Movies / Comics Movie Reviews

Superman Returns - A Comic Book Fan Approves

By Hervé St.Louis
June 28, 2006 - 23:53


After years of absence, Superman returns to Earth in the nick of time to save Lois Lane and the crew of a space shuttle launching to space from an aircraft. Although Superman is back, all is not well for Earth. Lex Luthor having learned of Superman’s Krypton origin sets out to the Fortress of Solitude to steal the secrets of its alien technology. Coupled with deadly Kryptonite, Luthor wants to redraw the world map. Can Superman stop him in time?

Bryan Singer’s Superman made me believe in the big boy scout again. Not even the assortment of fine comics created about Superman in the last few years have managed to bring me such excitements about Superman. I really liked the X-Men and Spider-man films. I even thought Batman Begins was cool and Daredevil is my favourite super hero. But thanks to this movie, I could pick which super hero, I could be, I would pick Superman.

Lois Lane is as driven as usual, although the cartoon version of her character is more strong-headed. Still, this film is as much about Lois Lane as it is about Superman. It is Clark Kent, Superman’s dorky alter ego who lacks screen time. Even Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s sidekick gets more screen time. Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor was menacing but gave a sober performance. The plot works and provides a threat great enough for Superman. My biggest peeve follows and here is a spoiler space for those of you who haven’ t seen the movie.


Lois Lane’s son with Richard White, the Daily Planet’s editor in chief is really Superman’s son. I don’t like that one bit. Sure it modernizes Superman, especially with the open relation Lois Lane has with Richard. However, it changes the basic dynamic of the film. It means that somewhere, somehow, Superman has an encounter with Lois and still fail to tell her he was Clark Kent.

The Superboy thing also prepares the obvious death of Richard White in sequels so he can make way for Lois Lane and Superman to be together again. I bet in the second film, she discovers he is Clark Kent at the end and in the third, Richard dies. Throughout the beginning of the film Superman addressed Lois as Miss Lane. One would expect more familiarity for folks who slept together. It makes the Superboy thing out of synch with the rest of the film’s continuity.

The offspring thing also sucks because it serves to make Superman more contemporary with what really happens in America when a guy meets a girl. I’ve got nothing wrong with that part, but I’m not interested in seeing films from Superboy down the line. I don’t mind that when films change from the source material, but this one is completely coming out of nowhere and will be used in other films to probably anchor a legacy thing. I think it feels like Superman is less Super suddenly. I hope they kill the kid in the next film. At the very least, the situation where Clark Kent can’t get the girl is back.


Visually, this movie is ages beyond the last Superman film. One question is why the cape doesn’t flow up when Superman lands on the ground? The costume got some Spider-man-like textures to make it more modern and brown shades instead of red. I don’t mind that. Clark Kent really looks different from Superman so it covers the old question about the glasses not being enough to protect Superman’s identity.

I like the audio effects used for super hearing and the x-ray vision. The heat rays don’t look as realistic. The comets and space debris during the opening credits look like little plastic toys, although the Fortress of Solitude and other Krypton-based sets look great. It’s a great film and it’s much better than the previous ones.

Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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