Cafe 227

Friday, July 07, 2006

Why Superman Sucks.

I don't watch a lot of movies, so I typically shy away from giving movie reviews. After all, reviewing anything is an exercise in relativity - a movie, book, or song can only be judged based on the comparative "quality" (however you want to define it) of other movies, books, or songs in a particular genre. Having not seen many movies, I generally don't feel comfortable giving my opinion on any one movie, because really, what the hell do I know? Usually, not much. (e.g., I think Ghostbusters is among the best five films of all time.)

That said, Superman Returns sucked. There are many reasons for this, but I will only cover three today for the sake of brevity.

(1) Length - Unless we're talking about an international flight or open-heart surgery, 2.5 hours is entirely too long to sit still for anything.

(2) Casting - The casting miscues were numerous and egregious:

  • Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor: Look, I like Kevin Spacey. Actually, that's a lie - I think he's smug and has an inflated sense of self-importance. Regardless, Gene Hackman's still alive, right? And he doesn't look so bad for his age either. So why not make him Lex Luthor again? I think he did a fine job the first two times around, and he's not a smug and self-important dick.
  • Brandon Routh as Superman: Someone give me one good reason why Kiefer Sutherland wasn't cast in this role. The only reason I can think of is that it would have been too much of a stretch to imagine Jack Bauer being vulnerable to kryptonite.
  • Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane: Superman is the baddest individual on earth. Kate Bosworth is a marginally attractive woman with no sex apeal. Seriously, Superman would go nuts over her? It's simply not believable.
  • Kumar as Lex Luthor's most prominent silent crony: Look, I know brown people are generally cast in these roles because the brown skin makes them look more sinister. And as a brown person myself, I accept that. But make no mistake: Kumar is not a credible villain. In his only other major feature film, he made out with a giant bag of weed. He is destined to be typecast, and the type is decidedly not "evil villain."


(3) Premise - This isn't the movie's fault at all, but the premise behind Superman just doesn't make a lot of sense. It's not believable. I mean, with Spiderman, Peter Parker gets bitten by a genetically-modified spider, so he becomes a bit quicker and stronger than most humans and can shoot lines of spider web from his wrists. Makes perfect logical sense. With Batman, Bruce Wayne doesn't really have any superpowers at all - he's just an angst-ridden, post-modern, urban Ninja with superior technology. Again, makes sense to me. But with Superman - he's a space alien who flies despite the absence of any discernable wings, he can inexplicably shoot rays out of his eyes, and he's strong enough to move the planet earth. Yet his parents, from whom he presumably inherited these powers, couldn't escape their planet before it was destroyed. Why didn't they just push it to a safer part of the galaxy? I mean, clearly I'm willing to suspend reality in a superhero movie, but I cannot and will not forgive internal inconsitency. For instance, Superman claims at one point in the movie that he can hear everything - so why didn't he just hear Lex Luthor discuss his plans to take over the world and pre-emptively stop it? It would have saved me at least two hours.


UPDATE: One more thing that really bothers me - why can't anyone figure out that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person? I mean, I usually wear contacts to work. Sometimes - say, when I've too much to drink the night before - I wear glasses. When I do, at no point does anyone not recognize me. The most dramatic reaction I get is: "Decided to wear glasses today, huh? I told you ordering the vodka sampler at the Russia House on a Tuesday night was a bad idea..." So, considering that the only difference in facial appearance between Clark Kent and Superman is a pair of eyeglasses, why can't anyone figure out that Clark Kent is Superman? They were both away for the same length of time, they both appeared the same day, they look exactly the same... I just can't accept this. I'm sorry, I just can't.

8 Comments:

  • Hahahah I have the same issue with the glasses thing. I mean, if Lois is looking deep into his eyes...well, come on...

    As for your other points, I think you're right. And Kate Bosworth wasn't a sexy, sultry enough character. Lois should be smart sexy...but still sexy. Kate is very attractive no doubt, but I dunno...

    I wasn't mad I saw the movie, it was entertaining, fine...but, eh...

    And PS - why did Lex think anyone would purchase his "land" - which looked quite treacherous and unliveable?

    By Blogger Asian Mistress, at 9:24 PM  

  • PPS - I am the same way with wearing my own glasses, I feel hideous in them, but people at work I feel barely notice.

    By Blogger Asian Mistress, at 9:26 PM  

  • I share your same views on the movie. It was quite dissapointing.

    I just didn't like the story. For some reason the grandeur of the villainous plot didn't work for me (whereas I thought it was really cool in Batman Begins). It's probably because Luthor's plan was terrible (and I couldn't get over thinking the whole movie how much better Hackman was as Lex). I know it's reading too much into a superhero movie, but if you destroy the U.S., Lex, who's going to buy your ugly, craggily land? A "criminal mastermind" should forsee the economic devastation that would result.

    And I agree that the whole premise of Superman just doesn't work. Whatever happens could be resolved by him spinning the planet in reverse and going back in time like he did in the first movie.

    By Blogger AC Milan, at 9:07 AM  

  • I don't get it. If you guys don't like the idea of Superman, then why would you go see the movie? Since the beginning of the comic series, everyone has laughed about the glasses thing; it's ridiculous, but that's part of the story.

    Every gripe on this page seems kinda dumb to me. To dislike a movie because you would have rather seen Kiefer Sutherland play the lead role? Who are you? And not that I have any particular opinion about Kate Bosworth, but Lois Lane was never meant to be drop dead gorgeous, she's a journalist not a supermodel. I'm sensing that you think a man can't fall in love with a woman unless she's a bombshell. Superman is not "the baddest individual on earth", he's a romantic little country boy with an inflated sense of justice. All he cares about is doing the right thing.

    Also, if you think superman is the baddest individual on earth, then you should give Luthor credit for almost killing him. That's pretty bad ass of him.

    When it comes down to it, the movie was alright. The plot was kind of thin, but it was a pretty good re-introduction of the story. If you're going to judge a movie, judge the movie, not the premise of the comic that was in print for decades before the movie was made. And if you didn't like the premise, then how come you liked the first movie? It had the same premise with the glasses and the destruction of Krypton. Was Gene Hackman enough to make you forget about all that?

    Maybe you should go back and watch the first movie again, because Lois Lane was not very pretty, Superman hid his identity with a suit and glasses, Luthor's nefarious evil real estate plan is silly, and let's not forget Superman flying around the earth to go back in time (which really stretches the limits of the theory of relativity).

    As you said, you don't see many movies, so I'm hestatant to call you an idiot, but maybe you should keep with the not reviewing movies thing. It stuck to the original plot line, there were no editing or chronological idiosynchracies, the acting was good and the special effects were realistic and not overdone. I'm not saying I loved the movie, but the reasons you gave for hating it were pretty silly. But I guess that's the point of the internet; silly people getting to formally post their silly opinions. Whatever, it looks like I'm doing that too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 AM  

  • I agree with alot of the things said like the glasses(so dumb) anyone with two clues like I don't know a reporter like lois should pick up on the similarities. also the character itself is so rediculous. it reminds me of me and my friends as kids making up "superheros". I would say "my guy can fly", the next kid "mine can lift anythiing", "mine can see through walls", and the last one "well...well ...mine can do all of that plus go back in time??" that is exactly how I see superman! I watched the movie and enjoyed it because I enjoy all superhero movies because im a fan of the genre. overall the movie was good but didn't ecen come close to spiderman because spiderman is a way more believable character and people can relate to him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 PM  

  • Hi, Even though I must agree with you in 90% of your post, and mainly, that superman returns sucks with a vengeance, and that most of the 'superman' concept just doesn't make a lot of sense....
    I must point out that superman's parents couldn't do anything to prevent krypton's explosion, because kryptonians are powerless when exposed to a red sun, which happenned to be the type of sun they lived under.
    Anyway, there are plenty of flaws still.. didn't they have more ships? and why do kryptonian ships have to crash? can't they land properly? maybe they deserved to die. For what is worth, I loved Chris Reeve's Superman when I was a kid, but he looked like a superhero... Brandon Routh is just a random guy with fake blue contact lenses and zero charisma.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 AM  

  • wowwwwwww so many things wrong with your statement. not to be mean of coarse, i just respectfully disagree. 1. he couldn't hear lex luther because he has to go in to outer space basically to home in on things with his ears, and again he only listens for sirins or screaming, not tiny conversations by what men, and he wouldnt be able to tell its lex lol. 2. his parents couldnt just move the planet because they had no super powers. where they are from "the planet krypton" their sun is just like ours. we have no super powers because we have a sun that gives us just the right amount of rays, were human and normal. in krypton their son gives them just the right amount of everything so they are normal. but when they put someone from THEIR galaxy over HERE. the person becomes basically invincible. thats why in superman II the evil lord ZOD and his henchmen find out they have super powers when they enter earths atmosphere. 3. no one can recognize him because he slouches acts like a dweeb wears loose fitting clothes to hide his muscles changes his voice and basically is a nerd. oh and if u read the comics, he has some kind of mind warp on everyone so they cant distinguish him "superman II" he makes louis forget hes superman. oh and finally this> ITS JUST A MOVIE.. good action and there are no supser heroes except the brave soldiers in iraq!! i rest my case. PEACE

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 PM  

  • It had the same premise with the glasses and the destruction of Krypton. Was Gene Hackman enough to make you forget about all that? doral real estate

    By Blogger gaurav, at 6:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home