Well, this was my second time watching Superman. The first time I watched it I had to have been about seven or eight-years-old. My father showed it to me and I watched it with gusto. I honestly remembered practically nothing about the film except the traumatizing scene when Lois gets buried by an earthquake. That stuck in my psyche.
So yesterday, after a botched attempt to watch 2011’s Green Lantern my sister and I decided to sit back and visit an all-time classic, Superman. My feelings toward this movie are…mixed. I perceived Superman in a sort of reverse emotional basis that I did with the Captain Marvel film.
I find the first half of Captain Marvel unexciting and ultimately a bore. It is the film’s third act, however, that leaves beaming and exhilarated. For me, I found the first two acts of Superman charming, well-written, and overall fantastic. It was heartwarming, fun, and funny. In fact, my sappy self could barely contain tears as I watched Clark Kent and Lois Lane flying romantically in the sky over and through the clouds. However, it was the film’s third act that left me underwhelmed and very disappointed.
I was waiting for Zod to show up…he never did. Lex Luthor was a formidable villain but there wasn’t enough of his conflict with Superman. Superman’s saving California felt drawn out and I was just waiting for it all to end. And the fact that we didn’t get to see him tell Lois that he was Clark Kent was maddening. I understand that the sequel, Superman Returns, tackles these plot points such as his conflict with Zod and Lois learning of his being Superman but geez, I was waiting for that moment!
All in all, I’m glad I now fully know this film but man, I expected it to be better. But maybe that’s because I’m spoiled with modern superhero movies and Man of Steel (which I find much more entertaining.) I’ll give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and 85 out of 100.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.
One thought on “My Review of ‘Superman’”
In 1978, the critics were much harder on the first act of the film. There was not a widespread acceptance that superheroes should be treated with that kind of solemnity or seriousness. The movie was way ahead of its time in that respect. They were much happier with the movie once it got to Metropolis. All I can say is, I like the whole thing. I’ve watched it many times since I first saw it as a child. I think it’s the one, true, definitive Superman movie that defines the absolute baseline for the character. Man of Steel was smartly working off this baseline and bringing Superman into a more serious, complex world, but the original Superman movie was so iconic and representative of people’s vision of the character, that the comic books ended up changing their approach based on it. Superman had actually been changed to be a TV reporter in the comics by that time, but this movie forever put him back into the role of a newspaper reporter.
The next movie is Superman II, not Superman Returns, which was a much later soft reboot of the franchise that failed enough that it was abandoned and rebooted fully with Man of Steel. There is a Superman III and IV from the ’80s as well, which suffered the typical ’80s problem of sequels with rapidly diminishing returns.
Superman II, though, got terrific reviews at the time. It was like an entire movie in the style of the second half of the first movie. It resulted in a Director’s Cut decades later, but you should not even consider watching that before you watch the original version. Superman I and II were written at the same time, and much of part II was shot at the same time. So the two movies are very closely linked. Part I is in many ways a well-planned set-up for part II. You should definitely watch part II as there is a chance it satisfies what you felt was missing from part I, and that may in fact have been what they intended all along.
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