Weekly Feature



2006-07-12 / Entertainment

Tugging on Superman's cape

by KEN BARTOLOTTA Reporter

I went into this thing looking for some sort of humanity, a hint of imperfection from the man that is seemingly flawless.

That's always been my beef with Superman, he's always seemed boring to me because there's no relatable aspect to him - he comes off docile and intangible.

Take Spiderman for instance. There's a superhero you can relate to. His powers are a burden, not a blessing. The people he helps despise him. He's a geek, he has girl trouble, and between fighting off criminals he has to support his widowed aunt.

But Superman. He always saves the day, most times effortlessly, and when he's done everyone showers him with praise and adulation. So that's what I was looking for in "Superman Returns," some form of humanit y.

In the newest installment of the man of steel, we see Krypton's favorite son, played by Brandon Routh, returning to earth after a five-year absence, only to find his true love, Lois Lane, played by Kate Bosworth, with a kid and a new boy friend.

For some strange reason, the countless number of reporters at the Daily Planet fail to link the return of Superman after a five year absence, with the return of Clark Kent, who returns on the exact same day, after the exact same amount of time.

Apparently, there's not a lot of journalistic instinct going on at the Daily Planet. However, I suppose if you were that steeped in reality you probably wouldn't be watching a movie about a flying man in red underwear in the first place.

Anyway, Superman's No. 1 rival, Lex Luthor, is back, played by a chrome-domed Kevin Spacey. Spacey seems to be having fun playing the villain, and his extravagance, including a plethora of wigs, suits the character well.

However, he doesn't reach top villain status. That honor will always go to Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Tim Burton's "Batman."

The plot is rather familiar, Luthor has developed a way to rule the world and Superman must fly in to save the day and triumph over evil.

Yet, when the time comes for a great showdown between Luthor and Superman, it's completely devoid of a climax. Instead, Luther's fate is akin to a bad guy in a Saturday morning cartoon.

The other issues I had with this movie lie in the love triangle between Lois Lane, her new boyfriend Richard White, and S uperman.

First off, there's no real emotion, no passion between Lois and Superman. Especially on Superman's behalf, who exudes no real emotional outburst throughout the movie.

If I had the strength of a thousand men, and I couldn't have Kate Bosworth, I'd at least chuck a couple of cars around or something.

Second, you can't really root for them to be together because Lois' new boyfriend is such a good guy. You actually feel sorry for him, because really, who can compete with Superman. It's like one of those bad eighties movies, with Superman playing the role of the stereotypical jock. Only the jock is the protagonist.

The special effects are enjoyable, as they usually are in comic book movies, but it's not enough to save the movie.

Apparently I'm in the complete minority in not liking this movie, as most of my family and friends have questioned my sanity in accordance with my disapproval.

So maybe I'm crazy. Maybe lackluster movies, with much too subtle acting and a lot of plot holes are my kryptonite.

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