–in about a week. I honestly want to be jazzed about this movie, and I’m just not. It worries me. With the recent series of blockbusting comic-book movies over the last few years, particularly the two excellent **Spider-Man ** films and this year’s amazing reboot of the Batman franchise, this is something of a Golden Age for the superhero mythology as reflected in popular culture. At last Hollywood has apparently begun to internalize the lesson that superhero movies do much better when the source material is treated with a degree of respect rather than played for laughs. There really could be no better time to relaunch Superman’s film career. And yet, what promotional materials I’ve seen so far fill me with grave unease.
From what I understand, this new film is a sequel of sorts to the first two Christopher Reeve movies, which seems like an odd choice to begin with, although apparently they are ignoring the latter two movies (a decision that I can certainly get behind). Brandon Routh portrays a Superman that has returned to Earth after having been missing for five years. This would be fine, except for the fact that Brandon Routh is visibly about 19 years old and weighs about 120 pounds. Just look at those pencil-thin arms. This is exactly why people don’t believe that Clark Kent is Superman; because they think that if Clark dressed up in the costume, he would look like* that.* The cape looks like it weighs more than he does!
(What the hell is that cape made of, anyway? Giant squid hide? And isn’t Superman’s cape supposed to be, um,* red?* I’m mildly colorblind myself, but even I can tell that cape is more of a grape juice color. How is it possible to screw up the color red?)
Kate Bosworth portrays star reporter Lois Lane. It’s been five years since Superman broke off his relationship with her, and she’s now about 16 years old. Respected careerwoman preparing for an interview, or trying to pick out a dress for junior prom? You decide.
I realize that the Smallville TV series is still fresh in everyone’s mind, but if you’re going to cast your movie with actors that are still young enough to get carded while trying to buy beer, then why are you trying to make a sequel to movies where those characters were about twice as old? That’s like trying to make a new Indiana Jones sequel with Ashton Kutcher in the title role. I’m mildly annoyed by the implication that audiences wouldn’t watch a Superman sequel starring older actors. Contrariwise, if you really want to target the younger crowd, then why not reboot the series entirely?
I’m a big fan of Superman, and it bothers me that I’m so unenthused about the upcoming film. I have serious qualms. Is it possible for a whisper-thin prepubescent actor to successfully portray the Man of Steel on the big screen? Every new ad for the film seems to have a new detail that rubs me the wrong way. They had a close-up picture of Brandon Routh in costume on the cover of this week’s Entertainment magazine, and apparently the sculpted relief S-shield on his chest is imprinted with a pattern of thousands of* tinier S-shields.* For God’s sake, why?! Was Bryan Singer hearing voices when he signed off on this stuff? “Remember, Superman should have brown hair rather than black, and the costume should be covered with tiny subliminal images. Oh, and make sure the cape is a subdued plum color, just like in the comics. The fabric should be nice and fleshy, with a translucent scrotumy appearance. Redrum.”
At this point I’m grasping at straws, looking for any excuse to spur me into the theater. Please, explain to me why I’m mistaken in my anxiety. Tell me good things about the film. Give me hope.