Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Superman Returns

Two decades later Bryan Singer decided to direct a Superman Movie Superman Returns in 2006. Superman played by Brandon Routh with a similarity to the original had searched the universe for five years trying to find out the remains of his home plant after astronomers believed they had located its existence. There is a recap of his origins and as Clark Kent he returns to work for the Daily Planet, he discovers that Lois has become a celebrity and a Pulitzer Prize winner for an article Why the World does not need superman.

Lex Luther has been released from prison has successfully appealed because of failure to follow due process and has married a rich widow to inherit her wealth upon her death. He is played by the best Lex Luther of all Kevin Spacey. He steals Crystals from the Fortress of Solitude and starts playing with their power causing power failures which affect as passenger airline which has a space shuttle to be launched from a piggyback mounting which fails because of the power loss. This is in fact the sequence where the airliner loses its wings and Passenger compartment is stopped from crashing into a baseball field with assembled crowd by Superman.

In a plot reminiscent of an earlier film Lex Luther has the idea of creating a new land mass to replace that on the Eastern seaboard which he utilise for profit creating new cities. He believes he will do this by combining the crystals with a sample of real Kryptonite held in a museum. So far so good.

Lois Lane is married with a son who appears to be a sickly weakling but in fact appears to be the son of Superman who reluctantly begins to show powers. The husband of Lois appears devoted to her and the boy and through the films there is the sense of God sons of God, Lois as Virgin Mary and her husband as Joseph!

The new land mass which is to replace the Eastern Seaboard begins to take place but fortunately is not the promised land but a dark and unattractive series of rocks which resembles the Krypton home planet and which without the protective creation of the super beings once again debilitates Superman. The good trio of Lois, her husband and the boy become trapped on Luther’s expensive yacht and are nearly killed until rescued by Superman so when Lois senses he has a problem she persuades her husband to return to the new land mass where they are able to free Superman and have a hair raising flight to safety.

It is not Superman who saves the world by Luther’s woman who tosses the remaining crystals away so they cannot be used to continue the land mass creation. Superman has used all his strength to gather the existing landmass at hurtle into far space but the effort drains him and weakened the proximity to the Kryptonite sends him into a coma. Lois visits whispers in Superman’s ear the information that he has a son. Superman visits the boy when he is sleeping and kisses him reciting his father’s last words to the boy and then flies off back to his old self. Lois writes a new article on why the World needs Superman. Thus the film ends with the implication that it is to be the first of a new series.

The film cost over $200 million to make whereas the originals started around $50 million making £300 million until the low budget financial flop of the 4th with Christopher Reeve. The actual costs are open to question with at one point talk of some $400 million taking account of marketing so with box office said to amount to £400 million even with the tax breaks which created a good profit it appears the latest recreation did not achieve the required sums for a series.

Despite 25 years between the first and second reincarnations the basic was problem is that Christopher Reeve had become an iconic hero in real life having become paralysed in a riding accident he had struggled to communicate and then to play a role in the world Reeve had only recently died and Brandon Routh met with the approval of the widow for his physical resemblance to her husband. I thought the film was made by Kevin Spacey who although as with the excellent Gene Hackman filled out the stereotype crazy villain Kevin brought a more serious and nasty edge to the character. Despite plans for sequel which should have hit the screens two years ago it was never made and with the momentum lost one can only speculate that it is back to the drawing for some 3D latest technical wizardry sometime in the future. My own view is that they ought to go back to the original planet of Krypton for a prequel

The only reason why I have tackled the five film sequence before other priorities is that the films were shown back to back over one 24 hours period and I recorded and then needed the space.

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