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July 05, 2006

Superman Returns - 7

With a project like this, it seems there are more ways to screw it up than to do this series well. Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) et al don't disappoint, this is a good film in the tradition of the Superman series (one minor critique is that the film doesn't use the fact that Clark and Lois are reporters to help move the plot along as it usually does). This film starts off just after Superman has returned from his 5 year journey back to his home planet to see what is left. He then returns, to both his job at the Daily Planet, and his role as a superhero. Lex Luthor is up to his usual evil, but the story really focuses on the relationship of Superman, Lois, and her new family (husband and son). Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth do a good job with the characters.
The thing that interests me the most about this film is the potential allegory this story has to the story of Jesus. I only bring this up because the film has many scenes in which it seems the filmmaker want you to see the connection. Early in the film when Superman is having a flash back to his youth, a young girl in the audience I was in asked: "Does he know he's Superman?" Which is reminiscent of The Last Temptation of Christ. There is also some overt dialogue between Superman and Lois about him being a savior and whether the world needs that or not.

Lois: The world doesn't need a savior...
Superman: Listen...
Lois: I don't hear anything.
Superman: I do. I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn't need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.

And to top it off, when Superman is fighting Lex and his henchmen and the kryptonite has taken his power the camera goes between him getting beaten on the ground to the sympathetic, yet disturbed Kitty who is crying, reminiscent of The Passion of the Christ. He also gets stabbed in the side, and when he is falling back to earth the cene is modeled on Salvador Dali's Christ of Saint John of the Cross. I didn't put much stock in the allegory until after seeing the film. It seems to be intentional on the part of the filmmakers.

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