Yes, I thought I should see this, so I saw it. Saw it a little while ago, actually.
Oh, what did I think?
Well, the effects were really good, Kevin Spacey was (as expected) incredibly brilliant in his continuation of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor stylings, wow! WOW! And let’s not overlook Parker Posey, she was fabulous too…WOW! They nailed this one, for sure. Terrifically fun stuff.
Also, I love the opportunity that a Superman movie gives us to imagine a world where Superman is it – no Batman, no Green Lantern, nothing getting in the way. Short of re-reading the earliest strips, it’s hard to call that long-ago feeling back to life…so, in that sense, I really appreciated this movie.
But there is another sense in which I did not appreciate it at all.
No, it isn’t what you’re thinking, although hey, I obviously agree with all those points of yours. As much as there was to like in this movie, there was a lot to dislike in it too, and I can’t say it didn’t irritate the hell out of me. It irritated the hell out of me! But there was something more important than all that stuff. And, oh, say, is that today’s date? Is it really Valentine’s Day already? Okay, let’s talk some Valentine’s Day stuff then. Flowers. Chocolate. Love.
For God’s sake, where is the love for Clark Kent in this movie?
I can’t believe I’m the only one who’s…well, sure, yes, perhaps actually a bit offended on behalf of ol’ Clark. What has he done, after all, to deserve such disrespect? Look, they don’t even care enough about him to give more than a minute to suspecting he’s Superman…and I’m talking about the filmmakers, here. Good Lord, what has gone wrong? How can this have been forgotten? For a second, as the DVD title sequence played, I thought I was going to see something that was really, really like Superman…they played the shot of him in the elevator, resignedly removing his glasses, and I thought they were going to get it right…and then inexplicably they got it wrong. Wrong! How could you get that, of all things, so wrong? There were so many things to do, so many ways to go, so much freshness to be brought to this, and yet they just glossed over it entirely. I can think of at least a half-dozen ways to use Clark better here, just off the top of my head…Christ, he didn’t even work on a story! He even came back on the very same day as Superman, and no one took the slightest notice! Well, but how could they…except for Jimmy, they didn’t even notice that he was back at all. Lois, you heartless cow. Perry, you cold bastard. How can you be so unfeeling? Man, I’ll tell you, if the people I knew cared so little for me, I’d leave Earth too.
Yeah, there’s a lot to pick apart in this movie, but this is the worst thing, because this is the main symptom of what was wrong with it. That Clark Kent is secretly Superman is an extremely important part of Superman’s mystique, an extremely important part of people’s interest and affection for the character. It is not an accident; it is not a minor detail. It’s what people read the comics for, what they know about the comics if they know nothing else. Clark Kent is the gateway to reader/viewer identification with Superman, and closing that gateway makes no sense, no sense at all. I mean I could go on, but if you don’t already agree with me, I can’t think of any simpler way to say it. Where’s Clark? What happened to Clark? Is Clark all right? Say, has anyone seen Clark? Christ, he doesn’t even need the glasses: he’s ended up completely invisible, anyway. Because he’s ended up completely unloved.
Even by the audience.
And, that’s just wrong.