Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Superman Returns Review

I had the hardest time deciding what to give this movie for a grade. Oh, it’s safely in the A range. There is a lot to like here. It is true to both the Christopher Reeve Superman movies and, largely, to the comic books themselves, from 1945-1990. Jimmy Olson’s bowtie is there. Perry White says “Great Caesar’s Ghost” (and seeing Frank Langella in a movie is always a plus). There are several frames in the movie that are swipes of famous comic book covers. And Routh and Spacey are channeling Reeve and Hackman (but why not just hire Hackman…?).

But then there are the disappointments. Zero resolution (shame on you, for making a sequel so obvious, Singer!). Lois’ son’s sissy girl hair (a deliberate statement on when DC put Superman in long sissy girl hair?). While I give Singer some points for not making the Superman-as-Jesus parallels too obvious, they still bother me somewhat; being a Superman purist who prefers the 1938-1939 Superman who was, as Chabon brought to the world’s attention, a modern day Jewish golem/wish-fulfillment myth — not a Christ figure.

And the dog-eating jokes. Ugh…

Oh well. It was still enough of an achievement that I have to give it an A.

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