So, finally we get to see Superman again. Yes, just like the trailer, the speed, the power, returned. I got the chance to watch the premiere show at 1pm at the Tunjungan Plaza. Since i begin my day by working, i didnt arive there until 1230. Dannii on the other hand, has been there since 11 am to be among the fist to stand in the line for the tickets. We planned to watch the premiere together wearing the Superman shirt under our clothes. And it seems that shes attracted some attention from one of the reporter that was covering the premiere :-).
You can check out the report at Jawa Pos site here.
Anyway, we are wasting our minutes waiting for the theatre door to be open by strolling around the mall. And guess what, we found a discounted Superman action figures ! Its not a Superman Returns action figure, but a Warner Bros Superman. You know, the cartoon series. But what makes this action figure so cool is that you can have him standing on your desk, monitor, tv or whatever, or you can hang him and watch him float around your room ;-) The only minus side is, we were panicking when we realized it was 1pm already and we left the toy store without asking the return money from our payment. :(
So, there we were, sitting on the the theatre seat. Waiting for the man of steel. And since Dannii has downloaded the entire album of the Superman Returns score, we were listening to some of the tunes which just excite us even more. Before the movie started, theres a trailer of The Ant Bully. This movie looks promising. But finally, the one we've been waiting for so long arived. Superman has returned !
Before we watched the movie, we have learned from like everywhere, that Superman Returns storyline will continue after the original series. 5 Years after Superman 2 to be exact.
The movie started with a text explaining that some astronomers has discover what was believed to be the planet krypton and superman decided has decided to go there. The text was followed by Marlon Brando's voice, as Jor El, if you remember the 1st Superman Movie, you will recognized his word. And the screen was picturing the scene of the planet Krypton, just like in the original movies. All crystall and stuff. Just as Jor El's voice was fading out, the screen zoomed out from the krypton to show the newly created explosion of the planet. And then... the Superman theme began to fill the room !
The opening credit was the classic opening you would remember from the Christopher Reeve's movies. John Williams music was still there, and still sounds as glorious as ever. But this time the music was done by John Ottman, or someone, i couldnt remember since i was to excited watching the screen.
The movie would started by telling the re-emergences of both Superman and Lex Luthor. On one of those cold night in Smallville, Texas, while Ma Kent was washing her dishes, something fell out from the sky. It turns out to be Superman's space ship, and she helped out here limping and tiring son back into her house. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor has gone out from prison and has tricked out a rich and dying - pomeranian lover - old woman into giving all her will into Lex Luthor.
The following morning, Clark Kent woke up in his old room. And when he goes down to the kitchen, Ma Kent burst into tears, saying how she misses him and how she think she would never seen him again. Clark then explained that he has to go to Krypton to see with his own eyes. And all he found was just a graveyard. And then he goes emo by saying how he feels lonely in this world and so on. Ma Kent then tries to cheer him up, by saying this is a big universe.
Back to Lex Luthor, he finally got what he want. All the rich woman's asset are now in his hand. And hes back to his old self now, walking around strotting his stuff. And the first thing he do is setting up an expedition team into the north pole !
Unknowingly to Luthor's plan, A still emo Clar Kent is standing in his old man's farm. Recally the early days when he discovered his super power. When he ran and jump all over the corn field (you might recall some of the shot from the original movies, but the scenes were retaken with new actor), or the first time he float :-) This is a very touching moment for me, i almost cried :p And that Superman soundtrack really builds up the mood.
On a high tech cruise boat, with a mission to the north pole, Lex Luthor is busy having a philosophycal discussion with his new ... err.. side kick (?), Kitty - Catherine - Something, couldnt remember. There we learnt that while in prison, Lex Luthor has been busy socializing and recruiting (yet amazingly another stupid goons for the evil genius). Lex Luthor guided his bunch of misfits into the north pole to find Superman's home. If you remember the 2nd movie, you will know that Luthor has been there and knew something about the crystal mechanism. After he watched some of the content of the crystal (hey, its Marlon Brando again ! as Jor El), he stole Superman's crystal and goes back to Metropolis.
But Lex Luthor isnt the only one heading back to Metropolis. Clark Kent is back ! bumbling his way into the office of Daily Planet. He was greeted with an excited Jimmy Olsen who gave him a welcome back cake, with a slice missing ;-) But everyone at the Daily Office is busy that day, and Clark learned from the television that Lois Lane is duing her reporting duty on a first planned commercial space flight for public (still annoying as ever). Clark Kent also learnt something else, Lois Lane has won the Pullitzer Award for writing "Why The World Doesnt Need Superman", and she is now engaged to some guy (Perry White's nephew) and have a son.
Lex Luthor has now returned to his new inherited mansion, when he left there was two pomeranians, but now only one. And that one is busy chewing on a bone with fur all over him. Creepy. Lex Luthor has planned to use the stolen kryptonian crystal to build himself a new island, krypton style. Remember, Lex Luthor knew how the crystal works. In the mansion, he led his team to a playing room, with minature trains and stuff and theres a pool of water in the middle of it. He then cut the crystal to a tiny peace, not bigger than your nail, and have one of his helper to put the crystal on the water. Just like in Superman 1, when Superman build his home at the north pole he just threw his crystal to the water, a mound of rock kryptonite style rises from the pool. But not beforehand releasing a huge emp shockwave. Causing blackout all over the city.
Back in town, a depressed Clark Kent sits in a bar with Jimmy Olsen trying to catch up whats been happening while hes gone. Suddenly, the tv was airing a flashnews that theres been an accident on the air. Apparently, Lois Lane's plane catched the emp shockwave, causing malfunction to the system. And before Jimmy Olsen can talk back to Clark about that, Clark Kent is dashing out the street, to a small and quiet alley, opening his shirt revealing a Superman costume underneath !
Panic in the sky ! Lois Lane is still the most annoying woman who tries to do a little bit too much. She tries to helped the PR lady whos been hurt and then also got herself hurt in the process. But then, something caught her eyes. Its that familiar blue and red dashing trough in the air.
Superman rescues everyone in his usual spectacular fashion. Remember, Superman is the boyscout of the super heroes. So after he catches the plane and put it in the middle of the ball park. He do his PR work, asking if everybodys allright, and then saying that they shouldnt be afraid of flying again because of the safety statistics and bla bla bla. Damn, Brandon Routh reminds me of Christopher Reeves when he spoke that line. :-) Yes, there are so many reference to the original movies, and i must highlight the word "original movies", because the comic fans are going to be nuts over what happened next. After making sure everyone is allright, and a polite "Are you allright" hello to Lois Lane, he left by dashing to the sky. If you followed the comic universe, you will know that an older Superman in Alex Ross comic, just float around with pride, seldom walking. And you will find lots of that kind of movement here. And that is way too cool.
Later that day, back in the Daily Planet, Perry White instructed everyone to get the scoop on Superman. A reluctant Lois Lane chooses to pursue the story about the blackout. And Lois still cant spell ! (A continuation from the original movies). Clark met Lois's son (Jason) for the first time, and her fiancee. Richard White. Richard then returns to his office with his son (Richard worked as an international news editor at the Daily Planet). Clark then walked Lois Lane to catch a taxi. And then suddenly Lois Lane goes emo to Clark, talking about destiny, faith, meant to be and dissapearing without saying good bye. Clark tries to rationed Lois, by telling her maybe it was hard to say goodbye. And just when Lois about to goes emo again, Clark bumbled "Who are we talking here again ?". After that, Clark help Lois stopped a taxi using his ultrasonic whistle, which also annoyed dogs and cats nearby.
Clark followed Lois Lane back into his house from the air, as Superman, using his super vision and super hearing, he learnt that Lois Son is fragile and somehow Richard is still not convinced that Lois is done with Superman. He suspect that the reason that Lois didnt want to write about Superman is because she still has feeling about him. Lois then convinced Richard the she didnt love Superman. Superman left, flying to the air, getting emo, remembering all Jor El's word about being the role model for the earth people. And his super hearing is catching lots of voice calling for help.
Back in Metropolis, a robber is using a high tech gatling gun to terrorized the police. Superman come to the rescue. Here he demonstrate why he got the nickname man of steel. Bullets cant hurt him. And he spectacularly catch a bullet in the eye without blinking. Soon, Superman got busy. Helping people around the globe. The media was going frenzy about Superman returns.
Back in Luthor's mansion, Lex Luthor learnt that Superman has returned from the news paper. The same news paper also reported that a meteorite exhibition is being held at the local museum. Lex Luthor knew that he has to be ready to face his old nemesis again. Lex uses Kitty as a decoy while he stole a Kryptonite from the museum. Kitty is screaming in her car, on a full spead, with a loose brake, in a saturated area. People were screaming for cover. Then Superman save Kitty from ramming over innocent bystander. Kitty asked to be taken to the hospital, buying some time for Lex. While Superman carries Kitty in his arm, a boy is taking a picture of them using his Samsung mobile phone.
The next day, Perry is having a staff meeting. He was furious with Jimmy Olsen. He was pointing to a good close up picture taken by the boy last night and complaining to Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy showed Perry his picture of Superman. A tiny red dot in the sky. A very funny lines here.
Jimmy : Look !
Perry : Its a Bird !
Lois : Its a Plane !
Jimmy : (angry), No, Its Sup....
Clark entered the room. And Perry decided that Clark should go hunting for the news of the black out and Lois should write about Superman.
After they goes out from Perry's room. Lois have a chat with Richard. Richard asked her about Superman's statistic, and of course Lois knew them without having to take a peek to her notes. And then Richard asked her about Clark's height and weight. Using his super hearing Clark can hear what Lois and Richard were talking around, and he goofed around, act foolishly, and yes. In this world, he can fool people by using glasses and act a goof. Richard then wants to eat burito for lunch with Jason, Jimmy followed. Clark bumped into Lois and make a mess of everything. When Clark tries to help Lois, his glasses fall off, and he pauses for a moment to see if Lois pays any attention, but Lois was as annoying as ever, babling around, completely ignoring Clark. Then Lois goes to the Balcony to smoke.
But just as she tries to lid her cig, a gush of wind just blew of her fire. Superman says "Smoking is bad for your health". Yep, our boyscout superhero is here to do an interview. And just like a good boyscout, he reminds Lois that smoking is bad for her health. And then they are both goes emo and Superman take Lois for a quick flight around. Up under the clouds, he asked her why did she wrote the pullitzer winning article, when all he hears from up hear is a cry for help. He flew her back into the Daily Planet, a scene which is very reminiscent to the flying scene of Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder. :-) But the special f/x was way much better this time around. When they arived on the balcony, they get emo again and almost went lips to lips. But Lois backed down, by saying Richard is a good guy.
Lois delivered her interview article to Perry. The article was titled Superman Returns. Meanwhile, Superman goes back to the north pole to find that his crystals were missing. And boy did he look angry.
At Lex Luthor's hideout, he was supervising a shaping of the Kryptonite into a tube.
After the Superman Returns article, Lois goes back to to write about the black out. She founds out that the black out originated from one point. As she dugg deep into her research, she remembered that she forgot to pick up Jason from school. And after she picked up Jason, she takes him to look around... err.. investigate the place that she suspect originated the emp shockwave. And again, she completely ignore a phone call from her office and from Richard, probably because she feels guilty for picking up her son late, or still doing the black out story, or just plain ruthless reporter Lois Lane in action :-)
Anyway, her investigation led her to a yacht, which she tresspassed..err... entered, and found a room full of wigs. Suddenly her brain started to kick off, and just realize that she bring her son into all of this. Trying to escape the now moving yacht, she ran into a surprised Lex Luthor.
Back in the office, everyone was worried about Lois Lane. Perry asked Clark (who probably just returned from the north pole), to help Richard search for Lois.
At the yacht, like all evil genius do, Lex Luthor tells all to Lois Lane. Giving her an exclusive interview of all his plans. He planned to build himself an intstant island from the crystal, completely aware that buy raising an island would risked a global disaster, apart from the emp shockwave, lands will collapse and so on. And if you remember the 1st movie, Lex Luthor quote something from his father. And yes, Lex Luthor's passion is all about property. *duh!*
When Lois Lane mentioned about Superman, the previously happy tell all Luthor goes angry and showed her the Kryptonyte tube. Suddently his eye caught something. He questioned the father of Jason. He even dangled the kriptonyte in front of Jason to see if there was any reaction to it. But he didnt found anything and left them with his thug. Luthor goes to prepare his next big thing.
Luthor put the crystal inside the Kryptonite tube, and as the crystal absorbed the kryptonite, merging into one. He then fires them into the ocean.
Meanwhile, Lois tries to call for help. She tries to fax her message to the daily planet while her sone is busying the thug by playing piano. She managed to send half of her message when the massive chain reaction at the bottom of the ocean starting to grow. A huge emp shocwave was released, causing the electronic system at yacht to malfunction. And the emp shocwave reached the city of metropolis too. Not only there was a black out, but the ground was shaking due to the huge movement at the bottom of the ocean.
Back at the yacht. The thug founds out what Lois was trying to do and knocked her around. The frightened Jason seems to breath rapidly. And then, suddenly, a piano flung and killed the thugs. You guessed it, Jason is Superman child, but fortunately there wasnt any scene in the movie of him doing anything super :-)
At the daily planet, after the the electricity kicked back in, Jimmy found the half received sos message from Lois Lane. Containing the coordinates for her position. How did she knew all this, did she has gps ? Clark and Richard both rushed with their own ways.
On his way to the ocean, Superman's X-Ray Vision spotted a huge crack in the ocean moving toward the city. He has choices to made and He decided to goes back to the city. Meanwhile, Lois and Jason were being kept at the kitchen by other thugs. And when they reported that a piano has just killed their friend, when Lex learnt about this... he asked, wheres the boy ? ...its time to leave the boat.
Back in the Metropolis. A huge earth quake really rocked the city. But thankfully Superman arrived just in time to save the day. He catches people in the air, blow away fires, catches the giant globe of daily planet, and uses his heat vision to clear out debrises in the sky.
Meanwhile, a huge uncomfortable rock begin to rise from the ocean, splitting the boat into two. Ricard arrived with his plane, but also got trapped inside the kitchen instead. Superman arrives and saves the day. After helping Richard flew his planet out of the danger zone, he goes chasing Lex Luthor into his new crystal island. But Lex Luthor has designed his crystal island to be a Superman free zone by merging the crystal with kryptonite. And just like that, after trading a few insults, Lex Luthor sees a cold sweat began to drip from Superman's forehead. And he shoves the man of steel into the ground.
At the airplane, Lois began to gain her conciousness, and when she learnt that Superman went after Lex Luthor alone, she beggedd Richard to turn around and help Superman. Yes, this time, superman needs the help of his friends.
At the island, a weakened Superman is getting bullied by Lex Luthor and his goons. He was cornered. And Lex stabbed him with a kryptonite and pushes him to fall from the cliffs into the ocean.
Lois, Richard and Jason arived just in time to save Superman. After Lois throw away the kryptonite, Superman goes back to the Crystal Island. But not until he fly up above the cloud facing the sun and do a beauty shot. I really think Brian Singer has too much of Brandon Rooth's doing a beauty pose infront of the camera, but thats ok i guess, since he did it really good ;-) Comic book fans would probably theorizing about Superman recharging his power from the yellow sun.
Anyway, after that beauty shot, Superman went down under. I mean really down under. He flies and uses his heat vision to dug into the bottom of the ocean. And here we got to see Superman lifting an island. But not just an island, but a Kryptonite plagued Island. How weird is that, Superman is getting up close and personal with a big chunk of Kryptonite ? Anyway, Lex Luthor tries to run away from Crystal Island using his helicopters, his thugs are getting crushed by a very uncomfortable black and jagged giant crystal rocks, and Kitty suddenly has a moral dilemma. She threw away the remaining crystal out of the helicopters, and heres a shocker. Lex didnt kill her ! He just simply looks annoyed, and continues his flight ! Is this Lex a good guy or what ? :-)
Anyway, Superman managed to lift the crystal island and threw it away into the space. But he is weakened by the kryptonite and as his power is drained, he falls back into the earth creating a massive impact in the heart of metropolis.
It is a sad day in metropolis, everyone gathers around the hospital as earth best medicine men tries to revive a comatose Superman. But how do you put an earthy needle into the arm of the man of steel ?
So to put the story cut short, back at the Daily Planet, Perry White prepare two headlines for the next edition of Daily Planet. Superman Dies and Superman Lives.
Richard urged Lois to go to the hospital, and he drove her there. Lois and Jason went to see Superman in the hospital room. Hey, its Superman in a gown :P A crying Lois whispered something into Superman, and before they left, they both kisses Superman.
Another place, Lex and Kitty were stranded on some lost island because their helicopter ran out of gas. And he just gruntled around but never threaten Kitty. A gentle Lex Luthor ?
Later that day, the nurses found out that Superman is gone. The bed was empty. Probably Superman didnt have a health insurance :P But where did Superman go ? He went into Lois's house, and he just stood there. Infront of Jason's bed. Jason was sleeping. And Superman was looking at him, gently. And he said to him the exact words of Jor El. The father become the son, and the son become the father. Its a touching moment. I know its kinda ridiculous to think that Superman might actually have a child, but if you followed the 2nd movie, somehow it all makes sense.
Outside, Lois was looking nervous and sad. She just hold her cig in her hand without actually tryling to lit it. Then she heard Jason shouting goodbye ! There he was, Superman, floating around so gracefully. She asked him "Will we ever see you around". Superman replied "Im always around".
And he flies into the sky, doing one more beauty shot, and the movie ended with another glorious Superman Theme filling the room.
Thats it. The end.
What ? no closure ? what about Lex ? yeah... what about him ?
Why Brian Singer didnt spend extra 2 minutes of a scene of Superman picking Lex Luthor and dropping him into the jail is beyond me. But believe me, this movie is a long movie and yet it didnt feel that long.
Got a mixed reaction for this movie. I love to see Superman again on the big screen. The big red S. John William's theme. Its been so long. And Christopher Reeves must be proud if he was watching this.
But there are some minor that i didnt connect with me.
How come a young (15 years old was stated in the credit) Clark Kent was already wearing glasses ?
At first i really hate the Superman Child thing. But after having a lenghty discussion with Danni, and a reminder from her about Superman 2. I guess i can take the Superman Child storyline. Its something new. And yes, its Surprising, but again, its believable if you followed the 2nd movie and NOT the comic lines.
And then there was Lex. Kevin Spacey did a good job. But somehow this Lex seems, more gentle ? And he didnt have another backup plan, or some ultra weapon or something. He kept talking about alien tech weapon, but where is it ?
Kate Bosworth looks charming as Lois Lane. And altough she tends to look too young, but shes ok to me. The Weird thing is, Somehow, Posey Parker (Kitty Kapowski) really loos like the late Margot Kidder ;-)
And Brandon Routh. The face is too young, but his voice is what his performance really all about. He has a good voice, kinda like the Christopher Reeve's voice. A Superman-esque voice ? dont know. Face like a superboy, voice like a superman, all in all its a good performance of him. He need to do something about his thigh tough, altough he is a tall man, sometime his thigh made him looks shorter.
All in all, i love this movie, and im curious about the next superman movie. :-)