Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My "Superman Returns" Review: AWESOME!

Let me begin by saying I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

I wanted to get that out of the way, because even though I’m going to get somewhat critical in this review, my love for the movie and character remain strong! And no, I don’t mean I love him. I just love the idea of Superman.

First, the good stuff (there was a lot of it). The movie starts out with the awesome, inspiring and (yes) patriotic theme music. I am extremely thankful that the director decided to keep the original John Williams theme. If it had been changed, this movie would not have been as great as it was. The music sets the mood for all that is to come.

Now, I was very timid about accepting a new Superman into my life. Growing up, I admired and idolized Christopher Reeve (notwithstanding his leftist politics) as the Superman. Since my childhood, I have seen the movies a million times (as has every other male in my age group), so whoever took on the role would have a tough act to follow. I am pleased to report that Brandon Routh did a positively superb job. He didn’t look funny, sound strange or act terribly. He was as Superman should be – just right.

The other characters were, with the exception of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, fantastic. Kevin Spacey placed a convincing Lex Luthor, complete with witty one-liners and a penchant for real estate. The characters of Jimmy Olson and Perry White were well cast as well. Bosworth’s rendition of Lois Lane, however, was an abysmal failure. As annoying as Margot Kidder was in the original, as least she had verve (like I ever use that word) and panache (again, new words for this blog). Bosworth played the character with all the emotion of a tax attorney. She was no Pulitzer prize winning journalist, that’s for sure.

The eye-popping special effects in this movie were simply amazing. The opening action sequence (space shuttle, airline crash, baseball stadium) is worth the cost of admission alone. I nearly stood up on my seat in applause when Superman saved the victims in that scene! But it doesn’t end there. My heart was pumping during many-a-scene, either from excitement or heartbreak (the prospect of Superman dying, for example). I experienced a wide range of emotions to say the least.

Despite my overall approval of the movie, there were a few notable things that really ticked me off. First and foremost, I was offended and, frankly, dumbfounded to see that Superman’s famous core of beliefs was missing one important piece – He now only fights for “truth and justice,” completely ignoring the third part of that battle cry: “…and the American way!” What a personal blow to the nation that made Superman great. And for what reason? To appease a worldwide audience and placate the liberal America-haters in this country? Sad.

There were a few other annoying things as well. A beer drinking Clark Kent upsets me, as does Lois Lane’s love-child. Also, the lack of a good male sidekick (think Otisburg) for Lex Luthor was sorely missed. And while I mentioned at the beginning that John Williams’ original musical theme was still in place, the rest of the movie’s score was done by a guy named John Ottman. His music in this movie was utterly forgettable. He offered nothing new, no memorable themes and no inspiring interludes. In fact, the only time the music ever evoked an emotional response was when it incorporated the original Williams theme. Why Williams didn’t score the whole movie is beyond me.

So, having said all of this… I must reiterate how much fun I had while watching this movie. It was worth all $10 I paid for it (and the 3 hours of waiting in line). It will also be worth the additional $10 I plan to spend to watch it in IMAX later this summer!

Awesome. Totally awesome.

No comments: