I saw Superman Returns last night, and guess what? It was actually pretty damn good. Superman was played pretty decently, Kevin Spacey played a disturbed, but happily-evil Lex Luther pretty well. And there was even a bad-ass Indian dude playing one of Lex Luther’s henchmen. He had the whole ‘smart in science thing’ going, cause he was fabricating weapon parts, navigating helicopters, and cutting fine crystals, but he also helped beat up superman when he was down. Purely diabolical, and totally not stereotypical. Nice. There was a hospital scene with a bunch of desi’s playing doctors though. Huh.
Anyway, it was a very nostalgic movie. I didn’t go in holding high expectations that the movie had to meet a certain standard, or coincide with the original story to a specific degree. I just went to be reminded of how me and a whole other generation of my peers identified with Superman: the good guy that actually wins. There were of course references to old superman icons and taglines, like “it’s a bird, it’s a plane…” and even a press photo referencing the cover of Superman’s first comic, Action Comics #1:
It was fun. I was also remembering at the end of Kill Bill two, when David Carradine was describing why he liked Superman so much:
“An essential characteristic of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero, and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When he wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic that Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red ‘S’, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses, the business suit, that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak, he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”