Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Chris Release date: June 30, 2006 Released by: Warner Brothers
It's been 19 years since the last Superman film with Christopher Reeve. This time around, newcomer Brandon Routh plays the Man of Steel and his alter ego Clark Kent in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns.
After being gone for five years checking out his home Krypton, Superman takes up where he left off with his old job as reporter at The Daily Planet, but his once warm and cozy relationship with Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is a bit frosty since he left her without any notice.
Superman's nemesis Lex Luther also returns, and Kevin Spacey has a good time with the ex-con who's out to gain world domination. The character is a lot of fun, but his plan is overly complicated and when some of it materializes, it looks like a huge failure.
There are some additional problems with the film, like the fact that Superman has little connection to the other characters, including Jimmy Olsen, The Planet's cub reporter; and with Editor White, played by an underused Frank Langella. Also, Lois has a 5 year-old son, but nothing much is done with that bit of interesting information.
Even so, there's also a lot to like about this film. There's terrific action sequences, especially one that involves Superman saving a passenger plane from crashing to earth. I also loved the way Lois and Superman meet up after their long separation, and she takes off her shoes and steps onto his large feet so the two of them can float up into the sky together - it's great stuff! Actually, Superman often kind of floats to earth for a soft landing - unless of course he's in a big hurry to save someone.
Routh has an innocent and inexperienced quality, but he does have the right look for Superman. Tall, square-jawed, muscular and good-looking - what else could you ask for?
Next time I'd like to see Superman more forceful and interactive - especially with Lois. And since the series has re-started so successfully, I am sure there will be time to expand in the future.