Superman Returns

Bomb Rating: 

Quite frankly, Superman just doesn't interest me. His main flaws are that Kryptonite can kill him and that he has the hots for Lois Lane. While I don't think there's much he can do about the Kryptonite thing, other than hiring some company to scour the earth and get rid of it all, there's definitely something he can do about Lois. I mean, dude, you're Superman. Go find a hot chick who actually puts out.

Director Bryan ("X-Men") Singer has put a slight twist on the Superman mythology, painting Superman (Brandon Routh) as more lonely and more angst-ridden. This film twists the plot of the 1978 film with Christopher Reeve by returning Superman to Metropolis after a five-year absence. Lois (Kate Bosworth) is not only engaged, but has a young son, whose paternity might be in question.

Unfortunately, Singer's main contribution to recreating this film series is to compare Superman with Jesus Christ. It's not like that analogy should be lost on anybody anyway, but Singer apparently wants to become Hollywood's Jimmy Swaggart, bringing us a holy savior whether we want one or not. I say if you want to look for a martyr, look to the super-geniuses at Warner Bros. who dropped $250 million making this thing.

Singer falls prey to a similar problem that plagued the 1978 film and that's the obvious mismatch between superhero and supervillain: namely pitting the acting skills of the untested Brandon Routh against those of Kevin Spacey in the role of Lex Luthor. It's the acting equivalent of "Bambi vs. Godzilla." Even James Lipton would have trouble claiming that Routh holds his own, even with Spacey acting like he has a restrictor plate installed in his pants.

I also felt simultaneous pity and amusement at the casting of James Marsden as Richard White, nephew to "The Daily Planet's" Perry White (Frank Langella) and boyfriend to Lois. First, Marsden got to lose Jane Grey's heart to Wolverine and now he's virtually castrated in front of his future wife and son by ubermanly Superman. I don't know what kind of role Marsden's agent has lined up for him next, but if he's smart it entails Marsden terrorizing a city with his 50-foot penis.

It's also really annoying in these superhero movies when the evil genius behaves like an idiot. It's fine when his hubris gets him, but when sheer stupidity does, you might as well have Lex played by Gilbert Gottfried (who I assume would be quite a bit cheaper anyway). It isn't like this whole "Superman" thing is new to Lex. He knows about Kryponite. Here's what I do if I'm Luthor: I have elves knit a suit out of Kryptonite and I wear it at all times. I have the dentist fill my cavities with Kryptonite. Oh, and when I have Superman rolling around on the ground powerless, I don't toss him off a cliff and assume he'll be out of my hair. I grind him up into little Superman bits and feed him to the fish.

"Superman Returns" = super stupid.

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