Thursday, June 29, 2006

Superman Returns: A short review

I thought this was a really good movie. The decision to embrace the past movies (well...1 & 2 anyway) rather than try to rewrite the origin story was a great decision. The effects were awesome, and the guy they got to play Superman did a bang-up job. Just enough Christopher Reeves to draw you in. Thank God Nick Cage got the Ghostrider gig instead. ! Superman is an everyman...and Nick Cage is no everyman.

Didn't like:

1) Lois hooking up with another dude. It isn't so much that she moved on that bothers me as it is that she DIDN'T move on. She's been stringing Richard (James Mardsen, a.k.a. Cyclops) along for 5 years...despite the fact her kid believes Richard is his father. This Richard is a *good* guy. He's a committed family man, brave, devoted to Lois and the son, not to mention a good provider. What's Lois's problem? Oh yeah, she's still pining after Super-Jerk who took off for 5 years with nary a word. Superman as deadbeat dad and Lois as unfaithful tart just don't go over well for me.

2) It isn't so much as a thing to dislike as it is a nit: Luthor's master plan is to create a whole new continent that he'll be the ruler of...forcing the world's nations to buy real estate in Lexland (especially given that North & South America will be underwater as a result). This is a nod to Luthor's original diaboloical scheme in Superman I, where he was going to send half of California into the ocean (whereupon his worthless desert real estate would become priceless beach front property). My problem is that the first scheme actually made some sense, whereas the Superman Returns plot...just doesn't. Uh, did you get a load of the 'real-estate' that Lex created? It is as much a worthless barren wasteland as the desert property he bought in the first movie. We've already got a huge, unpopulated continent without a whole bunch of animal or plant life. It's called Antartica. Without the Genesis device from Star Trek II, it's hard to see how his barren Kryptonian rock is going to suddenly become profitable. And let's not forget, it isn't even a matter of plant and animal life. Property on the coasts are valuable, not just because it has beautiful scenery, but because of the civilization that has built up around it. The civilization that Lex plans to put 50 feet under the ocean. There are plenty of desert islands with fruit, animals, and beautiful scenery. No one owns those islands because that's all they've got. You have to develop it to make it worth something. It's hard to see how Lex would be around to enjoy the fruits of Lexland : The New Frontier...crystals or no crystals.