1/17/12

Superman Returns is a bad movie. (SPOILER WARNING!)


A budget of $209 million with a $400 million return for a script that writers just threw right out in a day, with no coherent thought, no thought out dilemma's or reason for why ANYTHING happen, besides to cheese in lame action, terrible romance, and an overall mediocre experience?

Seriously, where did the entire budget for this movie go? Definitely not into the costume design, I seen cosplayers at local cons put together better looking cosplays with a budget of under a hundred dollars and on their spare time.


Oh wait, let me guess, it all went into that infamous bulge hiding I heard ever so much of? Yes, lets spend millions, not on plot, sets, effects, but to make Brandon Rouths bulge smaller!

http://www.killermovies.com/s/superman/articles/5712.html

You know you have a bad movie and plot when it has plot holes you could steer the Titanic through. I'll keep specifics until the end, so due feel free to read on if you actually care about spoiling the "plot" to this movie. What I found strikingly humorous is Lex Luthor, even in Smallville they came up with this little issue. What issue might you ask? What he says is right, and what he does (to an extent) is justified! He believes Superman is being greedy, hoarding technology and his powers to himself, and desires to bring that technology to humanity. Of course, if it was just that clear, Superman would be the villain with Lex Luthor the hero, so they have to make Lex Luthor, without a doubt, "evil" or otherwise people would confuse who's supposed to be the protagonist and who's supposed to be the antagonist!


Of course since his actions and desires are completely valid and justified, and since we cant have a sympathetic villain, we have to make sure his plan on world domination involve killing billions FOR NO REASON. Oh, he does try to give a reason, a reason so half ass and full of plot holes, that no one even tries questioning or arguing against it. For a genius, Luthor is a bit short sighted and, well, idiotic.

Next, Lois, oh-hohoho, Lois Lane, Superman's staple romantic interest, involving two people who barely know anything about one and another. Lois, always a damsel in distress, falls in love with Superman because he's good looking, strong, has no flaws, and saves her life. Constantly. Superman falls in love with her because... well... she's sort of attractive? She completely ignores and treats him like crap as Clark? Maybe he's masochistic, and since he can't feel physical pain, he's drawn to the emotional pain of such an abusive relationship.


Can't go further on how Lois is a terrible person, without ruining the "plot" with spoilers, so read no further if you intend to watch the movie and care about having things spoiled for you.

Gone? Moving on. Lois Lane still pine after Superman after his absence for 5 years, despite having a fiance (Richard White, another cardboard cutout called a character), who treats her great, gets her out flying, helps raise her bastard of a son, and genuinely cares deeply for her. She doesn't stop at just cheating on him emotionally, but physically as well, while leading him on. Not only does she let him risk his life for her and her bastard son, she lies to him repeatedly when asked straight forward questions. Glad years of devotion means nothing to her if he's not infallible and perfect in every way.


Richard White, Lois's fiance, who takes care of her bastard son, takes her out flying, and is generally a good carrying guy, a loving fiance, and no one gives a shit. He's the nephew to the head of the Daily Planet, and has no background history other than that. Nope. Despite rescuing Superman, being the other man, and being in the movie as much as Lois Lane, there's nothing else to say about him. Lois Lane seems to only even be with him to have someone to take care of her son, to use him emotionally, and have someone to claim is her sons father besides Superman.


Kitty Kowalski, a character so irrelevant and obscure I'm sure the majority of people who watched the movie, doesn't even know who she is. She of course, is Lex Luthors lead sidekick and basically, booty call that obviously loathes him. The feeling is obviously mutual as at any turn, Lex Luthor puts her life at risk, actually cutting the breaks in her car to distract Superman, and has no care for her opinions. This shallow character has no back story, at all, no reason why she puts up with Lex Luthor despite hating his guts and taking every chance she gets to insult him (again, why does he keep her around?) for the movies desperately needed comic relief. In fact, this character is so shallow that I going out of my way to find -ANY- information on the character past her being in the movie, leads to nothing but information on the actress. Great sign for a movie that one of your main cast has so little history, information, and anything that makes a character that her role, in explicit detail, gets fully summed up in a single sentence. She is just there to be the villains girl for the movies exposition. For the record though, I loved her puppy.

Last real character left to discuss (since everyone is nothing more than paper cut outs with lines) would be the title hero himself, Superman. The movie starts with him apparently coming back after a 5 year absence since the end of Superman 2, retconning the movies that came after with increasingly lower production values and budget. I find this funny. Perhaps Batman could of received the same treatment, pretend all the movies after Batman Returns didn't happen as they were considered terrible (I for one enjoyed Batman Forever), make the movie take place 5 years later, despite obviously taking place in a world 20-30 years after the time of the second movie. That raises the most popular gripe over the movie, as Superman 2 takes place in 1978, very obviously as well, while Superman Returns takes place 5 years later. In 2006. Le's just assume Superman 2 took place 1995ish, and it was about 5 years since he left, which is 2 years after the last movie, making it 2002ish. It's really the least of the movies problems.


Alas, Clark Kent, our lovable Superman, (woops, super spoilers!) after his 5 year absense without saying goodbye, returns from his trip in space, all woozy from reentry to earn in the spaceship that brought him to earth as a child, quickly fainting. We learn he was looking around in debris from his old planet after hearing of its discovery, but finds no survivors. Did he look for 5 years or did it take him 1-3 years to get there, then another 1-3 years back, leaving him looking for a month, week, day, hour? We never learn. Let's just assume the ship had a hyperspace drive that instantly got him to krypton, since at the speed of light the nearest star system (Alpha Centauri) is 4 years away.

Having alas discovered no survivors, Superman returns to Earth and requires his old job at the Daily Planet as a reporter, and no one gives a shit but little Jimmy, who has to be 23-25 but acts like a 18 year old at tops. Lois, Superman's lover interest, greats him with a VERY distracted and uninterested tone, and seems to put up with him for no other reason than he's there. I have had friendly conversations with my mexican co-workers that doesn't even speak English than she's even once had with Clark. Yet still he pines over her, while even greater exposing the shallow nature of Lois. Let's just assume the glasses works because few people get to see Clark and Superman up close, and Clark keeps a low profile enough to never get noticed by anyone who actually gets a up close view of him as Superman. This explains how such a pathetic disguise can work, until you consider Lois. Lois, a person who knows every last detail of Superman and seen him up close and personal, pays so little attention to Clark, that she doesn't notice that they have the EXACT SAME FACE. Even better, he doesn't have the exact same hairstyle, he takes a curler to it real quick, because he can't save a baby trapped in a burning building without looking fabulous while doing it . Even her fiance who's never seen Superman up close notices the similarities more than she does, and he sees Clark, what, twice?

Throughout the movie we're led to believe the father of Lois's son is Richard, whom I remind you, is Lois Fiance if you already forgotten. Don't worry, no one remembers him. This kid is everywhere, Lois just keeps him out of school (let's hope it's summer break) and drags her everywhere, including when she breaks into a ship while tracing the source of the black out, that no one cares about despite it being more of a EMP, that doesn't fry anything except airplanes. I'll get back to that, but first, let me get more into the kid.


Now this kid is just a sad case. Doped on a list of medications and riddled with asthma, this kid has super strength and knocks a piano into one of Lex's music loving grunt, killing him as he was assaulting her over using a Fax Machine. Right Next to her. While she's being held captive by Lex Luthor. To call for help. Yup. That entire scene was just painful to watch. Throughout this, the only one that suspects the kid might be Superman's son is Lex Luthor, since everyone else we see is an idiot.

Back to the Blackout. Apparently Kryptonian crystals are like plants. Sprinkle some water on them, and they grow, which we first discover when Lex Luthor, for kicks and giggles, throws a shard of a crystal into apparently his old mansion base's model set's lake. Why does he do this here and oh, lets say a bucket of water in the middle of a flat field anywhere else? Simple, because he's an idiot. Alas, after appearing to have done nothing, to drive up the suspense and add some very bad humor, the experiment causes a massive EMP, knocking out all power in the city for a few minutes. this includes airplanes by the way. Thankfully though, it doesn't seem to have effected people on life support, with pacemakers, power plants, cars, trains, and so on. Just the plane Lois Lane is on, with a space shuttle on it.

So because of the EMP that doesn't actually fry circuits (or else we'd have an epidemic), the space shuttles system glitches and the countdown cannot be aborted. there's no manual aborts, and the clamp release wont, well, release. Basically, everything possible to go wrong, does go wrong, for the sake of action. Alas Superman comes to the rescue and makes sure the space shuttle rips open the she airplane properly to make its way to outer space, all the while, Lois Lane is flying around like a rag doll, because she's a idiot and unbuckled her seat belt. Flying across the plane, slamming into the back wall, she doesn't break her back, or even get a scratch or bruise on her. Yeesh, no wonder she was able to survive a night with Superman, she's a Man of Steel on herself!

So Superman at last returns to take care of the plane. And by take care of it, I mean rip off a wing. This is what made me think the movie was going to actually think about physics in the equation, and bring a more realistic turn to the "Super" things Superman does.

Yoink!

Nope. He later holds a airplane by the nose, straight up, before putting it down. Ignoring being godlike strong, that airplane would of crushed itself ontop of him, all the way through to the back of the plane (killing everyone on it) as no way the very nose tip could hold up all that weight, let alone be sturdy enough for him to slowly tip the plane to the ground.

Using the Crystals, Lex tosses it into the ocean with Kyrptonite to make a whole island, which brings me to my next note. How strong is Superman Anyway? He's not just able to lift up an entire continent while dying due to being excessively close to kyrptonite and actually HAVING kyrptonite stuck inside him, but he also survives reentry into the earth's atmosphere, WHILE DYING. WITH KRYPTONITE INSIDE HIM. This is the substance so powerful, that it makes even a punch from the scrawny Lex Luthor, knock him the fuck down, JUST BEING CLOSE TO. Makes sense.


I thought the Crystal island plan of Lex's was hilarious. His plan, create a island of kryptonite crystals, then proceed to sit on it, waiting, while everyone around him counts money and plays cards. Exactly what was his plan to claim the island for himself again? Calling dibs, I somehow don't think will work on the US military. He literally brought no supplies, made no attempt to harness the crystals and perhaps, you know, experiment and create those advanced crystal weapons he was so eagerly talking about earlier in the movie that could stave off the entire US military? Also, he's doing this to bring Kryptonian technology to earth, as he claims earlier, while sighting how Selfish Superman is for not sharing the technology. Guess what, based on that reason, everything he does is JUST, it isn't until the whole killing the entire population of the Americas that finally we have a reason to call him a villain. Why does he need to kill the entire population of the US and not create his continent, in oh lets say, the middle of the Atlantic? No Reason. If he had chosen the middle of the Atlantic, he'd effectively creating Atlantis, which would of been a amazing and awesome idea, but nope, he's an idiot. Not only did he miss removing any justification for the US to take the land from him by not having it devour the US in its creation, he misses the opportunity to make millions based around people wanting to see a real life Atlantis! I mean, come on, it would of made for HUGE tourism, something destroying the world economy wouldn't be so effective at gathering about. He was trying to make money, wasn't he? Our dear Lex Luthor also doesn't seem to understand why there's a shortage of land. It's not land itself that we're short on dumbass, it's resources, that you get, from land. There's PLENTY of land, unfortunately, they don't have natural resources we use, which his island, will have NONE OF. It would be FAR from ideal to grow crops, raise livestock, mine for precious metals and oil, and no wildlife of its own to hunt. It just looks pretty. Good riddance to it when Superman chucks it out randomly into space.

Good Riddance.

So finally the dreadfully fluffed and boring movie comes to an end. We're led to believe Superman has died, but of course, he doesn't, because that might of made sense, we can't have sense ANYWHERE in this movie. Don't you DARE think it. So Superman learns the rodent of Lois is actually his son, from that one shagging they did in Superman 2, and heads out as Lois catches a cigarette. The End.

So this movie was bad. The romance, shallow. The storyline, generic bad guy for sake of being bad, with a plan so idiotic that no one in the movie dared question. I could go on ranting on why this movie's bad but I believe I covered everything. Time for a final score.

Characters: 1/10
Characters? What characters? This movie just showcased animated cardboard cutouts.
Plot: 2/10
The storyline was just plain terrible. The only thing that keeps it from receiving a 1/10 from me is the fact that it is coherent, even if shallow, stale, generic, and relies on everyone in the movie being idiots.
Fun Factor: 4/10
Two saving points. This movie while painful to watch, did its job of being decently watchable. The action scenes were fun to watch, the CGI worked well enough, and it did have a couple of scenes that made me chuckle a bit. It suffers from being long winded, expecting the view to care just because it's Superman, and the fact that it rings NOTHING new or original.
Directing & Casting: 6/10
The performances all worked. The actors I'd have to say were the solid redeeming factor in this movie, unfortunately, they didn't have much to work on as the characters were shallow, and the script was terrible. Good transitions, good angles, good action.
Overall: 3/10
Honestly, the only thing that really makes me recommend watching this is the franchise it's named after. This is a movie with no redeeming qualities to it, it's not so bad it's good, it's just bad that it's bad. The fact that this movie made as much as Batman Begins just makes me sad, realizing how much of a sheep the common viewer truly is. We'll see if the reboot is any better, and if it has learned from the example the Batman revival has set forward.

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