Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Superman soars!

Cheesy, I know......but emotionally, it did for me (plus, ya know, it's in the spirit of The Dailey Planet!)

I loved it!
Simply incredible.

I thought this source, and this story, provided Bryan Singer the extra emotional material necessary to not only take his quiet, character driven, super hero movie-making to the next level, but to the highest level. Singer's comic book movies have always been slow, rich, character studies, not slam bang comic books brought to life, and this is no exception. If you can surender to that though, it is superb.

The cast were great, the effects were awe inspiring, and the story moved me in many ways.

Now I don't think it was a flawless masterpiece, I can see it not connecting with everyone, but for me it really worked. That is to say, I was so strongly rewarded by the film emotionally, that I didn't care about the problems with the story, the direction it takes the franchise, or any number of potential weaknesses.

The main criticism I've heard involves the kid in the film, but that was the key element this film needed to work. It fuels everything... Having a child of Superman allows you to actually wonder if Superman will survive to the end of the movie, and pull off the amazing feats laid before him (something that generally never happens with this genre). Having the child allows you to carry the theme of the father to son, from Brando to Routh, and then from Supes to asthma boy... and so many other doors that would've otherwise been closed.

The other criticism I've read concerns casting. For me, it was great. I thought Spacey was fun and well cast as Luthor, with Posey another good choice as his girlfriend. I also thought Bosworth as Lois, while to me never really feeling like Lois, was superbly handled, balancing the many roles she plays in the script and making them also very convincing.

The final criticism, and one I could share if I wanted to dwell on it, was the action pieces of the film... there was never anything much beyond Superman catching things, on a larger and larger scale. I too would hope that a sequel would provide conflicts that feature more than catastrophes showcasing his powers, just as the original sequel provided some super powered villains.

And while Routh never really shined character wise, I thought he perfectly embodied Superman and Clark Kent, while also being very similar to the late great Christopher Reeve's likeness.

So, for me, it was one of the best super hero (but not comic book) movies.

(But hey, everyone loved that conflicted mess of a movie called Batman Begins, and I didn't like it in the least...)

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