December 10, 2004


I just saw Superman for the first time. You know what? It's really awful. Most of it is seriously B-movie, except less funny. Marlon Brando? Bad. As ever. You can't understand a damn thing that man says, and he only has one emotion he can display---"I'm emoting!"---which is always on.

If you feel you simply must watch this movie, at least do yourself a favour and skip the first hour. The production values are somewhere south of Doctor Who, the dialogue wishes it were even as good as anything William Shatner ever uttered, and the plot goes nowhere that is even remotely relevant to the rest of the movie.

Once we get to Kansas (or "Ruralstate" or whatever), things pick up, although not by much. Toddler Superman gets picked up by a childless middle-aged couple and quickly ages into a teenager who bears a startling resemblance to Sigourney Weaver. There are a few Important Character-Developing Scenes, then Clark's dad dies---from a heart attack, as carefully foreshadowed just five minutes earlier---and Clark sets off for the North Pole, where he throws a mysterious green piece of Kryptonite off into the distance, where it suddenly grows into a huge Krypton-style palace with a floating ice-sculpture head of Marlon Brando, who gives Clark a blue spandex unitard and red underwear and teaches him how to fly.

On and on the movie goes, fluctuating between mediocre and look-at-your-watch dreadful. The scenes with Lex Luthor and his lovely subterranean train station set were generally the best of the lot, although the scene where he logically deduces that a particular meteorite in Addis Abbaba is Kryptonite and therefore lethal to Superman is probably best forgotten.

Finally, we get to the big Superman-saves-the-world-well-at-least-the-country climax. Now, superhero movies are all fine and good, and I'm perfectly happy with the idea of a superhero doing, y'know, superhuman things. But flying all the way across the country in seconds, and then taking like five minutes to actually catch a speeding rocket? Stopping an earthquake by "closing" the fault line? WTF? And come on, a burst dam is going to take a bit more than a few rocks to stop, and if you do it's going to form something a damn sight bigger than a small pond!

And finally, when a voiceover reminded him of his father (John Kent, not that other guy)'s words "you were put here for a reason", well obviously that would inspire him to fly high speed and reverse time. I don't know why I didn't see it myself.

Weak opening, weak plot, weak characters, shitty dialogue, irritating climax, and non-existent ending. This movie does not deserve its excellent soundtrack. What a waste of $2 and two and a half hours.

"Welcome to Illinois: We may not get the worst weather in the world, but we come in second, in every category." --Sam Walker

Posted by blahedo at 10:06pm on 10 Dec 2004
So, are you going to critique the sequels as well, or would you rather not waste four more dollars and five more hours? :) Posted by Paul at 5:24am on 11 Dec 2004

Since you mentioned Brando, try renting One Eyed Jacks.

It's a cowboy movie that even this effete leftist intellectual can love.

Posted by Paul at 6:13am on 11 Dec 2004
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