Look, up on the screen! Bryan Singer's long-awaited Superman Returns is a lovingly crafted film, rich with nostalgia but grounded in the present day, a thoroughly modern Superman. Newcomer Brandon Routh fills out the cape and boots quite well, exhibiting some surprising comic timing as Kal-El's nebbishy alter ego Clark Kent, while Kevin Spacey makes for a predictably jaunty Lex Luthor.
It's a shame the disjointed plot arcs don't allow them to share the screen more often, and this sort of tangled storyline and misjudgments of scale are Kryptonite to this Superman. The gorgeous cinematography and larger-than-life characters scream "epic," while the retreaded love story and villainous real-estate scam (seriously!) seem like something more suited to a long weekend. Still, when the film lets Superman do his thing, it really flies, with thrilling action sequences and a fanboy's sense of what the Man Of Steel can really do. Maybe next time out, we'll see a hero who spends more time doing and less time wondering if he should.