The world needs Superman!

In this post-modern globalized world where everything seems to be in shades of grey, it’s easy to wonder whether Superman – and his invulnerability, perfection and undeterred optimism – still has any appeal. Having seen the movie last night, I can answer with a resounding yes!

I suppose that we all want to believe in something greater than ourselves and to some extent it’s liberating to leave our destinies in the hands of others – look at the appeal of religion, statesmen and sometimes entrepreneurs. If anything Superman’s appeal is stronger than ever as a result of this difficult, conflict ridden time we live in.

The movie is entertaining, the story well told and well acted. Lex Luthor takes a welcome turn to a darker side creating a stronger black versus white storyline. That said Kevin Spacey is somewhat disappointing in the role – I expected much more given his roles in Seven and The Usual Suspects. He probably did as well as he could, given a script that vacillated between frivolity and gravity. Surprisingly, Philip Seymor Hoffman made a much more effective villain in MI3 than Kevin Spacey does in Superman Returns. I did not care much for the kid either as his face was expressionless for most of the movie.

That said, all these are mere quibbles in what is a very good and entertaining movie! Superman: the world needs you!

  • It’s interesting that your post includes both the statement “the movie is entertaining, the story well told” and the “script … vacillated between frivolity and gravity…”

    Sometimes frivolity is something of definite value, and a well told story can be filled with frivolity. Popcorn movies are, after all, popcorn movies.

    It’s also interesting that a movie about a character that is invulnerable, perfect, and undeterredly optimistic is alternately grave and frivolous. Perhaps because such ideals are set so high, they venture into the necessary and into the impossible.

    Or perhaps it’s just the being from Krypton and saving the day in the end that makes the story frivolous.

  • Perhaps the elements of wit were simply not appropriate as used in this story.
    “Batman Begins” and the Spiderman movies were able to tell their tales without hiccups of flippancy. Or maybe a man dressed as a bat makes the story less frivolous.

  • Let me start by saying that all the superhero movies that are coming in (at least the remakes) are getting darker and graver than the earlier ones.

    The only hints of frivolity that I can think of are, umm, well none that I can think of offhand.

    Look at the teasers of Spider-Man 3, look at Batman Begins…they appear more like a serious type of fantasy than the ones that were supposed to be meant for children and young adults. But then, it is perhaps only natural that the movies reflect the complexity and dangerousness of the times we live in.

    PS: Capes and hoods don’t matter as long as the person inside is on the side of “Truth and Justice.”
    PPS: The more colorful the better, actually – something bright in the usually somber atmospheres!