Superman Returns

My friend Matt loaned me two flicks to watch this weekend, and Superman Returns is one of them. This was the only Superman film that I hadn’t seen by now, and I have to say it was very enjoyable. Superman Returns (2006) is a loving homage to the Christopher Reeves version of the character. Brandon Routh does a very fine job in channeling Christopher Reeves’ Clark Kent and Superman. Kevin Spacey knocks it as a Gene Hackman-style Lex Luthor. Kate Bosworth is very likeable as Lois Lane and the chemistry between her and Routh/Superman gets a solid check mark as well. The love story angle is well crafted. The CGI and blockbuster-style action sequences are, in terms of cinematographics, very good.

The bit about Lois’s son being Supes’ progeny spins the tale off into an alternate story universe as far as I know. I’m not sure the movie really needed that added element. But it didn’t really harm the experience of the film either, at least not for me.

Kal Penn spoke not a single line in the movie. Intriguing. No big deal. Just odd.

I guess my only complaint is about some things that, for me, disturbed willing suspension of disbelief in the ending sequence.

First, isn’t the island coursing with massive veins of green kryptonite? I think it is. Indeed, we see the substance appearing right next to Superman at the end of the scene–including, as we learn afterward, penetrating into Supes’ body. Um, that’s a heck of a lot of green kryptonite to withstand. And wasn’t he just rendered utterly helpless by a single handheld piece earlier in the film?

Secondly: one single point of pressure at the base of an object of this size can support lifting the whole thing? Plus it’s crystalline to boot, for goodness sake! I guess I can accept the slim odds materializing that there was a pressure point at the base that, given the geometric structure of the island, could make lifting it possible without it breaking. But that kind of felt like a pretty big stretch to me physics-wise (within the plausibility of that imaginary world).

And thirdly, Superman doesn’t appear to clearly move the island out of earth’s orbit! If it remains in earth’s orbit it is eventually going to come crashing down and completely annihilate all life on the planet. (Thank you very much.) Superman is about to die as he leaves it there. Had he died I guess that would have bought human civilization some time to try to figure out how to propel it out of orbit, though.  But if it was in a weak orbit Lord only knows how soon it would plummet back to earth.

But in any event, it was a good time watching this film. I think it is my second favorite now, after the 1978 Superman. It’s close between this one and Man of Steel, though.

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Superman Returns

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