Screen Gems Movie Reviews
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Superman Returns June 27, 2006
Superman Returns
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rating: PG-13 for some intense action violence.

Taking up the mantle of the late Christopher Reeve, newcomer Brandon Routh dons a cape and tights in "Superman Returns."

As the story begins, Superman has been gone for five years. He's journeyed into outer space to try and find his homeworld Krypton. However, he discovers the planet destroyed and journeys back to Earth.

His first stop is Smallville, where his mother Martha still lives on the Kent family farm. After they reunite Superman journeys to Metropolis, where his alter ego Clark Kent is rehired as a reporter at the Daily Planet newspaper.

On his first day back, Clark learns Lois Lane is covering the launch of a space shuttle. But things go wrong and Superman is needed to save the day.

During Superman's absence, Lois has moved on. She now has a son and a new man in her life. Plus, she's won a Pulitzer prize for a column on why the world doesn't need Superman.

In addition to his struggles as he tries to re-connect with family and old friends, Superman has to deal with the villainy of Lex Luthor and the reality of Lois' young son...who may be more than he appears.

Director Bryan Singer is no stranger to comic book movies. He made the first two "X-Men" films. Here, he tips his hat to the Superman movies which starred Reeve, while at the same time moving the franchise forward.

This is a great movie. Routh is perfect as both the bumbling Clark and the alienated Superman. Kate Bosworth makes Lois more than a one-dimensional damsel in distress and Kevin Spacey's Luthor is much less funny and much more evil than previous incarnations.

The special effects are spectacular. You really will believe a man can fly. And the airplane rescue sequence is one of the most exciting I've ever seen on the screen.

There are minor quibbles. Luthor's scheme stretches logic pretty thin and no one seems to notice that both Clark and Superman return simultaneously after long absences.

Those points aside, this is a grand adventure that has me anxiously awaiting the next chapter in the Man of Steel's film legacy.

On my rating scale, "Superman Returns" hits a Home Run.

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