Superman Returns (2006)

“The son becomes the father, the father becomes the son!”

Superman Returns

Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Legendary Pictures and Bad Hat Harry Productions present…

Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel were Jews surviving the harsh life of World War II, imprinted in them a given hope that someone would be able to lift them out of their misery!  That is why they were inspired to create Superman, the Last Son of Krypton! Raised by his foster parents Jonathan and Martha Kent, he developed his gifts and powers to protect mankind from all oppression and injustice! He became the savior they were looking for, resembling our Lord, Jesus Christ! A timeless, honest and genuine character; he graced the pages of DC publications in Action Comics No. 1 on June 1938. Over the years, he has been known in the free world fighting for justice, truth and the American way!

It was summer of 2006 and after work; I watched this long awaited CBM with great friends and in another time with my siblings, a treat for the birthday boy the “Flash” and with our eldest “Superman”! I remembered the cinema packed with parents and overzealous kids it was surreal thinking that I just used to watch this on TV back in the day and imagining what it feels like to experience it in a bigger screen and in color! But since the start of comic books being made into films took its turn, it was indeed a lucrative opportunity in converting these well published stories to another level of continuity and medium. Finally, after two long decades of waiting…Superman Returns!

On the side note, since there was a recent major overhaul for DC comics, the newly revamped 52 titles covers origins, storylines and twists which I think would be better suited as an introduction for the upcoming rebooted movie in 2013.

A new path is being made (sort of), from the Director of “The Usual Suspects” and “X-Men” crossing over from the other side of Marvel’s pond together with cast members’ former “vampire” Parker and former “mutant” James was all part of the plan. Bryan Singer gave his best to signify the previous works of Richard Donner and with respect to Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve (God bless their souls). The film technically is an integration of stories that focuses more on the relationship of Lois and Clark (don’t forget the munchkin) Tristan Lake Leabu (While the Children Sleep) is “scene stealer” Jason White although he’s having asthma the kid sure knows how to play the piano!

The project landed on so many hands already but Bryan was the one able to take the helm coming from WB blessings! Many bashed and gave mixed criticisms on the film’s premise and take on the character, especially for fan boys who wanted this to be action oriented film; yet, it was taken into an emotional standpoint instead and people waited a long time for the boy in blue to swayed more on the red spectrum (his aggressive side)!

The onset of choosing the talent to bring in the qualities of Superman into the big screen was instantaneous coming from a former fashion model! Brandon Routh (Dylan Dog) is the Earth bound alien Kal-El also known as Clark Joseph Kent a Reporter from the Daily Planet. The actor was given the huge task of filling the shoes of the superhero icon! His uncanny resemblance and stature with the late precursor gave his portrayal an easier take on the role seeing it was more inclined to the direction of continuing the story of Superman II leaving a gap of five years from where he and the rest of the cast stands right now!

He did a great job in my honest opinion watching the film was reminiscent of the original take on the Last Kryptonian a man who came back from his search of his native planet Krypton. Brandon gives more in depth take of the orphan who longs for acceptance and the need to belong in his new home! Relationship wise, you could see his envy, his pain for the man who now holds the love of his life. Here she is, Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush) is still correcting her spelling in her reports; she is the unwavering Lois Lane part time mother, part time lover, full time co-worker on the same newspaper!

On the other hand, I was not impressed on the CGI aspect covered by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. where they took care of the Visual Effects and Animation, it was not how much of it was on screen time but I just wished it was generated efficiently especially in the technology available today! Also, Kate was not able to give the character enough justice as it falls so easily out of place, the same as with James Marsden (X-Men) is Richard White, a pilot and nephew to the Daily Planet Editor-in-Chief Perry White portrayed by Frank Langella (Junior). He seems to get a knack of being the third wheel in a love triangle, step up the plate man!

The same concept, same malevolent scheming Lex Luthor is portrayed by Kevin Spacey (K-Pax). One of the prolific actors of his generation, you will definitely hate his portrayal being the nemesis of the eternal boy scout! Delivery of his lines and how he incessantly schemes shows both intelligence and his ego come into fruition (or not). His partner in crime Parker Posey (Blade Trinity) Kitty Kowalski brings her dual take on the villain conspiring with the mad genius and having a conscience that will later prove undeserved for any rescuing!

Great moments like these are worth mentioning: One of the most epic, breath taking scenes in this film or in any other is how Superman was able to get to work after releasing the shuttle for orbital flight he was able to overtake, slam on wing debris a couple of times and with enough stopping power land the plane to safety! Another aspect was with regards to his developed speed, he covered more cities (fiction and non-fiction) like never before from Metropolis, Manila, Cairo, Houston, Gotham, Shanghai, Paris and even hints on Europe as well!

Not being overrated coming from an alien who has big time immigration issues! There is a reason why he is called Superman not “Superalien”, a Man who represents both the instilled gifts of humanity while having our flaws as well. It sounds condescending from his point seeing that he was alone and even if there is so much prejudice coming from every angle, he will still give, try the best of his capacity to save his new home and his “new” family! I’m a fan and if we try to understand, to look deeper on what he represents, what he can do then it would be an easier pill to swallow!

Bryan was able to emphasize his feats of strength, combination of abilities; selflessness and courage while finding his reasons to be the protector that he was meant for in which case were predominantly present in his endeavor to rescue Metropolis City from collapsing and to have enough time to rescue the people he loves!

Overall, the film was good with some idle (redundant) moments but was fun watching nevertheless! After it only garnered $200 million in the box office, WB was not pleased with the outtake and finally decided to reboot the franchise and give it a fresh take! A new Director Zack Snyder is in charge now, with a background emphasized on Special effects the film inclined to provide plenty of action and the end result on everything and everyone was they were all over the place literally!

The “Man of Steel” ponders hmmm…

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