WARNING: This post contains nerdity.
I think the problem with Superman movies - and the reason this one ain't doing so well at the box office - is the perception that Superman is boooooring. He can do anything! He can't be harmed except by kryptonite! He's always fighting Lex Luthor, and sometimes Richard Pryor!
Here's the thing: Years and years ago - in fact, almost exactly two decades ago - DC, the publishers of Superman, made some deliberate steps to move away from this perception. Supes got powered down a whole lot, made vulnerable to much more than kryptonite, and got a half-decent rogues' gallery. Luthor was rewritten as a billionaire, genius, pillar-of-the-community type, putting him on equal footing with Supes. And all this stuck - the Superman in the comic books
these days is an interesting, dynamic character.
So what do we get in Superman Returns
? Superman battling Luthor, again, who is depicted as more-or-less a petty crook, again. Superman can't be harmed except by kryptonite, AGAIN. Luthor is attempting to destroy the United States so he can broker a land deal. A. GAIN.
I thought the movie was okay, but for $250 million, I guess I expected something more fantastic - I wanted a crime spree from Intergang, an invasion of Bizarros from the cube Earth. I wanted Brainiac and his skull spaceship, Mr. Mxyzptlk and his magic, Metallo and his kryptonite heart. I wanted a journey through the 5th dimension, the bottle city of Kandor, and the Phantom Zone. I wanted Superman battling a space armada and a shot of him flying across the surface of the sun. Or something, I dunno. Instead we got another airplane save and Superman lifting a big heavy thing. Yawn. The whole movie felt a bit dreary and downbeat for me.
On the plus side, it was waaaaaaay better than Fantastic 4
. What a waste.
As a side note, here's my favorite true Hollywood story ever
, Kevin Smith telling the story of him writing a draft of the new Superman movie for Warner Brothers:http://bamkapow.com/kevin-smith-on-h...ipt-192-p.html