Going into this movie, I was expecting it to be the summer blockbuster. Seeing it at 10PM at the “local” theater (which is a 3 screen dive, with no A/C) the night before opening, was pretty cool.
Going into it, knowing that they had their jobs cut out for them, and huge shoes to fill, was also tough. I don’t remember much about the original Superman movies, since I haven’t seen them in probably 10 or 15 years, but I do remember that they had their ups, and their downs.
Some of the obvious things about this movie that I didn’t like (I figure I’ll do the negatives first):
They make reference to, in many scenes, people thinking they’ve figured out Clark is Superman.
There’s not as much difference between this Clark, and this Superman, as there was between Reeve’s Clark and Reeve’s Superman. Given, they both look exactly the same, but at least Reeve did something different with his hair in between the two, and changed his voice a bit.
The story line wasn’t all that super-duper exciting. It had its moments, definitely. But overall, the story didn’t make much sense to me, having not seen, and not remembering the previous movies that much.
Now, onto the things I liked about the flick:
The CGI is amazing. Having watched Spiderman 2 just before going into this flick, I was expecting to see average level CGI. Not the case at all. The CGI is excellent, and you almost get the sense that a lot of the stunts were real. (Even though there’s no possibility that they were.)
The entire cast was great. All in their own ways, too. Generally, when you have such a star-studded cast, you get at least one or two duds in the bunch. Not the case with Superman Returns. Routh was a great Superman, but I think he was even a better Clark Kent. He had a lot of the same deliveries, stylings of how Reeve played him back in the day. I thought it was excellent. Kate Bosworth, while I don’t know the majority of her work, delivered well as Lois Lane. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, I thought could have been a bit more evil, but overall, he was a good bad guy. It’s nice to see him reprise his evil side once again, ala The Usual Suspects. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be in a movie where the bad guy wins. I think, though, my favorite cast member was Sam Huntington as Jimmy. He did a great job of delivering each and every one of the one-liners that was written for the character.
Overall, as I said, the story was a bit weak. I felt the movie could have been about 45 minutes shorter than it was, and still been as kick-ass as it was. I felt there could have been more closure at the end, as most comic book type movies always end up with a clear “this is what happened” point. While Superman Returns did have its closing moments, it could have been summed up a bit better.
Action scenes. There’s a lot of them, and they’re all done brilliantly. CGI + good action = great scenes.
Also, another irk, to me, was the beginning. I won’t go into details, as I’m sure a lot of people are going to see this movie over the course of this weekend. But, all I want to know is why did he come crashing back to Earth in another ship? Supposedly he was out looking for Krypton over the course of the last five years, but why come crashing home after that time? Why not just land? You’re Superman, after all.
Overall, I liked this movie, a lot. Is it my new favorite movie? No. Will it make my TopFive for the year? Possibly, unless something better comes along before the end of the year. Is it worth the price of admission, yes, absolutely. There’s a few choice action scenes that are worth admission alone. I’ll summarize them here, so after you see it, you can re-read this and go “yup, he was right”: The 777 scene, The Yacht Scene, The Daily Planet rooftop ball scene, and the Kryptonite Rock Scene. After you see the flick, it’ll be evident which four scenes these are that I’m talking about.
To sum it up, go see this movie. If you can get tickets to iMax (which are all sold out for the next week, here), go see it there. The movie’s definitely one you want to see on the big screen, and waiting for DVD would only make you regret not seeing it in the theater. Before it leaves theaters, I’ll probably go see it again, in a theater with stadium seating, and air conditioning. Luckily for us, the people in front of us were short.