Superman Returns Review

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a classic line from back in the day. With the release of Superman Returns, we will feel an ode back to the old days rather than an adventure to what lies beyond the hills of the future.

Having talked to a few people outside the state of Iowa, there seemed to be an uneasiness that had formed regarding the new actor from the Midwest. While it seemed it was a decent split on Kevin Spacey as Lex Luther. Did it work out in the end? Does it all seem to fit? The answer in short, is a happy yes.

Superman Returns takes place after the second Superman movie. Just as a reminder to everyone, in the second movie Lois Lane got hit with a mind-wiping kiss to make her forget who Superman is. That is why she looks at him and Clark as different people once again.

In this movie, you find out that Superman has been gone for an entire five years time, after he did a sudden and instant disappearance. The reason for his sudden moving out act is due to astrologists finding what they thought was a piece of his home world.

The movie more or less begins with something falling out of the sky, aflame, and shaking the house like there is no tomorrow. At first you would mistake this for a rehashing of his initial fall to earth. Instead it is him falling to earth with that chunk of his home world. Since he isn't standing when he lands, his mother is running to him in a frantic way.

The next morning you find out that Clark's father had died before he had left and that Clark had buried the huge chunk of his home world in the back yard. After teasing the dog with a game of fetch then throwing the ball so hard that it disappears into the distance he starts to have flashbacks of when he started learning his powers.

After the flashbacks he goes back to work as Clark and finds out some rather disturbing things, both around his lady love. The first is that she won a Pulitzer prize for writing an article entitled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman" and that she has an almost husband and a child now.

From there the other main part of the plot is based around Lex Luther and his quest for the crystals from Superman's ice fortress console. He gains his ability to reach the cave and the funding for it by tricking a dying woman out of her money by pretending to love her and take care of her so that she'll create a new will and leave it all to him, even though her family is screaming warnings at her from outside the locked door.

From here you find out that the crystals in Superman's console can create land if a bit of them is used correctly.

That's more or less the gist of the plot. Lois is having life issues with her almost husband and the return of Superman and Lex must be stopped.

The action in this movie more or less takes a back seat to the character issues between Superman, Lois, and her almost husband. With all of these little dramas hanging around, it's a surprise Superman has any time or energy to deal with these world threatening issues.

Throughout this movie you will hear a few lines that go back to the original movies. While that's good and all, that will probably be the biggest complaint about this movie if anyone has one, that this movie didn't try to be its own movie but instead tried to fit in with an older crowd.

Beyond the fact that you'll need to know something about Superman to truly enjoy this movie, it was a well done movie. As with all other Superman movies, it wasn't an astounding mind blowing experience, it was what we would expect out of Superman. You have to give them credit though, I'd find it hard to make story after story about a guy who more or less has god mode enabled for his entire life.

The story is good, but the special effects in this movie are great. Up until the Matrix movies, people have always looked a bit weird when they were flying, thankfully that knowledge has continued into this movie. Superman does not look bad when he is flying.

I could see some people complaining about the look of the crystals, that they looked too plastic like. For those people I say this, make a better prop and ship it to the movie studio for the next movie is one. People will always find something to complain about. If you are picky enough to say that a foot long and two to three inch thick crystal looks fake, then you were probably one of the people that complained that the hulk in his thirteen foot green skinned hide looked too fake as well.

The directing on this movie was good too. I never felt a camera angle was too odd, out of place, or just unnecessary. But looking at the directors previous films, I expected only great myself.

In the end, Superman is exactly what it sets out to be, a movie much like its elders. It isn't a movie that'll blow you out of your socks unless you are a huge Superman fan, and they are the hardest ones to please in this area. For the rest of us, it's a good piece of nostalgia.

"Superman Returns" opens June 28, 2006 and is rated PG13. Action. Directed by Bryan Singer. Written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris . Starring Brandon Routh, Frank Langella, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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