Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Superman Returns

Time to break the silence! I saw Superman Returns last week. I've read all kinds of reviews since and I was struck by how much it was loved by fans almost de facto... Not sharing much of this adoration I sort of sat back and took it in. So is it just me? Then I remembered, it's never just me.

I tend to refrain from using "gay" as an adjective, but Superman Returns? Pretty gay. I'm sure mothers and daughters will love it the world over. There were moments when I saw the visceral impact of what Superman on film should be, but they were quickly derailed by way too much thematic exploration and hack story points meant to force emotion.

My main objection to the film is a little deeper, in that I felt like I was watching a film I'd already seen. This was director Singer's homage, as it were, to the original film with fleeting references to the second. But it's one thing to film an homage, or even a re-imagining, but it's another to use the same lines of dialogue from that which one is honoring. The first instance was cute, by the fifth I'm just a little insulted. The action scenes were cool, but also anemic in their repetition of what had come before.

Superman Returns is good looking, all the money is on screen and Singer paints a pretty picture for his love of all things Reeve and Donner. But if someone gives you 200 million dollars to make a movie, why wouldn't you make it your own?

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