Friday, July 07, 2006

In Which I Sit in Judgment Upon Superman

As many of you know I am a big Superman fan. Not a crazy, "I have a tattoo" kind of fan, not a rabid "I know Clark Kent's social security number" kind of fan, but a fan, nonetheless.

To celebrate the 4th of July, my Dad, sister and father-in-law traipsed off together to see the newest addition to the Superman mythos: Superman Returns.

***Spoilers are about to spoil things for you if you keep reading. ***

I left the movie saddened. Not because something sad happened in the movie, either. There were some cool parts from an effects point-of-view and a couple of decent action scenes (if it's really considered action to see a guy flying around and moving Very Large Objects).

I left saddened because Superman--at least the Superman in this movie--is morally weak in pretty much every way. He left earth several years ago because astronomers found the remnants of Krypton. He didn't even say good-bye to Lois Lane (who he had apparently *just* had sex with... and as Superman, not as Clark Kent). He comes home and briefly allows his mom to have a nervous breakdown before flying off to pick up where things left off with Lois (he never thought she was the type to settle down). When he discovers that she has a (vey nice) fiance who has been taking care of her and her little boy he proceeds to (1) fly to her house and use his x-ray vision to watch the family and his super-hearing to eavesdrop on them and (2) pick Lois up for an "interview" during which he tries to hook up with her again.

STUPID! Dumb, dumb Superman. Grow UP! For crying out loud. This is not Smallville. You are (supposedly) an adult. Use your powers for good, not to get chicks. You big, selfish brat. I will be glad when we discover you are actually a Kryptonian clone sent to prepare the people of earth for an impending invasion and the real Superman comes and kicks you around the planet you freaking self-centered pile of alien testosterone.

In other news of Complete Imbecility, Lex Luthor is pretty much a moron. He's supposed to be a super genius but the guy can't even get rid of Superman when he has an entire continent of Kryptonite. His big plan involves making some islands, luring Superman there and then letting some thugs beat him up. Um. Okay. And, in an unprecedented display of Dumbness, he flies a helicopter out to his new continent but it doesn't have enough gas to get him back to the mainland. I never really believed Lex was evil in this movie because--despite continually promising to kill billions of people--he was just too stupid to do anything other than rant at Superman. Which I could do myself (see above). So, expect to see me taking the slot of Superman's arch-nemesis in the near future.

Okay. I could vent at considerable length. I haven't even really approached the plot (mediocre) or the themes (clearly spelled out but strangely executed, especially for a franchise movie). But let me give you a piece of advice. If you would like to see a good movie about Superman, go see the 1970's version. Superman is moral, witty and likeable (three things the current incarnation was missing as he flew around mooning for Lois, smiling slightly at people and saving a couple of people from earthquakes, car accidents, big guns, etc.) . Okay, this was better than Superman IV and probably III. But really, what wouldn't be?

In conclusion: Go see the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve.


  1. talk about disappointing movies ...

    superman and pirates 2 were both pretty blah, where are the quality movies these days?

  2. Anonymous2:20 PM

    so you know the part where superman first comes back and he confronts Lois about the whole pulitzer-prize-winning article "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman"? She says, "The world doesn't need a savior - and neither do I." At which point I whispered rather loudly, "Yes you do - His name is Jesus!" That was the best part of the movie for me. :)

  3. Did anyone when the editor was listing the things he wanted to know now that Superman was back, "the American way" didn't make the cut. He just asked, "Does he still stand for truth and justice?" Apparently "the American way" isn't very popular right now and might hurt international marketing...

  4. Ken-- I haven't seen Pirates yet, but a high school girl I know said it was "better than the first one" and that she is excited for Pirates 3.

    As to where the quality movies are, well, I think they are all in the past. *Sigh* THE GLORY DAYS! BRING THEM BACK TO US!

    Francine-- I suspect you are fun to take to the movies. This reminds me of another super-hero movie moment. In Batman Returns (Hmmmmm), Catwoman licked Batman on the face and (someone) said YUUUUUCK! very loud, which was a good moment for everyone in the theater.

    Matt-- Yeah. This has been an issue in comics for a couple of years, actually. The globalization of things makes it weird to think that an alien who can be around the world in a few minutes somehow chooses to stand for "the American way". Which then means we have to define the American way. And why hasn't Superman gone in and cleaned up Iraq, anyway? I can answer that one, at least. It is because, as this movie showed us, clearly, he is too busy thinking about getting Lois in the sack.

  5. Did anyone else notice the underlying spiritual conotations? Superman=Jesus in a bunch of spots of the movie.

  6. Yup. All my pagan friends who noticed complained about that. I didn't think it was all that in-your-face, though.

    Except for the part where Jesus used his X-ray vision to spy on Lois. Oops, I mean, Superman.