Friday, July 14, 2006

The Boy Scout in Blue: Not the Best Movie of the Summer

Spoiler Alert: Some hints of plot spoilers, but more importantly since I am tough to please, my finding this flick imperfect might spoil your fun. But hey, that’s why I sign these things, "just my thoughts"....

Sometimes better movies are more frustrating that poorer movies. Know what I mean? You go into the theatre expecting greatness, it starts to deliver greatness, but then just falls short of actually being great.

X-Men 3, for example, which turned out to be a lousy movie with some marvelous action. Why a lousy movie? Because all of the potential of the first half was frittered away in the second half.

So now on to two really good movies (really, they are good!) that, as I will explain, are not the best movies of the summer.

Today we look at Superman Returns:

What works:

-Some great action, especially the airplane save
-Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey – very nice performances, great chemistry (“Wow, that’s really something, Lex.” “Wait for it.” “Wow, that’s really something, Lex.”)
-Funny call backs to the Reeve flicks and comic books (“Look, up in the air.” “It’s a bird.” “It’s a plane.” Enter Clark Kent…) (Cover of Action #1 as a cell photo)
-Nice romantic triangle, without the cop-out of making the new beau a jerk or a sacrificial lamb
-Always good to see Cyclops and Superman working together
-Didn’t back away from the Christ symbolism

Why it isn’t the best movie of the summer:

In short, it missed the opportunity to be more than just fun. Supes reminds us repeatedly that the world needs a savior; and his dad is all in our face about how Kal-El was sent to earth to help mankind reach its potential; they only need someone to show them the light.

Well, Clark did don the tights to save a bunch of people, and he did the sacrificial thing when he needed to. But he never inspired. He never moved past being just a global cop to become a symbol, to be something greater than his powers. (Like Bruce in Begins becoming a symbol, lasting past his own deeds.)

I wanted, nay, needed to see the world be better – act better, rise to its potential – because of Superman. I didn’t see that happen.

I walked out of the theatre content, feeling that the world is a more entertaining place because Superman exists.

I just wish I walked out feeling like a better person because Superman exists.

Just my thoughts,


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