May 03, 2006

The Superman Returns Trailer

Yeah, I know I’m a couple days late with this.

First let it be said that I agree with Jerry Seinfeld: Superman is, was and always will be The Guy. The Big Blue Boy Scout is the best thing to ever come from a comic book and one of the few completely perfect pop culture ideas ever. When I first saw the teaser, with Jor-El’s voice and John Williams’ incomparable score, my hair stood on end. I nearly -and my wife will vouch for this-burst out cheering when I saw the “S” logo onscreen.

So, why, after watching this trailer a couple times, am I sorta underwhelmed right now?

Superman should work as a movie. It did the first two times. The original was brilliant and only the two Spider-Man movies and X2 come close to Superman 2 in the pantheon of comic book movies. Brian Singer proved with the X-Men movies that he gets it, he understands how to move a superhero to the big screen, what to keep, what to lose and what makes the fanboys pass out with glee. This should work.

But what if it doesn’t? Is a mediocre Superman movie better than no Superman movie? Yeah, I know… it’s just a trailer and it’s not like Bret Ratner is the director. It just didn’t seem right though, like this could have been any other of a dozen action movies, just this one the guy wears a discolored cape. In 90 seconds we see a thousand CGI shots that we’ve already seen before. Only the stuff in the Fortress of Solitude seems to say that this is Superman.

I can see already that a couple of things will work and one that most certainly doesn’t.
First the good: Kevin Spacey makes one hell of a Lex Luthor. He has the look, he has the charm, and he has the insanity. This proves that Kevin Spacey should always be an asshole. Movies where he wants to make the world a better place (K-Pax anyone? Life of David Gale?) always suck. Frank Langella is a commanding Perry White. The Kid I Won’t Even Pretend to Have Heard of looks great as Jimmy Olson.

Kate Bosworth, on the other hand, does not. Lois Lane is supposed to be tough for chrissakes, and Bosworth nearly disappears into the scenery. She has none of the fire and spark that made Margot Kidder so perfect for the role. And what the hell are they doing giving her a kid? Forget for a moment how much this strays from the source material, and think how manipulative this could be. It strikes me as a tin-eared attempt to bring kids in, as if the man who could freakin’ fly isn’t enough.

As for Brandon Routh? I don’t know. He’s still so much of a cipher. It’s obvious that his resemblance to Christopher Reeve had something to do with his casting. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Don’t get me started on the costume color changes.

Posted by Frinklin at May 3, 2006 10:00 PM | TrackBack

The main thing I noticed when I saw the trailer a few months ago was how strongly it's a Christ-story. (To save the world, gave His only begotten son, etc.) When I mentioned this to the guy sitting next to me, he sarcastically said, "Yeah, you're the first person to have noticed that element in Superman."

Sorry, Mr. Comics Geek, it just wasn't that apparent in The New Adventures of Superman, which is the only previous exposure to the Big S that I've had.

Posted by: PG at May 4, 2006 05:25 PM
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