Saturday, July 01, 2006

Superman returns...and falls flat on his face

I went in with lot of expectations and I have never been this let down. I think in 1991, when Boris Becker lost his temper and the finals to fellow German Michael Stich, I was brought close to tears. And then this.

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 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.


tilotamma said...

cha! The ones I saw in Ega theatre during summer holidays were the best ...

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Hmm... looks like this too goes for the HBO! :(

I know,,, I had expected a lot from the movie!

Srini said...

Till yesterday I so wanted to see the movie but suddenly decided not to. Seems the decision was the best one I had made in sometime. And I anyways like Batman more than Superman. All in all, save a lot of time :D

curiouscutie said...

We were going to see this and decided not to. Thanks to the theatre crowd! Is it that bad?! I agree with you on those cissy plots that try to put a human face on the superbeings. Who wants to see an emotional superman/spiderman/batman? Want emotion? Then, see tamil movie.

Saving it for the DVD.


VidZ said...

Even I was almost in tears when Becker lost that final.