Movie Review: Superman Returns

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Superman returned to the big screen this week when Superman Returns was released into theaters on 6/28/06, two days before the originally planned release date of June 30th. I was one of the many that ventured out to see the movie this week, as the movie has made over eighty million at the box office this weekend. This movie coming in just over two and a half hours brought back the man that believes in truth, justice and the American way for an all new audience of children to enjoy. It also brought it back for fans like myself that have been stuck on the story of a man from the planet Krypton that gains his energy and powers from the Earth's sun. In short, I think the movie revived the story quite well. For more of my thoughts and major movie spoilers continue reading.

This movie takes place five years after we saw Superman last. Astronomers found remnants of his home world, and he flew off on his own to investigate the ruins of his planet. He wanted to see for himself if there were any possible survivors of his people. Finding none, he returns to Earth just as he first arrived on the planet, via meteorite. Somehow he lands himself on his own home property in Kansas. After filling his mother in on what he has been doing since he left, he returns as Clark Kent to the Daily Planet and Metropolis. However, a lot can happen when you disappear for five years.

Within the first few moments after his return, he learns that Lois has won a Pulitzer for a story that told the world just why they didn't need Superman. Not only that, but she is engaged to Perry White's nephew, and she is the mother of what appears to be a five year old little boy. In that first day, Lois is on assignment learning about a new shuttle craft that will revolutionize travel. However, something goes horribly wrong when an electromagnetic pulse effects power across the eastern seaboard.

The cause of that EMP? Lex Luthor of course. He is on the loose because Superman missed his court date. He somehow finds Superman's earth home base, and steals the crystals inside. Using a piece of one creates a crystal like mass to appear in Lex's home. From this, he gets the crazy idea to use the crystal to create an entirely new land mass. However, before he does he obtains a small insurance policy, Kryptonite. As Lois investigates the EMP, she finds the source, and this leads her to Lex. When she comes face to face with the man, she isn't alone. Her son is with her, and he takes the two along for the ride. When Lois tries to fax an SOS to the Daily Planet, her goon guard goes after her, but we soon see her son won't have that. With a burst of strength, we see him crush the man by throwing a piano on him. Looks like Superman has a Superboy on his hands.

Richard finds Lois and her son just in time to save them, but the boat gets caught by the new land mass that is growing. Just as we think they may die, Superman flies in and saves the day. After sending the family on their way, he goes to investigate the mass that is coming out of the ocean just off the coast of Metropolis. It has already wrecked havoc in the city, which Superman has fixed just before rescuing Lois. What Superman doesn't know is that the new mass is made out of partially kryptonite. Once he lands on the mass directly, his powers disappears. This gives Luthor the upper hand. Lois realizes this and she begs Richard to return because Superman will die.

They do return just in time to save Superman. After she removes the piece of Kryptonite Luthor jammed into Superman's side, he returns to the mass after regaining some strength. He uses all he has to take the mass up into the air and away from Earth. Afterwards, he falls to ground, and he is taken to the hospital. The world watches as Superman lays dying. Lois goes to see him with her son, and she tells him that her son is their son. We think all is lost, but before the movie ends we see Superman visit his son and Lois before flying off into the night once again.

With the plot, you have action scenes enough to keep the action fan happy. Superman is back, and he is everywhere as he tries to save the world once again. This movie gave Superman more of a heart too I think. We see how he is affected by the voices of the world. There are some small plot points a fan would pick up on. One of them being how did everyone not connect Superman and Clark Kent being the same man as they were both gone the same amount of time.

Also you have to wonder about this new little Superboy. Just when was he conceived and how did Lois hide his parentage from the world? Everyone knew she was Superman's right hand woman. Did Richard really think the little boy belonged to him? I think Richard's character could have really used some more strengthening. The way he was written with these little plot holes make him look a bit dense. With the way the movie ended, you have to wonder if Lois stays with him or not. Superman knows about his son now, and even Spiderman ends up with his Mary Jane at the end of Spiderman 2. Will there be another Superman movie? My guess is yes. I'm thinking we might even see a Superboy movie in the future.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie a great deal. I might even say I liked this movie better than X-men: The Last Stand. Bryan Singer did a wonderful job at reviving the tale I've loved since a child. I was a bit worried about it when I heard they were making a new film, but my worries were unfounded. I'm actually looking forward to seeing any future movies in this franchise. Hopefully, Bryan Singer will stay on to make more.


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