Superman Returns (for no good reason)


Sometime in 2008 ...

You probably went to see it whether you wanted to or not. Personally, I liked it at first but was later put off by a couple of things. In fact, I felt a bit embarrassed about my feelings and expectations due to music alone.


First, Lois Lane returns, looking nothing like her original self, but instead a unisex woman of the 90s. She’s independent, too strong to be enraptured and too weak to be … a man. I, for one, happen to miss that light dependence on superman’s strength that the original Lois wore, an underlying look of awe and admiration that he kinda deserves (because he can fly and can probably do a lot of other things they won't show us in the movies). I really miss that.

Because without this, Superman, no matter what his powers, is reduced to another guy who left and came back to ask for forgiveness. This is not fantasy, this is too much reality and too grounding amidst the rest of the fiction. In fact, it sets the whole movie on a lop side and contributes to the nauseating roller coaster ride of present and past colliding. Specifically, my heart leapt up with music that used to signal a serious enigmatic love relationship between a super hero and beautiful woman, and fell sharply into a puddle when this was not happening to the same music!

My Lois is not a pushy yet wishy-washy, extended-engagement, fake-moving-on woman of the 90s. She is capable and at once traditional, and she is strong in her femininity which she owns and uses--she reaps rewards of attraction and softens gratefully in the presence of a real (super) man. Two notions describe the character who replaced her: misogynist-fantasy and annoying.

I watched on. Lex Luther is nice. I like Spacey and think he did a fine job, as did his counterpart Posey. That’s all about that.

The action scenes were engrossing and sometimes impressive. There exist parallels between Jesus and Superman that were obviously strewn through the whole production. It’s kind of excusable to a point but then becomes ridiculous. Also, blame my study of mass media and minorities for this one, but: how does he choose between races when he keeps saving all the white folks?

In the end, I found Superman Returns a relative bore because of the aforementioned, and a tedious experience because of several other factors:

That plane could never handle the load of the shuttle.

Again, how does he choose who to save, and how did he stop all of those buildings from falling in that fault scene again? Hmmm … please appeal just a little to common sense!

What city was that supposed to be, can we at least have a fictional name so we aren’t looking for a landmark the whole time?

That kid was cute and I love that he moved a piano … and maybe lifted the plane out of a rough spot … but why just those things?  he was the only interesting part!

I loved X-Men 3 and was probably too high from that totally enlightening, engrossing and intellectually-sound fantasy experience to find Superman Returns anywhere near as satisfying.