I'd love to see your blog entry about the film.

Doug, I definitely could have done without Luthor and Kryptonite again.

Michael O. said...

I have a lot to say about the film, and why it didn't work, but the most fun thing probably isn't suitable for blog commenting. The big talk when the film first came out (so to speak) was the whole "gay conspiracy" angle. While watching the film, I found definite paranoid proof in one scene of Bryan Singer alternatizing the Man of Steel! But it's a rather Kevin-Smith-esque rant, so in the interest of good taste, I'll refrain from tainting Martin's family-friendly blog...

Gay or straight? Who cares. A lousy Superman either way. I'll have to do my own point-by-point rant on it sometime, which echoes many of both Jim and Martin's thoughts. Geek minds think alike...