Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Supes Lite

I'm a huge Superman fan.

Actually, I'm a huge fan of the relationship between Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane.

In fact, I'd never read a Superman comic or had seen more than the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies before I fell in love with the Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman television series, starring Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain. That show made me a Superman fan...or a fan of the Superman love story, that is.

So naturally I was excited about the recently released Superman Returns movie starring Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth. Kind of accidentally, we ended up going to see it on opening night last week. I had no idea when my husband suggested we see it that it was the first night, nor how lucky we ended up being to score tickets.

Anyway, we went and we saw. And the movie is really good. I know it's getting mixed reviews, but I count myself as one of the satisfied.

Sort of.

Because as far as the Superman part of the movie went, I'm totally in the thumbs-up column.

But as for the romance between Superman/Clark and Lois, well...the movie left me a bit cold.

I won't spoil it for those who plan to see the movie. I think it's safe to offer up a brief synopsis: Superman has been gone from Earth for 5 years. During his absence, Lois has had a child and become engaged to Richard White, the nephew of her editor Perry White and played by the very nice looking James Marsden. She's moved on with her life, something that both Clark and Superman find not a little bit disconcerting upon their mutual return.

And as anyone would expect, poor Lois finds herself in quite the emotional pickle when she first glimpses those sexy blue tights and all of the muscles bulging inside of them. Her true love is back, it seems. But she's moved on. Can she press rewind and go back in time, knowing then what she knows now will happen, thus making different choices? Can she have her cake and fly with it, too?

I did feel for her. Richard White isn't a bad consolation prize by any means. Plus there's the boy child making things messy. She can't just walk away from her new life just because the bird in the bush is back. She's faced with the same choice Helen Hunt dealt with in Cast Away, when Tom Hanks shows up about 50 pounds skinnier and a lot less frenetic, but her first and truest love all the same. Does she walk away from her husband and daughter, abandon them to be with the man she loves? Or does she resign herself to a future of settling, always regretting what could have been all in the name of responsibility to those who love her now?

My problem with the romance in the new Superman movie, though, isn't Lois's dilemma or even how she eventually solves it. My issue is that I feel jipped. We viewers are dropped into the story five years after Lois and Superman had their big affair. We didn't get to see any of their falling in love or the bolt of instant heat between them or even the simmer of growing attraction. All of this is implied; we are told that Superman and Lois had some great love before he took off without so much as a see ya round.


But that's my favorite part!! The falling in love junk. The attraction. The heat.

It's like watching the two of them smoking their post-coital cigarettes without even seeing them meet for the first time. I know they have this great, passionate love only because I'm already familiar with the Superman mythos. If I'd been an alien from another planet who'd never heard of Superman before, I'd have been thoroughly confused. You mean these two once were in love? Go figure. And why am I supposed to care?

I suppose since this is a superhero action movie, the romance rides second fiddle to everything else. Fair enough. It's not billed as a romance or a chick film or anything of that sort. Guys wrote it for other guys, thinking if the gals didn't mind the ride, well, bonus dude. But for those of us who are Superman/Clark loves Lois fans, a big piece of the puzzle went missing.

In the end, I still loved the movie for what it ended up being. I guess I need to remove my romantic expectations for Superman and take the story as is. Kind of like Batman. There is no specific lady I expect to see as Batman's one true love, therefore I don't miss the missing romance and enjoy the movie as an action flick about a cool superhero.

I suppose this is what I get for calling myself a Superman fan without having read maybe more than three Superman comics. Does it count that I've seen every episode of Lois and Clark at least half-a-dozen times and every epi of Smallville at least twice?

Oh well. 4.5 stars out of 5 ain't bad.

1 comment:

AMCiotola said...

I loved the movie, too. Although, I was disappointed with the lack of Lois and Clark interaction (I think Clack was in 20 minutes of the movie, if that). I was also disappointed that what was between Lois and Superman was a bit cold - there was only that brief moment when you thought they were going to kiss.

However, we've seen the courtship, as it were. It happened in Superman II (III and IV don't really exist in this universe - although he told Lois the Superman/Clark thing only to modify her memory again in III).

In part II, of which Superman Returns is supposed to be the sequel, he told her about the Superman/Clark thing, he took her to his Fortress of Solitude, and he gave up his powers just before he confessed his love for her.

While he was without his powers was when they slept together. However, at the end of the movie he does that thing that makes her forget *every*thing! So you're right when they don't explain any of the in between. Like, how does one react to having a super child when one doesn't remember sleeping with the father?

I've heard arguments that say why Jason has asthma, and is seemingly fragile, is because he was conceived when Clark didn't have his powers. For that matter why didn't Jason react to the Kryptonite?

However, besides all that, I can say that I loved the movie and am looking forward to the sequels as there are going to be some. I also heard they are making a Superman Vs Batman that will start the newest Batman and Brandon Routh.

Great review, Lynn! I sometimes wish I could be as articulate as all of you are.