Superman Returns
  • Superman Returns
  • Superman Returns

Superman Returns

3.9 33
Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden


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The Man of Steel returns to the big screen with this continuation of the icon's film legacy that picks up after the events of the first two Christopher Reeve films. Some time has passed since the events of Superman II and the world has gotten used to life without Superman (See more details below

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The Man of Steel returns to the big screen with this continuation of the icon's film legacy that picks up after the events of the first two Christopher Reeve films. Some time has passed since the events of Superman II and the world has gotten used to life without Superman (Brandon Routh) ever since his puzzling disappearance years earlier. Upon his return, he finds a Metropolis that doesn't need him anymore, while Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has moved on with another young suitor Richard White (James Marsden) in the meantime. As the hero begins to tackle the fact that life on Earth has continued without him, he is forced to face his old arch-nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) and restore the life that was once his. Directed by Bryan Singer from a script by the writing team of X-Men 2, Superman Returns marks a return to the screen for the man in tights, whose production history has seen many failed attempts including a famous near-miss from Tim Burton and Kevin Smith with Nicolas Cage in the lead role, along with another from director McG and writer J.J. Abrams (Lost). Singer eventually won the prestigious gig when he pitched the idea to not tackle the origin story again, but continue with director Richard Donner's original vision.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
It has been years since Superman (Brandon Routh) defeated the Kryptonian arch-villains and left Earth on a mysterious quest. When he finally returns, the Man of Steel finds that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is a single mom engaged to Perry White's (Frank Langella) nephew Richard (James Marsden), and that arch-fiend Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is at it again, simultaneously plotting another massive real estate scam and Superman's demise. This sort-of sequel to Superman II, directed by X-Men's Bryan Singer, is predicated on the assumption that the events depicted in Christopher Reeve's third and fourth outings as the iconic superhero never happened. Singer, who has a decided affinity for the mythic underpinnings of comic book crime fighters, imbues Superman Returns with and epic sensibility; he also sprinkles humorous lines and situations throughout the film but never betrays any hint of condescension or self-parody. The result is an altogether satisfying addition to the Kryptonian canon. The Special Edition boasts more than three hours of bonus features, most of them clustered together under an umbrella title, "Requiem for Krypton: Making Superman Returns." The film's production is documented with welcome specificity, and the actors are seen plying their trade in addition to contributing the usual talking-head promo-speak. Superman's background -- not only as a character but also as a cultural icon -- is explored thoroughly, and casual viewers might be surprised at the extent to which the documentaries' subjects took the project seriously. That the cast and crew approached the film with such reverence is, quite frankly, amazing. A separate featurette, "Resurrecting Jor-El," is narrowly focused on the CGI work employed in reutilizing footage of the late Marlon Brando as Superman's father, shot for the 1978 Christopher Reeve film.
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Does the world really need a Superman? Bryan Singer tackles this intriguing question with grand and sincere strokes in Superman Returns, a mega-budget kick-start to a dormant franchise that represented some of the best and worst that big-screen superhero films have had to offer. Here, the director whole-heartedly tries to honor Richard Donner's original vision of the DC Comics hero while lending new emotional complexity to the world of this adopted alien savior. The result is an ambitious picture full of fervent emotion and nobility, yet missing the charming spark and energy that its predecessors had in spades. Of the things that work is the surprisingly wonderful new Man of Steel, Brandon Routh, who embodies the role in an uncanny performance that adds the right amount of depth for the direction that Singer and his young writing team laid out for the picture. As his nemesis Lex Luthor, Kevin Spacey has a ball delivering his own dry take on Gene Hackman's humorous antics that turns exceedingly more and more evil as the film progresses. Most notable is the supporting cast, starting with Sam Huntington, whose Jimmy Olsen nearly steals every scene he pops up in, as well as James Marsden as a human hero of high proportions who easily dwarfs all of his work in the X-Men series. Special mention goes out to Parker Posey, who would have made an incredible Lois Lane herself, which leads to the one contentious casting issue -- Kate Bosworth. Her fresh-faced 23-year-old visage would be more troubling if not for her lackluster portrayal that's filled not with spunk, but a cold frigidness that prevents her from having fun with the role, never mind embodying a nurturing, motherly model for her cute little five-year old tyke (who ends up being a pushover despite his questionable inclusion). If anything, it's the story that dictates much of the character's detriments. By playing up the scorned romance and alienation, the filmmakers lose the sense of whimsy inherent in their beloved film series. Plus, no matter how thrilling the action or sumptuous the look of the picture, Superman Returns falls dead flat in its finale and epilogue, giving added weight to the undue two-and-a-half-hour running time. Add in the Christ-like imagery plus the heavy, late dramatics and viewers are stuck with a false artificiality that uses John Williams' returning rousing score to accentuate what is essentially a downbeat ending for a superhero picture. The world does indeed need a Superman, as Singer has proven -- now it's time to let him soar and do what he does best.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Nearly 3 hours of exclusive in-depth documentaries including: Making Superman Returns: From Script to Screen; Designing Superman: From art and costume design to set construction; The Joy of Lex: Behind the scenes with Kevin Spacey; How filmmakers recreated Jor-El, Superman's father played by Marlon Brando; Over 10 additional scenes in 1080p high definition

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brandon Routh Superman/Clark Kent
Kate Bosworth Lois Lane
James Marsden Richard White
Frank Langella Perry White
Eva Marie Saint Martha Kent
Parker Posey Kitty Kowalski
Kal Penn Stanford
Sam Huntington Jimmy Olsen
Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor
Marlon Brando Jor-El
Tristan Lake Leabu Jason White
David Fabrizio Brutus
Ian Roberts Riley
Vincent Stone Grant
Jack Larson Bo the Bartender
Noel Neill Gertrude Vanderworth
James Karen Ben Hubbard
Stephan Bender 15 Year Old Clark
Peta Wilson Bobbie-Faye
Jeff Truman Gil
Barbara Angell Polly
Ian Bliss Shuttle Commander
Ansuya Nathan Shuttle Pilot
Richard Branson Shuttle Engineer
Warwick Young 777 Co-Pilot
Bradd Buckley 777 Navigator
Bill Young Mission Control Flight Director
Thomas W. Stewart Mission Control Officer
Patricia Howson Museum Guard
Mirren Lee Vanderworth Relative
Stephen Ostrow Vanderworth Relative
Hank Roberts Vanderworth Relative
Karina Bracken Hospital Ward Nurse
Raelee Hill Hospital Nurse
Lee James Doctor
Michael Duggan Doctor
Keegan Joyce Boy With Camera
Frederique Fouche French News Anchor
Julian Pulvermacher German Anchor
ReBecca Barratt German Reporter
Penelope Heath Sydney Reporter
Ted Maynard News Anchor
Ed Wightman News Anchor
Prue Lewarne News Anchor
Paul Shedlowich News Anchor
Barry Quin News Anchor
Francine Bell News Anchor
Genevieve Davis Reporter At Deli
Robert Meyer Burnett Cape Canaveral Reporter
Terrell Dixon Hospital Policeman
Kevin Fisher Security Guard
John Lucantonio Security Guard
Robert Flanagan Bank Gunner
Phillip Henry Police Sharp Shooter
Henry Browne Taxi Driver
Darin Rossi Home Plate Umpire

Technical Credits
Bryan Singer Director,Original Story,Producer
Erik Aadahl Sound/Sound Designer
Gilbert Adler Producer
Chris Alderton Sound Mixer
Billy Aziz Special Effects
David Brighton Special Effects
Paul "Salty" Brincat Sound/Sound Designer
Rodney Burke Special Effects
Willie D. Burton Sound Mixer
J. Andre Chaintrevil Set Decoration/Design
Chris Lee Executive Producer
Neil Corbould Special Effects Supervisor
Jennifer Cornwell Production Manager
Ed Cotton Set Decoration/Design
Aaron Cox Special Effects
David B. Chornow Sound Mixer
Michael Dougherty Original Story,Screenwriter
Damien Drew Art Director
Guy H. Dyas Production Designer
Marlene Efrem Special Effects
William Fay Executive Producer
Ray Ferguson Special Effects
Dalia Fernandez Makeup
Gregory C. Funk Makeup
Arran Gordon Special Effects
Elliot Graham Editor
Simon Harding Camera Operator
Dan Harris Original Story,Screenwriter
Catherine Hart Special Effects
Rob Heggie Special Effects
Larry Hubbs Art Director
Robert Johnson Set Decoration/Design
Stephen Jones Co-producer
Tami Lane Makeup
Michael Lantieri Special Effects
David S. Lazan Art Director
Georgia Lockhard-Adams Makeup
Josh Lusby Set Decoration/Design
Victor Martinez Set Decoration/Design
Scott Mednick Executive Producer
Louise Mingenbach Costumes/Costume Designer
Roger Mussenden Casting
Lynne O'Brien Makeup
John Ottman Score Composer,Editor
Catherine Perez-Mansill Art Director
Jon Peters Producer
Andrew Powell Set Decoration/Design
David Pride Special Effects
John Pryce-Jones Art Director
Tracey Lee Reeby Makeup
Charlie Revai Art Director
Ann Robinson Casting
Corina Rosca Special Effects
Newton Thomas Sigel Cinematographer
Thomas Tull Executive Producer
Michael Turner Set Decoration/Design
Jeffrey Wetzel Asst. Director
John Williams [composer] Songwriter
Gareth Wingrove Special Effects
Alan Young Special Effects
David Young Special Effects Supervisor

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