Review: Superman Returns (2006)

18 March 2023
Superman Returns is a 2006 superhero film directed by Bryan Singer, starring Brandon Routh as Superman/Clark Kent, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. The film serves as a continuation of the original Superman film series, ignoring the events of Superman III and IV

While the film was generally well-received upon its release, it has since become a somewhat divisive entry in the Superman film canon.

The film begins with Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence. He finds that things have changed in his absence - Lois Lane has moved on with her life, having won a Pulitzer Prize for her article "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman", and has a young son with her fiance Richard White, played by James Marsden. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is out of prison and hatching a new plan to take over the world, this time using a powerful Kryptonian crystal.

Brandon Routh's performance as Superman is solid, and he does an excellent job of capturing the essence of Christopher Reeve's portrayal of the character. The scenes of him flying and using his powers are thrilling and well-executed, and his chemistry with Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane is believable.

The film's special effects are top-notch, with the scenes of Superman in flight and using his powers looking impressive and realistic. The action scenes are well-choreographed and exciting, and the film's visual style is sleek and stylish.

superman returns poster

One of the film's biggest strengths is its emphasis on character development. The film takes the time to explore the relationships between its characters, particularly the complex dynamic between Superman, Lois Lane, and Richard White. The film's emotional beats are well-earned, and the quieter moments of the film are some of its strongest.

However, the film's biggest weakness is its pacing. At almost two and a half hours, the film feels overlong and at times meandering. The plot is convoluted, and the scenes involving Lex Luthor feel tonally inconsistent with the rest of the film.

Despite its flaws, Superman Returns is a solid superhero film that successfully captures the spirit of the original Superman films. Its strong performances, impressive special effects, and emphasis on character development make it a worthwhile addition to the Superman canon.

Overall, Superman Returns may not be a perfect film, but it is an entertaining and satisfying entry in the Superman film series. Fans of the character and the genre will find plenty to enjoy here, even if it doesn't quite reach the heights of the original films.

Trivia about Superman Returns

  1. The film was in development for nearly a decade before it was released, with various directors and actors attached to the project at different times.
  2. Director Bryan Singer wanted to make a film that was a direct sequel to the first two Superman films starring Christopher Reeve, and he even used footage from those films in some scenes.
  3. Brandon Routh, who played Superman, was relatively unknown at the time of his casting, and he underwent extensive physical training to prepare for the role.
  4. Kevin Spacey, who played Lex Luthor, was a last-minute replacement for the original actor who had been cast in the role, James Marsden's real-life friend, Paul Bettany.
  5. Kate Bosworth, who played Lois Lane, was only 22 years old at the time of filming, making her the youngest actress to ever play the character.
  6. The film's opening credits sequence, which features a montage of various images from Superman's past, was inspired by the opening credits of the first two Superman films.
  7. The film's budget was reportedly around $204 million, making it one of the most expensive films ever made at the time of its release.
  8. The film's marketing campaign included several tie-ins with other brands, including a partnership with the electronics company Samsung and a promotion with the fast-food chain Burger King.
  9. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but it ultimately lost to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
  10. Despite the film's generally positive reviews and solid box office performance, plans for a direct sequel were scrapped, and the Superman franchise was rebooted with 2013's Man of Steel.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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