Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman
Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor
James Marsden as Richard White
Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski
Frank Langella as Perry White
Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen
Eva Marie Saint as Martha Kent
Marlon Brando as Jor-El
Kal Penn as Stanford
David Fabrizio as Brutus
Ian Roberts as Riley
Vincent Stone as Grant
Jack Larson as Bo the Bartender
Noel Neill as Gertrude Vanderwor
Story: (minor spoilers)
Lex Luthor is no longer in jail, because Superman failed to appear in court to testify against him. With Superman not around, Lex is hellbent on using the alien technology to grow landmasses for profit, so he goes to the Fortress of Solitude and steals all the crystals that were bequeathed by Superman’s true father, Jor-El.
Unlike X-Men, it’s pretty clear that Singer had full control over this production. Warner Bros. did the right thing by not interfering and basically giving Singer a blank check for production costs. If “Superman Returns” does in fact cost upwards of the 260 million that’s rumored, then WB underpaid. The entire movie looks and sounds amazing, one of the best looking movies I’ve ever seen. The special effects are jaw dropping, and the Boeing 747 sequence is nothing short of amazing. At no point did effects look incomplete, an amazement in itself. If you have the opportunity to see “Superman Returns” in a digital theater, it will be an experience you’ll not want to miss.
You can really tell the love and appreciation Singer has for the character, comics and past movies. He even goes to great length duplicating famous Superman comic book covers. If you are an avid comic fan, you should catch them. Also, it’s pretty clear that mannerisms and quotes from past Superman films are revisited, though those who are not familiar will not take any notice.
I was also very impressed by this cast. Brandon Routh does an awesome job, to say the least. Routh had huge red boots to fill, and while I think Christopher Reeve plays a better Clark Kent, Routh is Superman. Charm, wit, comedy, passion, pain the list can go on and on to describe the character he brings to life. You will not be disappointed by his performance.
Kate Bosworth sizzles on screen with her heterochromia iridium condition. Bosworth plays a Lois Lane that is very different from the Lois Lane in the original films, less annoying and less egocentric than with previous versions of the character.
Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor is great. You can see how much fun he had with the character. At times, he can be funny as hell, and he has a lot of one liners and funny scenes with Parker Posey. (I liked the brushing the teeth one the best.) At the same time, Spacey brings a sadistic side that Hackman never had, so you’ll really see a dark side to Lex Luthor by the time the movie ends.
The X-Men scores were either annoying or nonexistent. With “Superman Returns,” Singer makes sure that John Williams’ original themes are still there in full force. Hell, Singer even got into a major blowout with John Ottman in order to make sure past themes are used properly. However, Williams should not receive all the credit, because Ottman modifies or updates and adds his own touches to the world of Superman that really have a profound impact on your viewing experience.
Another thing worthy of mention is the way Singer incorporates these fictional characters’ story into today’s world. While unbelievable things happened before my eyes, Singer made me believe that fictional world of Superman really does exist and these things could happen.
Another issue for some people (not me) has been the length; 2 hours and 37 minutes is a long movie. My brother who went with me felt the same, however I loved it. The more the merrier I say. The pacing was just right, there was enough action and drama and suspense to carry it all the way through.