|Visual Reviews | New This Week | Out Now | New This Week | Coming Soon | The Buzz | Index | Archive A-Z|
Superman Returns (2006)
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
for some intense action violence
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Frank Langella, Eva Marie Saint, Parker Posey, Sam Huntington, Kal Penn, Kevin Spacey
Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman's bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.
Superman Returns (2006) | Review
A Return to Good Vs. Evil
Sometimes a complicated interwoven plot and character portrayal make a movie more interesting, but this was not the case with Superman Returns. And thankfully, the director does not leave a lot to the imagination. You pretty much understand the underlying plot in the first 10 minutes of the film (after you get past the intro). Superman has been gone for five years and returns to find a world that has continued to spiral down into the depths of darkness and evil. He immediately takes action to right wrongs and to stand for Truth and Justice. And the saga continues between Superman and Lois Lane (played by Kate Bosworth) with a minor twist that I won’t spoil for you right now (but look for ***SPOILER*** later in the Review).
Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor seems to be a good choice as he is able to display that cavalier attitude, all too common today, when talking about the potential death of billions of people. Spacey has just the right amount of egotism and self-righteousness as he imagines himself as Prometheus, from Greek mythology, only stealing “the fire of the gods” (technology) for the people – and as he states, “a cut for him.” You could imagine the same character traits in any evil dictator from the past or present.
It doesn’t take much imagination to follow the plot. I don’t think anyone came out of the theater going “I didn’t get this or that part of the film”. It was all laid out right before the audience to examine and appreciate. This was even more evident in the clear analogy between Superman and Jesus Christ.
All the Jesus like references in the film came as no shock to me. It’s a known fact that the writers and directors of the last couple of Superman films have intentionally written this analogy into the scripts. In fact, the whole basis for Superman is predicated on this concept. Starting with the fact that Superman, the only son of Jor-El (El being Hebrew for “God” and El also being Superman’s last name), was sent to Earth to show mankind “the light”, the correlation only continues throughout this film.
The parallel to Jesus might not be that big of a deal to many in the audience, but I felt it was very important in raising the issue of the relevance of Superman (and by reference Jesus Christ) in today’s world. This question is brought to the forefront when we find out Lois has won a Pulitzer Prize for writing an article “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman”--not too dissimilar from many of the articles generated and distributed daily regarding Christianity. But as the movie depicts, Superman is needed more now than ever. At one point Superman tells Lois that he can hear everything that is going on in the world – and Lois Lane shortly thereafter tells Superman that “The world doesn’t need a savior”, but Superman responds “Everyday I hear them crying out for one.” And while some people might not grasp the less obvious analogies, the director takes steps here to ensure there is no doubt. There were many other words that could have been used in place of “savior”, but that word was specifically used by the director to express what Superman represented. There were also several times when Lois asked Superman if he would be coming around and his response each time was “I am always around”, indicating that he would always be there [from beginning to end], just as Jesus says that he will always be around us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Continue: 1 2
Copyright © 2006 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
More About Superman Returns
Home | Movies | DVDs | Music | Books | Comix | TV | Games | Sports | HJ Live! | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Contact Us | Subscribe | Donate