That’s right… I saw Superman Returns last night… courtesy of a free ticket, which made it even better. Immediately I was struck with the fact that it was not another retelling of his origin, which is what I expected after seeing the previews. I was pleased to see that it was indeed a sequel and actually made sense in how they fit it into the Christopher Reeve films.

superman returnsBrandon Routh seemed to channel Reeves down to the smile. His manner of speech, movement, everything; seemed to pay tribute to Reeves. I think the throwback to the earlier portrayals of the Man of Steel endeared both Routh and the new movie to audiences. Was it just me, or did his face appear to be computer generated in almost every scene? Can someone’s complexion be that perfect? It was sort of creepy. I couldn’t tell if they were doing some CGI to make him look more like Christopher Reeve or just trying to make him look more like the perfect man.

The special effects were impressive in that for the most part, they stayed in the background and appeared realistic. While the storyline was a bit simplistic and very easy to predict, again… the nostalgia won me over. The only things that took me out of the “little boy watching a superhero fantasy zone,” were minor but still annoying. Lois Lane gets the tar thumped out of her over and over while in a commercial airliner doomed to crash… when Superman saves the day, not only is her body completely uninjured (despite being thrown into walls over and over a hundreds of miles per hour,) but her hair is perfect! They took the time to muss the hair of a couple fellow passengers, but she looks great. And things like an earthquake rocking Metropolis, blowing out nearly every office window, yet in scenes shot just days later, the city is perfect.

Maybe I am being a bit too nitpicky… but, come on. A little attention to reality sure would have bumped this film up a few stars. I was also a bit creeped out by all the blatant references to Superman as Christ… do we really need to go there to enjoy a film about a comic book hero?

I do want to say that I love Kevin Spacey‘s Lex Luthor and Parker Posey is as disturbingly entertaining as always. In the end, I was super-happy to have Kal-El return to the big screen, super-grateful for the respect paid to previous incarnations, super-wowed by the visuals, and super-pleased with the film. Oh yeah… and SUPER-SUPER-SUPER-relieved that Tim Burton didn’t get to make this film.

From the dog-lover point of view… let me say that the film had two strikes against it very early on. Can you figure out what they were?

RATING 8 out of 10