The Onion AV Club’s latest inventory runs down “fourteen disastrous revamps” — and while they won’t get any argument from me on New Coke or the “Bionic Woman” reboot, I do have to take exception to the inclusion of “Superman Returns”.
Seriously, what’s the deal? Bryan Singer’s ballsy non-reboot of the big blue cheese isn’t a bad movie at all; I called it one of the best films of 2006 (or, more precisely, the best movie of 1983) and still consider it a daring attempt to slide the universe Richard Donner and Richard Lester created into the present day, and pay tribute to the films that came before it.
Yeah, it’s a little on the grim side, but that’s kind of the point; the emotional core of the picture is the sad understanding — also a key theme in “Hancock” — that as much as Superman might want to be one of us, he fundamentally isn’t, and never will be.
And I know that people have trouble with Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor going back to another real-estate deal, but that was always part of Gene Hackman’s charm in the earlier movies; as much as he kept telling everyone how brilliant he was, he wasn’t a super-genius, just a sociopath with a fixation on land rights and a few classified missile-guidance manuals. Spacey’s performance is right in line with that, almost affectionately so.
Okay, I’ll concede that Kate Bosworth makes a poor Lois Lane. But at least she doesn’t recite any poetry.
Anyway, count me in as one of Singer’s impassioned defenders. (Not on “Valkyrie“, though; that shit just don’t fly.) And here’s hoping that “Superman Returns” someday gets the respect it deserves. They’ll totally get it in 2031.