Monday, December 04, 2006

The Trouble With Superman

“Superman Returns” is out on DVD. Generally, it’s the type of movie I’d want to add to my collection.

But reflecting on the film (which I saw while it was in the theaters), I realize that it left me wanting more.

I like superhero films. They generally sport nifty special effects and occasionally hold the power, even if it is just for 90 minutes in a darkened theater, to make you believe.

I also generally like Bryan Singer movies. He’s a smart, talented director and has shown the ability to take subjects that run the risk of being “regular” to the next level without turning them campy.

For me, the problem with this Superman movie was the dude himself – Superman.

Brandon Routh did a fine job in the title role. But that’s just it. It was “fine”. Superman is arguably the greatest of all superheroes. He’s the leader of the Justice League, for gosh sakes. I can’t imagine Brandon Routh’s Superman leading the Junior League, let alone the Justice League.

Kevin Spacey was flashy as Lex Luthor. And I’ll grant you that playing the villain is often the flashier role than the hero.

But people came into the theater loving Superman and left only liking him. There was nothing special about him personally (oh yeah, other than those nifty powers). All we did was watch him. We didn’t connect with him in the way we connect with Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman (especially in Spiderman 2).

I hear they’re working on another Superman film. I hope they help us find a way to connect in the next film.

Maybe then I’ll buy the DVD.

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