Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel returns to Earth. While archenemy Lex Luthor plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the realization that Lois Lane has moved on with her life.
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Along with Ang Lee's Hulk, I think this was unfairly derided simply because it failed to pacify an American audience. Singer treats Superman as the god that he is, constantly alluding to Christian mythology. In this interpretation, Superman doesn't NEED to throw a single punch. It's also a somber send-off to the Donner films.
With all the good that Singer did with X-Men I can see why he was tapped for Supes but great googily moogily was this thing a mess. Routh and Bosworth had... what's the opposite of chemistry? Trigonometry? Routh and Bosworth had trigonometry.
Every decision Bryan Singer makes is wrong. Why is the costume different? Why is Lois Lane not strong and independent? Why make it a sequel to the original series if you wanted to treat it like an origin story again? Why is Kevin Spacey playing a tongue-and-cheek character straight? Why do these great rivals barely have any screen time together? How many times can we see Kal Penn approaching an injured Superman?
I'm not particularly well versed in Superman, but Singer's film is profound. This is a movie about America, the world, Jesus, pop culture, cynicism, optimism, and everything else that seems relevant in 2006. Brilliantly realized.
I can say, completely satisfied, that this is the greatest Superman movie so far. Don't get me wrong; I love Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie and his cut of Superman II. But this is the definitive Superman, a thrilling, excellently-acted superhero film with its heart and head in the right place. Your move, Zack Snyder.
With all of the problems I have with this film -- as a fan of the character ever since I was little, I still love it. Singer got some things completely wrong (the biggest that Luthor is almost a complete waste), but it still has all of the iconic imagery that makes Superman the ultimate superhero that he is. I have high hopes for Snyder and Nolan's attempt.