Superman Returns

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Review byMatthew Turner12/07/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 154 mins

Enjoyable, intelligent and genuinely moving blockbuster with superb effects, a strong script and a terrific central performance by newcomer Brandon Routh.

What's it all about?
Brandon Routh stars as Superman, who returns to Earth after an absence of five years, having disappeared to investigate the remains of his home planet. Disguised as nerdy reporter Clark Kent he gets his job back at the Daily Planet but he's shocked to discover that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) now has a nice-guy boyfriend (James Marsden) and a young son (Tristan Lake Leabu).

As if that wasn't bad enough, it soon turns out that evil super-genius Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is out of jail and planning another dastardly scheme. Can Superman save the day?

The Good
Director Bryan Singer famously bailed on X-Men 3 to take the reins of Superman Returns and he's brought the same love and attention to the caped crusader that he brought to the X-Men franchise. Most importantly, he's managed to perfectly capture the tone of the original films through a combination of John Williams' score, newcomer Routh's uncanny resemblance to Christopher Reeves and the use of outtakes featuring Marlon Brando as Superman's father, Jor-El.

The effects are terrific – you will, indeed, believe a man can fly, especially during a showstopping set-piece involving an out-of-control aeroplane. The script is equally good, giving each character emotional depth and delivering several wonderful references to the previous films as well as pulling off a number of effective scenes without the use of dialogue.

The Great
Brandon Routh effortlessly carries the film, handling both action and emotional scenes with aplomb, while Spacey resists the urge to ham it up as Luthor and there's amusing comic support from Parker Posey as his mistress.

If there's a problem with the film it's only that it's a little too long and the climax is a tiny bit disappointing. But these are minor quibbles at best.

Worth seeing?
The blockbuster of the summer so far. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 16/12/2018 13:47

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