Sunday, July 16, 2006

Film: Well... Lex Luthor was great

[Warning: contains spoilers, and I wouldn't want to make the film any more disappointing for you.]

Lois Lane was rose high in a an old-fashioned man's world by hiding - or protecting - something of her femininity. As a result she was in her thirties with everything going well for her, except on the man front. What man could possibly be man enough for Lois? Superman - the man of her dreams - her last chance. He made her fall in love, and he left.

Now he's back. It's five years later. Lois has a son - five years old - and a relationship with another man - for five years. Superman, Lois and the new man are all good looking with dark hair; so is the son Superman's, or the new man's?

Well, who gives a shit? Certainly not the two people who walked out before we found the answer. Nor the thirteen other people who left the cinema the instant the end was in sight - not AT the end, just when it was in sight.

The most ridiculous thing about the film is that the characters ages are all wrong. Lois looks like she is about 22, meaning, she was schtupping Superman - and the other guy - when she was seventeen; no, sixteen given the gestation period. Yet Superman's mum (well, stepmum) looks like she is about a hundred. Great face though - so expressive. In fact, the acting is all good, and the little boy does a great job. But the director should be shot for the too-youthful casting; the very recognisable and distracting bits of Sydney - including real-estate signs with buildings' real addresses on them - leaking into shot; the lack of pace; the lack of tension and the fact that Lex Luthor's boat is bigger on the inside than the outside.

Two notable mentions:

1. Kevin Spacey is brilliant as Lex Luthor. His chilling psychopathy steals the show. And you can see him having a great time acting the part. Every time he hits the screen he notches his villainy up another level.

2. Major overload of biblical imagery - "I sent you to earth, the only son of the father..."; an ark scene, where Lex's ship, carrying the future of superhumanity, is marooned on top of a mountain of crystal; and superman looking at his little boy saying, "The son is the father and the father is the son." Oh, and it just occurred to me that Superman, his son and Superdad's messages in the crystal create a neat trinity: The superfather, the superson and the super holy ghost. Jesus! It makes Narnia look Satanic!

My arse was numb after 10 minutes and stayed that way for the rest of the two-and-a-half hour long film.

Superman Returns, unfortunately
At a cinema near you. It only deserves two weekends, but given that sequels usually make 80% of the original's box office, it should last a bit longer.


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