I have to admit, as I grow older, my interest in big summer blockbusters has waned, but there are some exceptions and, naturally, most of those are the comics-based films. My anticipation for the film “Superman Returns” was off the charts, which concerned me – was there any chance this movie could live up to my expectations? Well, CBR News was invited to a screening of the film Thursday night and I can say with total confidence that it was everything a comics fan – and movie fan – could hope for.
Yes, it’s that good.
With superhero adaptations to film, one crucial element is often missing: heart. That’s not the case with this movie. The story — which you can read more about here on CBR in the coming weeks — is founded wholly on that most solid yet intangible emotional core of all the great Superman tales. Credit this to director Bryan Singer, who, as he did with the first two installments of the X-Men feature franchise, demonstrated his unmatched skill in bringing to the surface the human sides of some decidedly inhuman characters. Despite the fact that Superman is an alien, Earth’s Kryptonian protector seems at times more human than ever in this most impressive film.
Supporting Singer’s tireless work, of course, is his controversial cast. I can say to you now with full conviction that every actor in “Superman Returns” hit their marks perfectly. Kevin Spacey, who once won an Academy Award® under Singer’s direction in the neo-classic, “The Usual Suspects,” will surprise no one with his scene-stealing turn as the maniacal Lex Luthor. Brandon Routh turns in a performance that at many times plays as an homage to Christopher Reeve’s legendary portrayal of Superman while managing to prove scene-after-scene that he now owns the role. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane is the biggest surprise. I was worried her young age and appearance didn’t suit the role of one of if not the most sophisticated supporting characters in comics history, but the actress pulls it off with a convincing maturity and grace. Special note is due, I think, to Sam Huntington for his portrayal of Jimmy Olsen. Not just a loser to be kicked around by the demonstrative Perry White (although that certainly does happen), Huntington’s Olsen is remarkably natural and fun.
To say “Superman Returns” contains high-flying action may be the greatest understatement since, well, “You will believe a man can fly.” Breathtaking. Exhilarating. Truly awesome. These are just some words to describe the super-feats of “Superman Returns.” You’re left clamoring; clawing at your seats for more and more, thinking, “the next movie can’t come quickly enough.” And believe me, it can’t. Still weeks away from official release, you will find no spoilers here, but let’s just say message boards all over the internet will be aflame with debate. Web servers may actually catch on fire. Putting it bluntly: nothing can prepare you for the things you will see in this film.
Look for a more extensive review and analysis of the film later this month right here on CBR.
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