One line review: A superhero movie that seems to be short on action, and big on Superman’s boring origin.

Movie Title: Superman

Actors: Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Trevor Howard, Margot Kidder, Jack O’Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Maria Schell, Terence Stamp, Phyllis Thaxter, Susannah York, Jeff East

Director: Richard Donner

Year: 1978

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): It first has to be said that I didn’t watch the original film, I saw the director’s cut. Perhaps that why I felt this movie spent far too much time on Jor-El, or young Kal El, rather than just telling a Superman story. In the end, Superman’s story is not interesting, and somehow this movie made it even less interesting. Only after Superman starts acting like Superman did I start to enjoy this movie, and even then it was over too soon. It’s also difficult to forgive this movie’s numerous plot holes and silly special effects. This movie hasn’t aged well.

I have no idea why they felt that Superman’s origins would be so fascinating. What was especially confusing was trying to figure out what happened to him in that pod. Was he aging normally while also somehow being taught by the capsule? Why would you even do that? As well, doesn’t that completely negate the whole part of The Kent’s raising Clark with good morals?

There were so many moments in this movie that simply made no goddamn sense, even in comic book context, and even ignoring how Superman himself defies several laws of physics. Why would you include the trail of General Zod at the beginning of the movie if he had no impact on the movie itself? Why would teenage Clark journey to the arctic after his father died? Why would he throw that green rod in the arctic. Why would a freaking fortress of solitude grow from a green rod? How exactly can Superman’s father include a fully interactive hologram of himself into that crystal that can learn and react to all of Clark’s questions? Why did he suddenly get a suit after that meeting? How did Luthor figure out that Kryptonite would be Superman’s weakness? Why even go after the guy?

Of course, I haven’t even touched on the turning the world backwards to go backwards in time bit. The fact that it is more or less the crutch of the finale makes it all the worse. However, just to annoy me a bit more, I realized that there was a screw up in the time travel. If Superman did go back, and then start everything again, wouldn’t the rock slide still come? Sure, he could save Lois, but her car would get crushed, right? I suppose you could argue that he went back far enough to stop the second missile before it hit, but then how did the gas station blow up (that Lois is timeline 2 complained about). It just hurts my head the more I think about it.


One Response to Superman

  1. Interesting review; you do make some valid points, although I still enjoy the movie. The opening credits sequence, while dated, is nostalgic joy.

    Also to correct one point, the director was Richard Donner, not James Cameron (an honest mistake after posting the Avatar review, I’m sure).

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