Superman Returns! Or Did he?
Let me be completely honest, I grew up reading comic books. Superman was never my favorite character but he was a close second. I remember as a kid watching the reruns of the Superman TV series from the 50's.
I still have fond memories from 1978 when "Superman: The Movie" came out on the Big Screen. A cast that was golden to put it mildly, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Glen Ford, Jack Cooper, Ned Beatty, Valerie Perrine, Suzanne York, Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve. Christopher Reeve Was perfectly cast as the Man of Steel and the supporting actors were outstanding. The advertising tag line at the time was "You will believe a man can fly", and yes we all bought into the mythos. "Superman 2" was not quite as good, "Superman 3" was average at best and "Superman 4" was terrible. The movie series ran its course and retired to the film archive.
Since then, we have seen many comic book heroes come to the big screen. Batman, Spiderman, The X-Men and the Fantastic Four thrilled us. Daredevil, The Hulk and the Catwoman appointed us. Superman came to the little screen in three different versions during the 28 years between "Superman: The Movie" and "Superman Returns." Some of the Television series were very good, some were so bad that the producers deserved to be sent to Tehran for vacation. Through all of these incarnations of Superman, one thing never changed, Superman stood for "Truth, Justice and the American Way."
On July 28th, the Original Super Hero, The Big Dog ---- SUPERMAN returned to the big Screen. This incarnation was called "Superman Returns", after seeing it this afternoon I am compelled to ask, "Did he?" As the movie opens we hear that excellent John Williams soundtrack that was so burned into our memories from the 1978 Superman Movie. It went down hill from there! The casting was pathetic. Not only was Brandon Routh totally unconvincing as Superman, but his supporting characters were completely miscast. Kevin Spacey is too young and too "Nice" to be believable as the Arch Villian Lex Luthor. Lois Lane in the comics was stunningly beautiful and stood out in a crowd, Kate Bosworth brought as much charisma to the role as a dead fish. To say the plot was weak, would be paying it
a great compliment. The special effects were on a par with the
original movie, however in the last 28 years we have grown to expect much more than that. To be honest, I did not even believe that a man could fly. As disappointing as all of these movie flaws were, they were small compared to the slap in the face of the Superman Mythos dealt out by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Dougherty and Harris were the writers of this "movie" and they choose to change one of the foundations that the Superman Mythos was built on. Perry White, played by Frank Langella, asked the question does Superman still stand for Truth, Justice and all that stuff? Huh? What happened to the American Way. When Dougherty and Harris were asked about this oversight, Mr Harris stated that "The world has changed.
The world is a different place, The truth is he's an alien. He was
sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He's an international superhero." Mr Dougherty said "We were always hesitant to include the term 'American way' because the meaning of that today is somewhat uncertain," Ohio native Dougherty explains. "The ideal hasn't changed. I think when people say 'American way,' they're actually talking about what the 'American way' meant back in the '40s and '50s, which was something more noble and idealistic."
So in view of this new attitude from this AMERICAN Icon, I feel
compelled to ask Did Superman return? Or is this just another cheap knock off not worthy of attention. For me, I regret buying a ticket to this tripe.