Superman: As a hero, SUPER, as a Dad, Super Zero.

NOT SO SUPER.

I was excited to go see the new Superman movie – and the rave reviews got my expectations higher than they already were. I left disappointed.The gist is Superman left for five years to go check out his planet that was recently discovered. He arrives back in another crash landing on the Kent farm… kinda odd that with no survivors he still comes back in a meoter instead of just flying home. Oh, well, I can dismiss that, it made for a grand entrance. The opening scene flying through space was almost as good as “Contact” (Jodie Foster) and had a few planets I’d love as wallpapers.

GREAT FIRST FEAT!
His first big ‘Save the Day’ hero duties was pretty awesome… we were alone in the theator so I went ahead a clapped and cheered out loud with the crowd on screen, it was a sweet return and his one liner to those he saved was priceless, “I hope this doesn’t discourage you from flying. Statisically its still the safest way to travel.” I won’t give away the rescue, just to say, it was what I was expecting the whole movie, but unfortunately it was downhill from there.

BLAH AFTER THAT
Sure, you get to see Superman save some folks, but nothing new or original. And with the movie taking place in modern times (cell phones with cameras catching pictures of Superman that rival camera pictures!) you’d think they could come up with a better plot than just a slim twist on the original Superman the Movie in the 70’s. Instead of real estate along the san adres fault and dropping California into the sea, this time he builds a massive landmass in the Atlantic ocean with plans to sink most of the USA. In a post-sunami world, it is kinda obvious they underplayed the real damage that would have been done, and how does Sup’ save the day? Lift it and throw it into space. How original. Not.

THEN JUST TRASHY
But here is the worst, from a Christian point of view, and from a parents point of view. I can accept a weak plot and simply ‘super’ tricks… but morally this movie was a disaster. (Spoilers ahead) Clark returns to find that Lois Lane, the love of his/Sup’s life, has shacked up with her boss’s son and had a baby, who is now a five year old boy. She doesn’t marry him (and hates the question) because she is still holding out for Superman, though definitely mad at him for leaving without saying good bye. Then, the BIG SURPRISE, is that this illegitimate child is actually Superman’s son. So our hero is the one who actually had the out of wedlock baby. Come on, even Darth Vader, er, Anakin, snuck off and got married before having kids. What a wonderful example to give our kids that you can just move in with a guy, have kids, share home and money and love, but ‘hold out’ for something better, and confuse a young child about who his father is. That kid is going to need some serious help later, but its not his fault, its his lying parents.

THE ACTORS
Superman and Clark are played well, at many times sounding very much like Christopher Reeve. Lois wasn’t a good fit in my opinion to the believable real woman who was loved by Superman. She was a too ‘perfect’ and yet so flawed. She gave up on Superman, winning a Pulizer roasting him, and is now a closet smoker. And while Kevin Spacey did a better than expected job at Lex Luther, there was nowhere near the insane fun madness that Gene Hackman did perfectly. Gene Hackman will always be Lex Luthor.

Emotionally the movie is very heavy. There are some good and even fun scenes, (I love the ‘test’ Lex does on a train set, it was very creative) but on a whole, it is nowhere near the fun action-packed Spiderman movies. There seems to be more serious/sad scenes than action-packed hero scenes. The action scenese almost seem tossed in, as an obligation or after thought instead of being what a Superman movie is supposed to be about – a SUPER MAN!

I should have gone to see Pirates. (babysitter, anyone??)

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Kidologist

Karl Bastian is the founder of Kidology.org, the creator of ToyboxTales.com, and the author of OrderoftheAncient.com. His personal website is Kidologist.com He is Big Kid with a passion for equipping and encouraging those who minister to children.

11 Comments:

  1. I absolutely hated Superman Returns. Hard to believe George Lucas wasn’t involved. It was prequel-bad.

  2. Great review, Karl!

  3. Luke's Favorite Babysitter

    I’ll babysit Luke again, so you can go see pirates. I just hope the power doesn’t go out this time. :-) I had fun with Luke while you guys went out. You know I’ll do it anytime.

    Melissa

  4. Luke's favorite Babysitter

    and if you are wondering how I know I’m his favorite. . ..

    He told me. :-)

  5. Larry Shallenberger

    You are right on the money, Karl. But don’t waste your $ on Pirates. (My review on Pirates is at http://www.nappaland.com)

  6. I actually enjoyed the movie quite a bit. They did a good job (I thought) paying omage to Christopher Reeve. It was hard not to notice the Christ parallels…those were cool.

    BTW – you can’t really knock this movie for the illegitimate child thing without bringing up Superman II. That’s when it started (Supes removes his powers and they “consumate” their love).

  7. I enjoyed the omage to Christopher Reeve (mentioned above) but I missed any references/parallels to Christ… please fil me in.

    I understand the Sup2 tie in, but Lois could have waited, not shacked up with another guy and mislead him into thinking the boy was his son, that was pretty selfish and made me lose a lot of respect for her character and the writers. Had Superman told her he was leaving, she could have waited, and they could have had a great family.

    I enjoyed parts of the film, but still think over all it was a downer of a film and had more sad scenes than exciting action scenes. I always prefered Superman over Spiderman, but the Spiderman movies CRUSHED this film. (as did Batman Returns) We are in a neew era of hero films, and Superman just didn’t make it up to the new level. It was more like Hulk. A bold attempt that fell short.

  8. When Supes takes Lois up into the sky (nice omage scene minus cheesy “can you read my mind” stuff), he asks her what she hears. He comments “I hear everything. Everyday I hear people asking for help…” or something to that effect. It’s like God looking down on the planet.

    That one could be walking on all fours, but this next one is no stretch.

    When Supes throws the rock into space, he “dies” from the Kryptonite. (Side note: his side is pierced earlier). As his body floats into space and begins to drift towards earth, he is in a position as though on a cross. Then, he is “dead” for several days before coming back to life. When I saw that in the movie, I made a mental note to save that one for use.

  9. I might be wrong, but as Superman was floating down, wasn’t there a voice over that said something like “Here is my son I’m giving to the world to save the world” I don’t remember the exact words though.

  10. I totally agree about the loose morals in this film. Yes, it began in Superman II but we all know the “real” Superman would never be as irresponsible and impulsive enough to get Lois pregnant. It was the ’70s though and that’s probably what audiences expected/wanted to see then.

  11. I really liked how Superman actually used the term savior when talking about people crying out for one daily. I’m afraid that this comment gives people the impression that we are to find salvation in others, though, and not Christ.

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