Superman Returns (2006)

BRYAN SINGER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 2006Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, Peters Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, DC Comics.  Story by Bryan Singer, , , Screenplay by Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, based on characters created by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , ,Bryan Singer.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , John Ottman.  Academy Awards 2006.  

A straight white guy who looks good enough to be a gay porn star but only cares about helping others and has a strange fixation with :  is it any wonder that he’s from another planet? The caped fury in red underwear has been resurrected for the big screen, following a long line of recent superhero franchises in the hopes of cashing in on the trend. After having disappeared for five years, Superman (newcomer ) returns to Planet Earth just in time to catch Lex Luthor () up to his old tricks again: trying to destroy the entire world in an effort to become its ruler. Meanwhile, Lois Lane (Bosworth) has remarried and is now a mother, giving both Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent some heavy emotional baggage to deal with. Bryan Singer directs with style and infuses the action with the same level of poignant allegory that he gave to the first two X-Men films, but all the notable effort that has been put into thickening up the story and giving it the emotional resonance that Spider-Man 2, Batman Begins and X2 have is wasted on a set-up that isn’t all that deep in the first place: Clark Kent doesn’t have the tortured past of Bruce Wayne or the continuing conflicts of Peter Parker, he’s just a really nice guy with a chiseled jaw and no dark side. Routh is adequate in the lead, though he’s missing the instantly noble quality that the late Christopher Reeve had, while steals the entire show as Luthor’s featherbrained moll; her few scenes are the only time the film really stops taking itself so seriously and just enjoys being summer entertainment.

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