Hey folks, Harry here... About 3 weeks ago we got the review of SUPERMAN RETURNS that has begun appearing on a few sites around the web. I felt it was suspicious so we didn't run it. Then Moriarty got his hands on a script, circa about February of 2005, that was a budget draft with a lot of action taken out and a lot of dodgy to terrible scenes left in.
I began contacting some of the people behind SUPERMAN RETURNS to see what they thought. First off - that alleged review? Total bullshit. There are several moments mentioned in that review that never even made it to in front of the camera, but happen to be in the draft that Moriarty read... which means... that reviewer is a liar... flat out, that read an early flawed draft of SUPERMAN RETURNS then set out to maliciously slander and cause harm to SUPERMAN RETURNS.
The draft in question is a draft of this film that nobody in the production was satisfied with. Anyone familiar with Hollywood understands the concept of a "budget draft" which is the draft of the film where you begin cutting out costly scenes that don't directly affect the main plot of the film, but would significantly lower the cost of the film. Having said that, the feeling Moriarty got reading it was genuine and his assessment was correct - based upon that draft. However, that was not the film that was shot. A great deal of that script was shot, but action scenes were added, dialogue changed, the movie evolved.
Now - I have spoken personally with 3 different people that have seen SUPERMAN RETURNS. Two are primary folks responsible for it's creation - they're beaming proud of the film. Of course they are. However, they made the movie and while they've been incredibly honest with me in regards to the film... They are making the movie. The third was an employee at another Comic Company - not DC and not owned by them, who saw an extended cut of the film and it blew him completely away. This is someone that has no direct ties to the film. Who isn't involved in it's creation and who had nothing to gain or lose by telling me his honest opinion as we shared a dinner at Chuy's here in Austin.
Then there's this review. It is FILLED with spoilers. Complete spoilers, but it was written by someone that saw the film and has been frustrated with the negative buzz coming from folks that have not seen the film and have not read a shooting script. In short... This is someone that saw one of the 3 micro-test screenings that have taken place of SUPERMAN RETURNS. This is a WARNING - There are SIGNFICANT SPOILERS throughout this review. SO BEWARE! Personally I have the utmost confidence in this film. It will be something to see.
I saw this movie 2 months ago in South L.A. but I didn’t bother to write a review. But I just saw Moriarty’s mini script review and felt compelled to set the story straight. I really liked this film, long as it was (about 2 and a half hours!) and it kinda ticked me off that it seems to be getting a bum rap. A fake negative review? C’mon. Well I’m going to set the story straight, and that is that this is a very good movie.
This is not Batman Begins, and despite what you might be led to believe, the overall tone is a lot like Superman 2, if not a little bit more serious. It's big and fun, but it has a heart. The love story is the basis for almost all of it’s drama, but what Singer cleverly has done is added a new element, and it is what will make most fans say “wow. Superman really ISNT all that boring”. He’s given Lois Lane not only a boyfriend, but a child! On paper, that sounds AWFUL. Lois lane? A mother! WHAT! Well yeah, that’s how it is, if your really narrow minded. What the child does is cement the fact that lois has MOVED ON and superman’s never ever had to deal with this problem before, and that is what makes us able to relate to him, the fact that we all have dealt with this very problem before. This adds a huge element to the movie and makes a much more mature film than you’d think. Instead of the standard "loves her but cant have her” love story, here’s a story where he DID have her and he blew it, and now he’s trying to rekindle the relationship. I don’t really get why some fans have such trouble grasping that, unless your one of those geeks that’s never been in a relationship so you obviously wont relate to this problem. But seeing Superman being jealous, while it might not be exactly what he does in the comics, makes the movie better. Giving Superman the slightest “edge”, or as some fans have said, making him emo-it all makes Superman much more relatable;he’s no longer just somebody who can do everything he ever wanted to. We know exactly what he’s going though, and Singer really took time to hammer home that fact and it totally pays off. That’s where the film gets really good, when they finally seem to be hitting off again, Luthor comes in and totally messes up everything, and the solution involves a lot of superman.
And ya know, Im not dumb. The fans know Superman is the kids father. But in the movie it is not bad. Your almost wishing he is the father, just because you know he is supposed to be with Lois. Like with Peter Parker and Mary Jane, Peter is taking a backseat to guys like Flash Thompson of John Jameson and you as the audience want Peter to get with MJ even it means hurting his good friend Harry; it’s the same here. You accept he has a kid so he can be with Lois. And people, don’t be surprised. They don’t have to outright say “Lois and Superman had sex” to get the point, either. Basically here Superman takes a backseat to Richard and Jason, and he’s never done that, so it’s very, very interesting and refreshing source of drama for a superman movie. And ya know, there are going to be people who just flat out dont like it. Thats fine.But this not a bad film by any means, and I doubt the public think of it as bad either.
Ok, so now that that shit has been explained and cleared up, I’ll move onto the plot, performances, and the action and special effects. The music obviously was not finished and neither were the fx, but it was easy to tell what was happening in the scenes. The plot is simple. Superman returns to Earth and has to juggle his ruined relationship with Lois while Lex Luthor is trying to kill and kills “billions!”. I’ll be flat, the second half of the film is where it really gets going. The first half is him in space, then in smallville, and then finally returning to Metropolis. Bits and pieces of Luthor and Lois are thrown in but not a lot. Like every other Superhero film with the exception of Batman, it gets going about an hour in when our hero finally…ahem…returns. The airplane/space shuttle saving is really incredible…the fx were not done but you could tell from what was there this will be a very intense and memorable scene. Panic flows from Mission control as the first not-nasa-related space flight seems to be a complete disaster until Superman show’s up. He also saves the plane, and sets down in the middle of a baseball stadium. He goes inside and gives a little speech, and then goes to leave the front door to walk into 1000 cameras…so the world knows: hes back.
Then there was a very enjoyable sequence of Superman doing various jobs saving the world. He saves some mountain climbers, puts out some fires, and finally, he stops a bank robbery that was really cool. Now comes little bits and pieces of Lois and Clark, either in the daily planet, or Superman watching her or some shit, combined with little bits of Luthor and his scheme. He’s kicked an elderly woman out of her mansion and taken her yacht, why we’ll find out later. He robs a museum of it’s kryptonite so he can kill Superman.
Meanwhile, the world is DYING to know where Superman’s been, and Lois is basically forced by White to give him an interview, no matter how much she does not want to. It’s hard, especially for her. They do eventually begin to warm up to each other, and end it with a very, very memorable scene where they go flying. Lois is still nervous, but they kind of fall of in love while they go flying. You wont get it now, but when you see it on screen you’ll know what I mean. It just looks...right.
Other little bits happen, but now here’s the next action scene. In comparison to the first two this is very, very small, and it’s also complicated. Basically, Lois and Jason are…kidnapped would be the word I guess-by Lex and his crew. Heres where we find out his plan-he’s used to the kryptonion technology he got at the fortress to make a new continent. It’s already partially created, and by making it full with this kryptonion missile he has would cause a massive worldwide Earthquake and kills billions!Used as bait, Superman comes, and Lex and his men fight him, using stolen kryptonite to make him powerless. They STAB him with the kryptonite, and he’s essentially dies right before lois as they shove him off a cliff on new krypton.
So, with Superman seemingly out of the way, Lois in tears, Lex locks em up in the boat, and proceeds ahead. What he does not count on is his girlfriend, the weird Kitty Kosloski, thinks he’s nuts and is having a change of heart. Meanwhile, Superman go to the fortress of solitude, where Jor-el gives him his powers back just in time to save the day as the big earthquake hits. I wont spoil the rest, but I’ll just say, it’s good. The very final scene of the film is also, a an instant classic. This film is the ultimate blockbuster-action,drama,comedy. It's got a very happy ending all around.
Now that you know what happens, you can see its not bad. The pacing is good, very similar to Superman 1. Performance wise, it’s all good. Spacey’s a very memorable Lex, and Routh is a very good Superman. His Clark Kent is bumbling with a high voice, while his Superman is powerful and idealistic. Trust me, he’s good. But the real scene stealer is Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. I dunno why, but I just really liked her. Her character is the kind that is hard to not fall in love with. Even when she’s mad, she’s just hard not to like. We can see why Superman is so in love with her.
And now the action. I read in Moriaty’s review that he says theres only 2 action scenes in the whole script-well I’m here to tell you that s a total LIE. Theres 2 action scenes in the way Spiderman had 2 action scenes-or in other words, theres 2 super huge action sequences, and then a lot of other smaller stuff. The plane sequence will be amazing and worth the price of admission. The saving the day montage is classic Superman. The earthquake scene is a 2 parter. Like again, in Spider-man,you have the finale is the bridge and then the fight, but its all one big action scene. Same here. You’ve got the intense Earthquake scene, which has a lot of stuff, from runaway trains to toppling bridges to demolishing buildings. The you’ve got the fight after, including how superman stops new krypton and the fights on the Gertrude,that mega boat.
To sum up, this will surprise you. It’s a way more mature film then a lot of people will realize. In case you haven’t realized it from reading what happens, this is a big, big film that will be very entertaining and it’s also very good. This is not wall-to-wall action which is why I think Moriaty was bummed. But it is action mixed with drama mixed with comedy. Theres nothing to worry about, and no reason to have so much negative buzz. Moriaty said he didn’t like that the pacing almost exactly like Superman the movie-yeah hes right. That doesn’t mean its BAD-that means its good if anything, because it worked for that movie. It worked for Spider-man. It worked for Batman Begins. And it works for Superman Returns. Call me BlackJack, and I’m out.