Superman Returns (2006)
Starring Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, James Marsden, Parker Posey, Sam Huntington, Eva Marie Saint, Tristan Lake Leabu, Marlon Brando and Skeletor.
Directed by Bryan Singer.
If there’s one thing that bugged me about Brandon Routh as Superman, it was the forehead curl, that little spiral of hair that—along with the lack of glasses—completely differentiates Superman from Clark Kent. Over the past several months, I’ve heard my fellow movie geeks tear the new supersuit to shreds, declaring that the shade of red used in the boots and cape are too dark, the boots themselves appear to have been stolen from Wonder Woman, and the supersymbol on the chest is too three-dimensional. But I was fine with every aspect of the new Superman’s look except that forehead curl; the damn thing looked out of place on Routh, even in the very earliest images Warner Brothers released. On screen, it looks like a piece of black ribbon candy. Clearly, Superman is using some sort of Kryptonian pomade.
Hair aside, Routh is an excellent Man of Steel. When the Last Son of Krypton speaks, his voice is so reminiscent of Christopher Reeve in the same role that it’s enough to send chills down my spine. As Clark Kent, Routh doesn’t remind me of Reeve quite so much, but still gives a good performance; once it’s up, up and away time, however, he’s simply stunning.
Yes, Brandon Routh is Superman. Unfortunately, the plot of Superman Returns is Kryptonite. [WARNING: If spoilers are your Kryptonite, you may not want to read further.]