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It has been five years since Superman (Brandon Routh) disappeared from the city of Metropolis without a word, returning to his old home planet, now in ruins. And now he returns. But Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), the love of Superman's life, is now engaged to the editor's (Frank Langella) nephew, Richard (James Marsden) and has a five year old son, Jason (Tristan Leabu). Uber-criminal Lex Luther (Kevin Spacey) has an audacious and evil plan, having discovered how to harness the power of the crystals linked to the power of Superman's alien home, and having acquired enough kryptonite to kill Superman.

Review by Louise Keller:
Retaining the spirit of the comic strip, Superman Returns delivers a larger-than-life hero a sardonic villain, splashy special effects and an emotional heart that reinforces the Man of Steel's vulnerability. Having waited nearly twenty years for another screen version of DC Comics' most famous super hero, expectations are understandably high, with media speculation soaring from the divine to the meticulous. Is Superman the new messiah? Has director Bryan Singer coloured Superman gay? Is Brandon Routh convincing as the new Superman? Is his cod piece super size?

The weight of the project lies in the varying sized hands of three men - Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey and Brandon Routh. They may be born in different decades, but they work together like instruments playing in harmony. Singer delivers the spectacle and the tone. Spacey, with a shaved head and a glint in his eye, brings gravitas and wry humour as maniacal Lex Luther. And Routh does the impossible, filling out the ripples in Superman's skin tight blue suit, recreating him with freshness. He also brings a little melancholy in his note of heroic acceptance of his destiny. His resemblance to Reeve is at first eerie, yet Routh is never in Reeve's shadow. He carries the film as gracefully as he leaps through the air.

One of Singer's challenges was to create a work that satisfies not only a new young audience, but the audience that has grown up with the super hero. My main criticism is the film's length, which at 154 minutes is far too long. But his decision to incorporate some elements from the previous films works strongly in its favour, such as John Williams' unforgettable music theme and archive footage of Marlon Brando as Superman's father. Parker Posey is a lively scene stealer as Lex Luther's outspoken floozy with the cute pooch, but Kate Bosworth lacks the worldliness required of Lois Lane. Her hair may be dark for the role, but Bosworth's Lois is a bit of a dizzy blonde, who forgets to pick up her son, and seems an unlikely Pulitzer Prize candidate as we are asked to believe.

The film is visually impressive, mixing action with touches of humour and heart without sentimentality. According to Daily Planet Editor Perry White (Frank Langella), there are three things that sell newspapers - tragedy, sex and Superman. This movie simply needs one of those things - Superman.

There are plenty of special features on the two disc DVD including a host of deleted scenes and featurettes.

Published November 30, 2006

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(Aust/US, 2006)

CAST: Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Frank Langella, Sam Huntington, Eva Marie Saint, Parker Posey, Tristan Leabu

PRODUCER: Gilbert Adler, Jon Peters, Bryan Singer

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer

SCRIPT: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Newton Thomas Sigel

EDITOR: Elliot Graham, John Ottman

MUSIC: John Ottman


RUNNING TIME: 154 minutes




SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc 1: 1; Disc 2: Deleted Scenes: The Date: Ma Kent plays a game with her new man; Family Photos: Clark reminisces over family photos; Crash Landing / X-Ray Vision: Clark discovers he can fly and he has x-ray vision; Old Newspapers: Clark realises what happened while he was gone; Are You Two Dating?: Clark discovers his mother is dating; Martinis and Wigs: Lex and Kitty bicker; I'm Always Right: Once again, Lex is right; Jimmy the Lush: Jimmy and Clark discuss Lois at the bar; Language Barrier: Japanese talkshow makes fun of Superman; Crystal Feet: Having a bad day; New Krypton: Lois names the new planet; "Requiem for Krypton: Making Superman Returns" multi-part documentary; Secret Origins and First Issues: Crystallising Superman; The Crystal Method: Designing Superman; An Affinity for Beachfront Property: Shooting Superman; Superman on the Farm; Superman in the City; Superman in Peril; The Joy of Lex: Menacing Superman; He's Always Around: Wrapping Superman; "Resurrecting Jor-El" Featurette; 3D rendering of Marlon Brando's face for the Fortress of Solitude scene; Theatrical Teaser Trailer; Theatrical Trailer; EA Games Trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: December 6, 2006

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