Movie Reviews: Superman Returns
Just like in the comics and the movies, Superman is receiving much adulation while dodging Kryptonite as he faces movie critics today (Tuesday) in advance of midnight screenings of SUPERMAN RETURNS. The critics are about equally divided over whether Superman flies. "Man, oh Man of Steel, it's good to have you back," Jack Mathews fairly shouts in his review in the New York Daily News. William Arnold in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer describes the film as "immensely satisfying ... magnificently mounted." Claudia Puig in USA Today calls it "a rousing spectacle ''' an action-packed saga with exhilarating special effects and dazzling production design." To Terry Lawson in the Detroit Free Press, it's "an elegantly rendered, perfectly pitched homage to the golden era of comics." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post writes that with this sequel, "Bryan Singer's super, soulful and very expensive new resurrection of the venerable big-screen franchise ups the ante with must-see results." Amy Biancolli expresses thanks to the filmmakers for not trying to invest Superman with angst as the makers of Batman Begins did with their superhero. "because an angsty Superman is no Superman at all." Ty Burr in the Boston Globe also remarks that "this isn't a reinvention of a beloved franchise. It's a renewal." He concludes that the film is "a generally thrilling entertainment that's not quite the grand slam you want it to be." Similarly, Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune dishes out what he calls "qualified praise" to the film, but refers to the title character as "the savior from Krypton." But Manohla Dargis in the New York Times takes the criticism a step further, accusing director Bryan Singer of turning the superhero into a kind of Jesus. Referring to his earlier work on the X-Men franchise, Dargis remarks: "Mr. Singer likes to make important pop entertainments that trumpet their seriousness as loudly as they deploy their bangs. It's hard not to think that Superman isn't the only one here with a savior complex." Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times makes a similar point: "This is a film that tries too hard and wants too much," he writes. And Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times simply dismisses it as "a glum, lackluster movie in which even the big effects sequences seem dutiful instead of exhilarating."