*I wanted to get into reviewing movies…in my own way. I didn’t want to review new movies. I have two small children, even getting to a movie is an accomplishment for my wife and I. We’re lucky to catch movies before they go to Blu Ray. I also don’t really want to review bad movies… yet. Plenty of people are doing that and I doubt my brand of Ractchet Nerditry would add anything new right now. I decided to embrace my inner weirdness and review movies that I enjoyed but struck me as odd in one way or another.*
In 2006 Bryan Singer left the X-Men franchise, taking Cyclops with him and threw his hat in the ring to revive the Superman Franchise. While I do blame Bryan Singer for inadvertently setting the stage for X-Men: The Last Stand, I ain’t mad at him for taking a shot at Superman.
Superman Returns started on a high note. It felt like a Superman movie. The music was a throwback to the Reeve days. Brandon Routh looked like Superman. Kevin Spacey killed it as Lex Luthor. Superman was flying around, lifting heavy shit and taking bullets to the chest like a champ.
The first thing that struck me a kind of odd was Lois Lane. Her head was BIG. Distractingly BIG. Jarringly BIG. Big and out of proportion not only to her body, but big compared the heads of other cast members. I think it was the wardrobe. The clothes they put her in gave her that Starvin’ Marvin nugget.
The next oddity was the complete lack of a villain or conflict until the final act. Lex was just another character in the movie until he took a HARD left near the end of the second act (more on that later). Superman spent the vast majority of the movie just combating natural disasters. While the special effects helped keep the movie engaging, you can only watch a dude catch and lift falling shit for so long before looking impatiently at your watch.
The next oddity was how dark the third act of the movie was. I watched Superman get duffed out and shanked up like a jailhouse snitch. It was a fantastically odd climax that neither matched the tone of the near 2 hours of movie that preceded it or anything that I have ever seen in Superman movies. It was a surreal moment to see it in a theater. Children cried. Women gasped. I stiffed a sizable laugh. When Lex snapped his Kryptonite shank off in Superman, my discipline failed me and I was crying tears of laughter . This faithful soft reboot of a franchise that featured a large man, dressing in blue and red underwear, saving people from improbably complicated life and death situations while and orchestra plays his theme song, just turned into OZ. The kicks, the stomps, Superman getting drug by his face while screaming and drowned in a dirty puddle. It was like David Fincher was asked to direct just that scene. Watch for yourself.
The third act was a jumble of plot points. Superman goes to the hospital. The audience learns that Superman and Lois have a kid but neither seem to recall even having sex. Superman hovers outside of Lois’s house, peeking in window like an superpowered OJ Simpson.
To be honest, none of that shit matters, the oddness of Superman goes to Oswald State Correctional Facility was nearly too much for the audience to reconcile in their minds.
Superman was a serviceable Superman flick. It was sort of dull but the oddness of the him getting shanked up almost made up for the lack of a conflict through most of the movie. It’s worth watching if you haven’t seen it, just don’t take the movie too seriously. Honestly, all of the Superman movies are just as weird. In each and every one, the plot is nothing but a bunch of odd/random shit happening and Superman reacting to it. The plot of Superman Returns was more logical than Superman 2, 3 or 4’s plots. The nostalgia we feel for Superman 1 and 2 are likely due to them being the first major Superhero Movies of the modern age. Technically they have been far surpassed by dozens of Comic Book movies, but they retain an odd charm. Superman Returns keeps with the tradition of being an odd movie with strange yet entertaining plot points.