Designed as a sequel/tribute to Richard Donner's 1978 masterpiece, Superman Returns (2006) is a strangely glum movie, with little action, and forgettable performances by all involved. The effects are great, and the climax impressive, but the film's tone and Brandon Routh's subdued performance as the man of steel, combined with Bryan Singer's conventional direction, make this a surprisingly somber Superman movie that fails on the most important level of all when it comes to a Superman movie: to rouse and entertain. Then again, with his dour handling of X-Men, Singer was never the right choice for this material, since Superman is a character that symbolizes hope and faith in humanity, and Singer is a cynical filmmaker whose interest seems to be in the darker aspects of humanity [The Usual Suspects (1995), Apt Pupil (1998)].
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.