It's so refreshing when a movie company actually agrees with your opinion and admits that one of its blockbuster hits wasn't quite the right "direction" that the franchise should have gone. That's the word from Warner Brothers who pretty much pimped out Bryan Singer last week, saying that Superman Returns "didn't quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to." In other words, it sucked.
The full story can be read here.
My take on Superman Returns can be found in the pages of Cashiers du Cinemart #15 and are reprinted here for your entertainment:
Superman Returns (Bryan Singer, 2006)
Little stands out as being starkly different from the screenplay of Superman Returns to the final film version, except for the lack of explanation for Superman’s disappearance and the scenes of Superman flying (in a spaceship) amongst the ruined crags of Kryptonite asteroids.
The cuts between the Superman (Brandon Routh) story line and the Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) story line are jarring. The film moves from the moody introspective Kryptonian, who’s been dumped by Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) in favor of the boss’s son, Richard White (James Marsden) to the hammy criminal mastermind and his Miss Teschmacher stand-in, Kitty Kowalski (Parker Posey). The worst character in the film has to be Superman’s bastard son, Jason (Tristan Lake Leabu), and his awful Adam Rich haircut.
While I can respect the decision to emulate Donner’s Superman films, aping these superior movies just made me long to see the originals. The John Williams score, combined with the unnecessary cameo appearance by Marlon Brando, only reinforced this desire. Overall, I would have rather have seen J.J. Abrams’s version of the story, as it strayed the farthest from the Jon Peters directives, divorced itself from Donner, and actually managed to feel like an original take on the Superman story.
Even if it hadn’t taken over a dozen years and millions of dollars to bring the next chapter of Superman saga to the big screen, Superman Returns would epitomize anticlimactic. Rather than breaking new ground or taking the Superman story in a different direction (see “Red Son” by Mark Millar), the film was just a rehash of a better film that predated it by nearly three decades.