Superman Returns

Thirty years after Christopher Reeve first took to the air, Marlon Brando returns from the grave (actually from Superman 1’s cutting room floor) for a few more seconds as Superman Senior and spanking new Brandon Routh inherits those famous y-fronts.

Fitting in after Superman 2, the film picks up the story with Superman missing for 5 years and his archenemy Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) being released from prison. Lois (Kate Bosworth), who evidently couldn’t wait for her hero, has shacked up with a regular guy and produced a five-year-old son.

They say:

The Independent: “The bangs are longer and louder but his airborne mission to mankind doesn’t inspire wonder, even in this unheroic age.”

Daily Mirror: “This superhero barely gets off the ground.”

We say:

Director Bryan Singer, straight from the X-Men, revisits themes of isolation and alienation in this dark reworking of the Superman story but somehow misses the excitement.

Brandon Routh is a young and strangely vulnerable superhero. Impressively sensitive in his romantic scenes but almost mesmerized by the job ahead of him in saving a world which has lost its innocence since the original film was made thirty years ago.

Those thirty years have seen a revolution in film technology too and the new movie has some magnificent special effects. Uncomfortably though, since the 1970s, we know much more of the real consequences of crashing jets and collapsing sky scrapers so when a series of ultra-realistic catastrophes unfold in the film, we wonder whether any mere superhero could really deal with all the inevitable consequences.

Kate Bosworth fails to ignite as Lois Lane. She is pretty but dull – what else would you expect from Orlando Bloom’s girlfriend?

Kevin Spacey is plain nasty as Lex Luthor. He talks chillingly about “billions of deaths” whilst listening to what seems to be Classic FM. His entourage is decidedly ambiguous too, with a particularly languid young man among his silent henchmen whom he sizes up with mournful eyes .His side-kick, Kitty (Parker Posey) is in the wrong movie. She’s straight out of Will and Grace.

Lovers of the genre expecting a fun family movie will be disappointed – Bryan Singer has taken our toys and broken them playing a game for grown-ups.

Cert 12A

Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Marlon Brando

Bryan Singer

Running time:
154 mins

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