Head to Head – Superman Returns

Welcome to a very special BONUS installment of Head to Head. Every week our Quickflix critics enter into a relentlessly bloody battle to the death based on the merits of a particular film. This week, Simon Miraudo does battle with a brand new competitor over Bryan Singer‘s much maligned reboot Superman Returns.


Simon Miraudo will argue FOR the film and Gerard “The Wildcard” Brancato will argue AGAINST it. Let us know in the comments who you agree with! Let the bloodshed begin!


Poor Bryan Singer. The guy essentially laid the groundwork for the current slate of blockbuster superhero films and here I actually have to defend his work on 2006’s gorgeous Man of Steel reboot Superman Returns. Tying in the pathos of his X-Men films with the campy fun of Christopher Reeves-era Superman, Singer reintroduced us to the sweet-natured-all-American-goody-two-shoes with 21st century special effects. Brandon Routh’s subtle performance as Clark Kent surpassed the expected Reeves imitation and Kevin Spacey swallowed chunks of scenery whole as Lex Luthor. Superman Returns also introduces the notion of Superman carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders (although heaven forbid a superhero film deal with thought-provoking issues). The producers would later go on to develop a little film called The Dark Knight. Hrm…Gerard, you soulless chimp, sometimes the matters of the heart and head are as important as the fist.

Gerard Brancato – 1/5

Roger Ebert gave this movie a 2/5. Gene Shalit called the script “not a good thing.” And Gerard Brancato calls this movie an exercise in the licensing of intellectual property rights to produce 154 minutes of screenable film at a cost of over $200,000,000 – nothing more. Of all the big comic franchises – Spiderman, X-Men, Batman – each had a follow up in cinemas within four years. So why in God’s name does the biggest superhero and comic property of them all not even have a script or beginnings of a follow up film in development if the 2006 re-boot was such a stunning success? Or a ‘4/5’ as my young padawan learner rates it? The reason is (drum roll) because Superman Returns sucked. It was less of Richard Donner’s classic first two movies and more reminiscent of Superman 3 and 4 – which, like Returns, sucked. Important to note that even the pathetic Superman 3 got a follow up four years later. What seems to the problem Miraudo? Due to that movie, audiences have decided that they don’t need any more dross from the greatest comic book hero ever. Mostly because the script sucked, the plot was absent, the villain’s scheme was stupid and Lois Lane was a mum. The sheer physics and biology of her procreating with Superman and gestating what is in effect an alien child is laughable. Superman Returns. Returns? Huh, Superman Returns: To Kill The Franchise, would be a more appropriate title. Good nite young prince. Your feeble skills are no match for the powers of the dark side.

Now you must decide whether you side with the veteran maverick, or the opinionated newcomer! Let us know! Choose your side! There can only be one winner!!!
Previous Head to Head’s

An Inconvenient Truth – Simon
Step-Brothers – DVDman
The Day After Tomorrow – Tie
Titanic – Tie
Seven Pounds – Tie
The Village – Winner: Simon
Alien 3 – Winner: Simon
Natural Born Killers – Tie
Signs – Winner: DVDman
Family Guy – Winner: DVDman
Shakespeare in Love – Winner: Simon
American Gangster – Winner: Simon
Crash – Winner: Simon
No Country for Old Men – Winner: DVDman

5 Responses to “Head to Head – Superman Returns”

  1. Have to agree with Gerard on this one, I am a huge Superman fan and this film was a BIG let down!!! Lois as a mum and Superman having a child, come on now!!!

  2. No way, definitely with Simon on this. Perhaps my expectations were low, or perhaps it was the first cinema experience I'd had in over 12 months after our first child, but this far exceeded my initial impressions. My only quibble would be that Kevin Spacey is a touch too short to channel Gene Hackman. Some have problems with Superman fathering a child…but Kryptonite, fortresses that grow out of the ice, radioactive spiders and a bloke with a steel skeleton are all tres believable?!

  3. I think the big let down may be because Superman is expected to be an action movie when it really is a character driven movie about who he is. So for all of you shallow simplistic action buffed fan, this is not a film for you. So Simon 1, Gerard Nil.

  4. I agree with Gerard. After all of its promises & better technology to boot, Superman Returns was a plastic imitation of the originals. The main actor was great at looking like Reeve, and yes, there was even that obviously well rehearsed Reeve smile amongst other mannerisms, but there was a total lack of the charisma that Reeve displayed in the originals. Lois was the worst Lois I've ever seen on screen; she lacked the fire of a real Lois. Spacey was okay, but Hackman nail Luther well; hard to beat. Visually better, yes, but then there's the acting, hmmm. Gerard 1 Simon 0

  5. This movie sucked so hard I wished I could fly backwards around the world fast enough to get my 2.5 hours back!Superman Returns: into the bin with you.

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