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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Autumn 2006

Superman Returns (2006) movie review

Darker Blue

Once again Superman's cape has been dusted off and thrown about the shoulders of an eligible young actor. Philip Strick wrote that science fiction tells more about the time in which it is told than the future. Similarly, fantasies and myths such as Superman are reinvented by each generation.

The Superman of Christopher Reeve's day was bright with primary colours, good humoured about his duality and torn only by his love life. Good and evil were well-defined, even to the point of being a bit naive.

Movie poster, Superman Returns; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Superman Returns; Festivale film review

This new Superman and his Lois do not bode well for the current generation. Superman returns to Earth after an absence that is probably well known to the comic readership, but peculiar to the rest of us. He finds a single-mother Lois who has won a Pulitzer for writing about his unimportance, and a darker, more crowded world than Christopher Reeve's Superman inhabited. Today's Superman wears dirty blue and grubby red and moons about a bit sulkily.

He has reason to be sad. His Lois isn't the spunky black-and-white heroine, or the gung-ho no-holds-barred Margot Kidder performance. She would never challenge Superman the way Teri Hatcher's Lois did. This is the 'girlie' Lois. Soft, curly, wussy, and about to marry an appropriate man. It's not just the motherhood, but the post-feminist revision, creating a lesser woman to stand behind the darker Superman.

Yes, she does get to indulge in a few heroics, but ultimately the new Superman is not so much flawed as compromised, and the new Lois would have her backside thoroughly kicked by any one of the magnificent ladies who preceded her.

Story? You know, flying superhero, a touch of angst in lieu of character. Someone's dusted off the old action flick formula wheel. Give it a miss, there's got to be a better Superman coming.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 29 June 2006
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Fantastic Four ; Superman Returns ; Batman Begins ; Iron Man ; Spider-man; Ghostrider

Just the facts:

Title: Superman Returns (2006)
Written by: Michael Dougherty (screenplay) & Dan Harris (screenplay)
Bryan Singer (story) & Michael Dougherty (story) & Dan Harris (story)
Jerry Siegel (characters) and Joe Shuster (characters)
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Rating: M
running time: 154 mins

The Players: Brandon Routh ... Clark Kent/Superman
Kate Bosworth ... Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey ... Lex Luthor
James Marsden ... Richard White
Parker Posey ... Kitty Kowalski
Frank Langella ... Perry White
Sam Huntington ... Jimmy Olsen

Official website:
IMDb entry

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