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Old 04-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #29
elgaz's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ireland
Posts: 3,680
Default Re: Official Superman Returns Discussion

I've posted lots about Superman Returns before so there's no point in repeating myself; I mostly agree with what the majority of others here seem to think, it's not an absolutely terrible film overall but it is a very flawed one which seemed to miss the mark completely.

It was on again the other day as I channel-surfed and watched a little of it. Bryan Singer very obviously took a lot of cues from Donner; his Superman film is based in the same universe, seemingly follows on from the events of Superman II, has more or less the same characters, uses the same score for the theme, and so on. The main villain (Lex Luthor) even has all the same motivations as before. All of this is well known by now.

Whilst watching the film however, it struck me that despite Singer obviously making a huge effort to follow in Donner's footsteps, he got the entire tone of the film wrong. Watch the 1978 Superman, and then watch Superman returns, and you'd be hard pressed to think that some of the key characters are even remotely related to each other.

Superman is every bit as heroic as before in terms of his actions, but as a character? Much less charismatic, more melancholy, seemingly almost depressed at times. Donner's Superman came off as whiter than white, always doing his utmost to be there for everyone who needed him and even telling Lois Lane he never lies - yet Singer's Superman has no problem spying on people in their homes or abandoning Earth for 5yrs in a fruitless trip to a planet which he already knew was destroyed. We saw glimpses of the iconic Superman character in SR, but it never felt like the same character that we've grown up with.

Lois Lane? Feisty, absent minded, passionate and driven in Donner's films. Singer's Lois Lane didn't come across the same way at all; more confused, angsty, reflective.

Perry White? Bellowing, commanding and authoritative in Donner's films. In SR, he was much more subdued and reserved.

Lex Luthor was pretty much as before in fairness. But this was half the problem. Lex Luthor in Donner's films may have been smug and ingenious, but watching the same character hatch yet another elaborate scheme to make him rich through real-estate in 2006 felt ...................... well, boring. We've seen much more interesting and creative villains since 1978.

So what we got was a muddled half-continuation of the Donner films, but with a different take on some of the characters. And that to me is why really, it fundamentally didn't work at the core - neither the viewer (or perhaps even Singer) had a 100% clear picture of what this film was trying to be. And with them trying to compensate for the gap between the original films and this one, the story issues weren't the only problem - you had continuity errors, a new look for the Superman suit which didn't really work at all, poor CGi instead of decent wirework, and so on.

Singer should have taken a new approach entirely, like Snyder has done.

Last edited by elgaz; 04-15-2013 at 08:56 AM.
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