Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Superman Returns

I saw the movie twice over this weekend and the first time I basically enjoyed it but felt I was disappointed overall. It was okay rather than fantastic. The second time I saw it, however, I began to feel that the whole film was falling apart. The problem isn't with the pace of directin or the tempo of the scenes or the acting (in fact I think just about everyone was very well-cast). The probhlem was more fundamental, that the writing just didn't seem to be up to snuff. If this was Superman it was not the same Superman we saw in the RIchard Donner/Lester films.

In fact when Bryan Singer said he was directing a "chick flick" I didn't realize he wazs practically going to impose the NOra Ephron/Meg Ryan romantic comedy formula on the most famous character and supporting cast in the history of DC Comics (duly noting Batman's almost as old and just as famous). I mean, if you think about it just for a bit almost all the trappings are there in Bryan Singer's movie to lay the film out as a bona fide chick flick ... with the possible exception that the guy who stole the girl's affections or already has it is actually a great and virtuous dude. See, in a Matthew McCoughney (sic) flick the "other" guy would have some kind of problem or be too boring. Paradoxically, THAT role is probably played by the title character.

Which is a shame because after about thirteen years of cartoons helmed by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and Dwayne McDuffie the truth is that the cartoon version of Superman, whether voiced by Tim Daly or George Newbern, seems MUCH more like the "real" SUperman to me than Brandon Routh. I'm not even knocking Routh's performance. He did just fine considerign the story he had. It's just that the story seems too much a retread of the elements of the first Superman film.

I could write more but I had a long vacation and I spent soem time with friends out on Lake Union watching fireworks altenrating with lightning flashes on the Fourth of July. So I think I'll sign off for now.