Superman Returns (2006)


In the wake of a successful relaunch of the Batman franchise, which had not been quiet for very long, DC decided to go ahead with the revival of the long dormant Superman series by luring away successful X-Men director Bryan Singer. To be kind of cute, the powers that be decided to have Superman return to Metropolis after a long absence, kind of like he was doing in the cinema, too. However, they also decided to return Superman to a world of a married with child Lois Lane, which may or may not actually be Superman’s (can Superman even have kids with a human, because he’s not even the same species as us due to his origin in another solar system). This is odd enough, but Superman is actually very angsty and cheerless for much of the film, and goes so far as to stalk Lois and her family, eavesdropping outside the office and watching them in their home. This is Superman, mind you.I really enjoyed seeing Superman zip around and do his Superheroic stuff. What I didn’t enjoy so much was sitting in the theater having a philosophical thought process on the nature of relationships. It might be interesting dramatic fodder for, you know, a drama, but it’s ridiculous in a Superman film. How do you market the action figure line for this? Paternity Action Clark Klent with DNA Swab Testing Kit? There was an evil villain in the film, the notorious Lex Luthor, but his diabolical plot was pretty far out there, as if he concocted it during years of acid use. He has captured Kryptonian crystals from a museum after distracting Superman on many wild goose chases, and he created a method to turn those crystals into a giant continent. This new continent would flood most of the world, and then he could demand high prices for his precious real estate, although I guess the people who didn’t die wouldn’t really need to move to his continent because their land didn’t flood. In any event, it’s an idea so terrible that even DC Comics would reject such a storyline in their funny book pages. If I was bringing Superman back to theaters for the first time in nearly 20 years, I would have delivered him with far less baggage. I’m not saying they should have started all over again like they did for the Dark Knight in Batman Begins, but Lois’ kid is going to be something they’re stuck with for all of the sequels, unless he turns out to be a killer robot or something. Speaking of robots, wouldn’t it have been fun to see Lex Luthor with a few giant robots, and Superman having to knock them around? It makes just as much (if not more) sense than a crystal continent, and you get to show off lots of special effects and grand, epic scenes. Instead, we got the nature of paternity, long lost love, and an expanding space rock continent.

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