Friday, June 30, 2006

Pretty Fly for a Super Guy

If you're looking for good old fashioned summer movie entertainment on a grand scale, look no further than Superman Returns. The film is basically an homage to the spectacles of days past, and specifically to the Superman movie of 1978. From the opening chords of John Williams' theme music, to the replica of the credit style, to the clips of Marlon Brando's performance, and even including the final shot of the movie, Superman Returns is a film that treats its source material as if it was a holy text. In fact, director Bryan Singer has crafted a movie where Superman isn't just a hero — he's practically a god. As such, the movie looks spectacular. Everything about it is bright and slick and well-executed. Brandon Routh makes a great Superman. And I loved the plane crash sequence; it's one of the most exciting scenes I've seen in a long time. So yeah, Superman Returns is a really enjoyable movie ...

... But Superman Returns is not a perfect movie. I just didn't feel the gravitas or weight in Kevin Spacey's performance (he's no Gene Hackman). Spacey's casting and performance feel too gimmicky. Also, Kate Bosworth is too young to play such a role; though her makeup and hair do make her look older than 23, I just didn't buy that she was such a respected journalist already and that she had a 4 or 5 year old son (probably the most mature 4 or 5 year old kid ever). And most importantly, the movie is too long. I went with it for a while, but after two hours, it kind of feels like a drag. There's a small thing here and there as well, but nothing I want to get nit-picky about.

Still, while I didn't love the movie, I did enjoy Superman Returns. So I'm going to give it a solid B.



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