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The Superman Movie That Time Forgot:
A Look Back on Superman Returns

By Felix Quinonez

March 30, 2016

He's great as everything except Superman. Pretty much.

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More importantly it buries the possibility that a Superman movie could be fun and endearing. Instead it gives us a neck snapping, borderline fascist Superman (Henry Cavill) that inspires fear instead of hope. The Reeve and Routh versions of Superman were appealing and warm. They made people feel safe. On the other hand Cavill’s version is menacing and intimidating. He seems like someone you would want to avoid making eye contact with if you ever had the misfortune of running into him.

Perhaps because of Singer’s reverence of the Donner film, Superman Returns never really had a chance to become the definitive cinematic take on the character. But the movie isn’t nearly as hated, as the Internet would have you believe. Quentin Tarantino is actually one of its many fans. And after the release of Man of Steel, people began reappraising the merits of Superman Returns. Many articles popped up explaining that the movie is better than its reputation suggests. Now the second installment of Snyder’s take on the character is in theaters. And if it’s as tone deaf as the first one - and reviews suggest it’s even worse - it might encourage people to revisit Superman Returns, which could result in more people coming around.

So perhaps in 10 or 20 years the extended director’s cut of Superman Returns will finally see the light of day and the movie will finally get the love it deserves.


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