Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75% (Critics) / 67% (Audience)
Directed By: Bryan Singer
Written By: Michael Dougherty, Bryan Singer and Dan Harris
Starring: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey and James Marsden
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Synopsis: After a long visit to the lost remains of the planet Krypton, the Man of Steel returns to Earth to become the people’s savior once again and reclaim the love of Lois Lane. (Source)
The best scenes in the movie were the one where Superman rescued a space shuttle and an airplane (full of reporters including Lois Lane) at the same time. It was thrilling and beautifully shot.
Kevin Spacey was a great casting decision as Lex Luthor. Despite the fact that the character was still bogged down in the lame “get rich quick” schemes that Gene Hackman’s version was always on about, Spacey was actually evil. I bought him as the type of guy who would shiv someone with a Kryptonite knife and threaten to kill small children.
Brandon Routh was also a good casting choice as Clark Kent/Superman. He pulled off the awkward bumbling of Clark while being sufficiently heroic as Superman.
To this day I cannot understand why Warner Brothers allowed Bryan Singer to fan wank all over what should have been the launching pad for the DC movie universe. The Richard Donner/Richard Linklater films were good movies that I enjoy but they had their time and place and 2006 was not it. The movie was derivative and slavish with not one ounce of compelling originality in a single frame of the film. It also was astoundingly uneventful with some of the wackest action set pieces ever once you got past the airplane rescue scenes.
And Kate Bosworth was absolutely dreadful as Lois Lane. I wouldn’t buy her as an intern at a weekly reader let alone a Pulitzer prize winning journalist at a major metropolitan newspaper. And she had zero chemistry with both Brandon Routh and James Marsden.
Making Superman a dead beat dad was an idiotic move that served no real purpose as far as character or even plot development. Plus that kid actor was annoying.
Final Verdict: I rewatched this movie because a lot of critics who didn’t like MAN OF STEEL were waxing fondly about SUPERMAN RETURNS so I wanted to see if maybe my initial assessment of the film was a bit too harsh. I am happy to say that my original opinion still stands. This was a movie of wasted opportunity due primarily to a director who was more interested in making a fanboy love letter to his favorite director than he was in actually making an original film for modern audiences.