Superman Returns - and Frankly, He Can Go Away Again For All I Care

Brandon Rouch is fun to look at. That's about the only truly positive thing I can say about the new movie Superman Returns. Now, I am not a Superman expert. I don't follow all the drama that surrounds the enterprise, I basically just know Christopher Reeve was also fun to look at, Lois and Clark was a pretty fun show while it lasted, and that's about the extent of my knowledge. I've never even seen 'Smallville'. I was going in pretty cold. But this movie...I went to see it on Saturday, alone, using up precious 'away from children time.' I was looking forward to it, and it starts out with a pretty good action sequence on an airplane, and I settled in for an enjoyable afternoon. But then, oh then....the musing began. There is much musing in this movie. Mucho-Musing. Musing Galore. It could be renamed 'Superman Returns to Think About Stuff." In fact, I'm going to start a rumor right now saying that was the working title for quite some time. Apparently Superman likes to fly around in space and look concerned about.....things? People? Whether is suit is machine washable? You can almost hear the director shouting "Look more concerned! I need angst here!" My biggest complaint is Clark Kent, or the lack thereof. He is on screen for maybe 2 minutes, total. Jimmy Olson has more to do than Clark. Perry White has waaayyy more screen time. Even the dog is far more memorable than Clark. Truly, the dog has the best scenes in the movie. Lois Lane and the non-existent Clark/Superman have zero chemistry. None. I would call what they have the antithesis of chemistry, or negative-chem, if you will. The movie is 157 minutes. It needed to be about 90. There's very little plot, and what is there, is extraordinarily hole-y. And not only in the religious way. No, I mean in the Swiss cheese, pour water through a sieve type of way. Speaking of religion, the whole thing really does have an overtly religious overtone that brilliantly manages to have combine preachy, annoying, and bang-the-audience-on-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer-until-they-get-this. Well done, really. Basically, if you are given precious alone time on a Saturday afternoon, or a Friday night, or whenever, hit the library, hit the bookstore, go buy yourself somethin' pretty, or go see something else. This is not worth over 2 1/2 hours of kid-free time. But Brandon Rouch is beautiful. And he muses a lot. If you like that sort of thing.


Blogger a. nonny spouse said...

Wiz! You have saved my Friday night date! Thank you, thank you.

7/03/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

I'm just bummed that we can't take J. It's rated PG13, which means there are definitely things in there that will be a bit, um, complicated to explain, right?

He loved the first 2 Superman movies, which are pretty campy, but still a lot of fun.

7/04/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Now I'm stuck on the image of a superman flying around the world, hand on chin, quixotically staring off into space as he comtemplates the cosmos!!

Guess we'll wait for the DVD.

7/04/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous WillF said...

I loved it. I remember seeing the original movies as a kid and I thought they did an excellent job combining elements of the original while bringing it into the present. Kevin Kline was a terrific Lex Luthor.

I took my 7 and 5 year old boys and they loved every minute of it as well. I'm not sure what Heather O is getting at about things that are "complicated to explain." If you are talking about sex, there wasn't any.

7/04/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous WillF said...

Orson Scott Card's take on the movie: OSC Reviews Superman Returns

7/04/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


Really, there's nothing to explain? No sex, no "Hey, they're not married?" thing to talk about? Hmm, maybe I'll take J after all. If the quixotic musing gets too bad (and I LOVE you, Tracy M, for using such an awesome word like "quixotic" in a blog comment!), we'll just go get some popcorn.

7/04/2006 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your review. I haven't seen it yet, but suspect that I wouldn’t like it. I hated Batman Begins because it was too emotional at times. I want my superheroes *strong*, darn it! None of this sensitive, introspective nonsense!

7/04/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Andy Wood said...

Smallville is great, but I had my doubts about this movie since it was fist announced way-back-when. Thanks for the review, I might think twice about seeing it now, I'd rather see something with a bit of a plot and storyline than two and a half hours of angsty contemplation. The first movies were good, they had substance, but I'm totally not going to see this one. Oh yeah, and I love you title; "Superman Returns to Think About Stuff" - Pure Genius!

7/05/2006 01:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those wondering about taking children, Lois Lane has a son, and there's confusion as to who the father is. That's something I won't take my children to.

7/05/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous WillF said...

Heather O, Superman II would be much harder to explain than this movie was. In II you had the whole honeymoon suite thing in Niagra Falls with the electric bed and Lois Lane sleeping at Superman's place.
My kids just figured that Superman and Lois got married at some point (maybe in his arctic home that looks kind of like a temple in the original movies?) and then were divorced when he made her forget that he was really Clark Kent. This sounded good to me, and not one to make things more complicated, I went along with it.

Lois does have a child now and a boyfriend, but it is pretty subtle about implying that they live/sleep together. My kids have friends who are in similar situations, so it didn't seem like a big deal.

The PG-13 probably comes from a scary scene in an airplane that will probably convince your kids to NEVER take off their seatbelts while flying. (Lois Lane does a ridiculous Raggedy Anne routine during some major turbulence). And Superman gets beat up pretty badly at one point, which shouldn't be a spolier since this is a required element of any Superhero story.

We watched the original Swiss Family Robinson this weekend also, and it was more violent than Superman Returns -- the pirates have logs rolled over them, coconut bombs thrown at them, tigers eating them in pits, etc.. plus the whole weird love triangle thing going on in that movie.

About going and getting popcorn: My five-year-old boy started stamping his feet about 15 minutes into the movie (only 10% complete), a big clue that the Large Sprite effect had kicked in. I asked him if he needed to go. He denied the obvious truth. I asked again at 20% complete. He confessed, but refused to go. He held it until the last credits rolled off the screen (his brother the seven-year-old wouldn't budge, probably expecting a Napoleon Dynamite style ending with Superman and Lois marrying at the Kent Farm).

I think that fans of the original movies or Superman in general will probably like this one. Remember:
1. This movie is based on a comic book. If you are expecting it to be plausible and make a lot of sense, then pick up a comic book and compare.
2. Superheroes are famous,er, notorious for giving monologues. They tend to think aloud quite often. This is annoying, but it does help younger viewers understand what is going on.
3. Would you rather watch this or another 2 1/2 hours of Blues Clues, Thomas the Tank Engine, or Veggie Tales?

7/05/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Yahoo Movie Mom review

7/05/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


We actually didn't watch the Niagra Fall/Lois stuff with J in the second movie. We just watched the guys in black fly around a lot. I think I must have fast forwarded a lot of stuff, because I don't even remember Lois sleeping at his place. J just likes the action!

Thanks for the review, and the second opinion.

7/05/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Tammy and Parker said...


Well, Reed and I haven't made it to many movies lately, but I hear that Monster House is supposed to be good and that new Ant one. I know.....SUCH a big help aren't I? =)

I missed seeing you on Friday in American Fork. I kept hoping perhaps you would come up and tap me on the shoulder. I guess it would help if we had a clue what each other looked like, huh? =)

7/10/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Tammy -
Go check your email.

7/10/2006 08:05:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home