Superman Returns : 4 of 5
I'm a big fan of the original Superman movies, so I was thrilled to see Superman Returns, mainly because this film is designed to continue that series! It takes place after Superman II (which means we can forget the terrible III and IV), and really keeps the spirit of those films! The opening credits sequence uses the same flying words, the same incredible theme music plays, and even the acting (for the most part) seems to pay tribute to the original actors. Even though they have their own style, Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey both kind of do impressions of Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman, and they are great. I wasn't really thrilled with Kate Bosworth, but she was just fine. The plot is interesting, and smartly makes use of the Fortress of Solitude (which Lex saw in Superman II) and Lex's desire for real estate (which was the same scheme in Superman I). The idea of Superman being off in space for five years is a little weird, but they had to give Lois time to have a child somehow! The special effects are well-done without taking over the movie, so the characters have some room to act, but unfortunately there were never really any moments that generated real emotion. I was mostly excited by all the references to the previous movies and comic books - details like the Kryptonite from Addis Ababa and Superman's Action Comics pose make geeks like me happy. Overall I was really impressed - it's always nice to see a superhero movie that doesn't mess everything up!