Hollywood has begun to frustrate comic book fans. I think the success of Spiderman has set a wrong precedent. Writers and directors have started to place human drama above real good comic book action. This has been so over done in 'Superman Returns' to the point of reducing superman to a side 'loser' character. He rarely appears and when he does he gets beaten up or simply..does nothing except mouth inane Star Wars dialogs. It is surprising that Bryan Singer has not understood that Superman as a logical/regular character sketch has too many holes to pass off as a emotional drama. I dont think thats more interesting than the plot, the action or the special effects.
The story is so poor that it is almost non-existant. In what is a sham excuse for story. Luthor (played competently but indifferently by Spacey) gets hold of Superman's Krypton-crystals from the Fotress of Solitude. The crystals have a way of generating EMT waves and spawning an entire continent that looks like the fotress of solitude. He decides to put one cystal (combined with of course Krytonite) in the atlantic ocean quite close to the USA. The crystal is supposed to generate a continent that will drown and eclipse USA (curious - Luthor talks about physics concepts and he doesnt realize - matter can neither be created nor destroyed). He drops the crystal and it does threaten to destroy New York City ..no err.. Metropolis. He combines the crystal with kryptonite and the resulting continent is green and dirty. I am not sure how Luthor can sell such bad real-estate. I am not even sure who he plans to sell it too - given that all of USA is dead. Whats even more baffling is that it is unclear why this greencontinent does not grow big and destroy USA. It (the growing continent) pauses and lingers on until Superman - in a painfully slow fashion - in this unnecsarily long movie, rescues a few people here and there near Daily Planet and gets to it. It is still unclear as to why the crystal/7th-continent does not expand further. Things like how Supey can lift a budding kryptonite-continent and throw it into space are best left undiscussed. But he falls flat back on eath and on the movie theaters, which a huge bunch of yawning fans can sadly attest.
I'll tell you what the problem I have with this movie is - Clark Kent and Superman have a total of 10-15 sentences between them as dialogs, they have no screen time at all. Worst of all there is no action - remove the first plane rescue scene and you have nothing. There is a few showcasing-what-superman-can-do scenes thrown in like the original 1978 movie did. Frankly those scenes suck. All he does is stop bank robbers, like he did 2 decades before. The movie suffers from lack of creativity and imagination. They could NOT think of anything new for Superman to do than save small children - again. No tense plot line (except for a sham traingle love story one thats no different from Spiderman -II). A sorry undeveloped father-son tale. Its just banality.
Bryan Singer just made a movie about "why the world doesn't need a bad superman movie", which Louis Lane plagiarized and won the Pulitzer.
I am so sad.