Saturday, July 04, 2009

Suped Out

Certain films improve considerably with the passage of time, revealing new nuances and hidden depths of meaning that only increase their esteem in our eyes. And then there's Superman Returns. Though I was initially (guardedly) positive towards the Bryan Singer opus, its drab ponderousness becomes more pronounced and more problematic during repeat viewings (including on FX just this morning), and its stock has fallen considerably with me subsequent to my initial theatrical experience.

Clearly I'm not the only one who felt that way, as the last time we checked a total reboot seemed to be in the cards for the cinematic Superman franchise. Well, another hand has now been dealt bringing us closer to that end, with new word that the big screen's last cape-bearer Brandon Routh's multi-picture contract has sunsetted, essentially signalling the WB's saying, "Don't call us, we'll call you," as it pertains to further sojourns in red-and-blue.

If true, that really is a shame. Even though there are huge chunks of Superman Returns that I'd just as soon soon see chucked into the Phantom Zone as ever referred to again (I'm looking at you, Super-kid), Routh wasn't one of them. He acquitted himself nicely in what can be a pretty thankless role, and it's unfortunate that he'll likely never get the chance to reprise it.

(As an aside, it's a little ironic to me how Singer's decision to bolt the X-Men series for Superman ended up basically wrecking both franchises. Good call, Bryan.)


The Mad Swede said...

The one thing I personally think is winning quality of Superman Returns (though there are other things I enjoyed about the film, I have to confess) is Kevin Spacey as Luthor. Much as I admire Gene Hackman, his Luthor always came across as parody of Luthor for me; down to the refusal to be properly bald for most of the thing.

Spacey made Luthor sinister again. And that I can't help but love.

I'm more willing to support your call on Singer having managed to wreck both franchises by abandoning the one he had working for the one he didn't get to work.

Matt Timson said...

I know it's practically heresy- but I caught the tail end of this on TV tonight and really quite enjoyed it. I think it helped that I stopped thinking of it as being 'proper' Superman and just enjoyed it for what it was. Or something.

Ian Sokoliwski said...

Can we see the end of Luthor doing real-estate swindles? I'd like that.

Or if he must, please send the Scooby Gang after him instead, thankyouverymuch.