Although I've heard several reviews of this movie, none of them better than mediocre, I decided to go see it for myself because I (generally) like superhero movies and I also like to form my own opinion. Well, I have.
It was dull.
Brandon Routh is a very handsome young man, and would make a fantastic Superman in a movie with some sort of conflict. As it was, he portrayed the worst characteristics of the Man of Steel: with his powers, he's invincible. Without them, he's nothing. His activities reminded me of Ayn Rand's discussion on the invincible, immortal robot: such a thing could have no values, because nothing could make any difference to it whatsoever. Nothing could be either for or against it. Everything Superman does is strangely purposeless. It's possible that it makes a difference to the people he saves, or even to the curiously zombie-like hordes that watch his activities, but it can't make any difference to him whatsoever.
Why does Superman fly around saving people? The question is not addressed in the movie, but it seemed very much that he'd picked up the idea that he ought to: from his father, with his noble speechmaking that was nevertheless detached from reality, and from his human family, that encouraged the deathless demi-god to think that human things somehow applied to him. This was especially apparent in his relationship with Lois, which he could not even approach in any sensible manner, much less sort out. He couldn't decide whether it really applied to him or not; whether he could be human or not.
Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor was even worse: he couldn't even manage to be really evil in any horrifying sense, instead he projected an aura of pathetic degeneracy, like a prison-yard thug. (In fact, his one confrontation with Superman was about as titanic as a prison-yard knifing.)
In addition, he was stupid. There is something mortally indecent about hearing a stupid villian utter the words "mind over muscle" in a tone of righteous self-satisfaction. What mind? Are you talking about the alien technology that you stole (and could never have come up with on your own), the kryptonite rock (also stolen) that fell out of the sky, or the boat that you schmoozed out of some befuddled old lady? What a fountain of cognitive superiority. I'm awed. *sarcasm* Carmen and Vivaldi playing in the background do not turn a man into an intellectual; they make him a ridiculous second-hander who has latched onto the supposed trappings of the intellect as a showpiece.
Between Luthor's sham intellect and Superman's sham humanity, there wasn't much left of this movie to make it at all interesting. Oo, special effects. Yay.
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