Unlike many in the Internet Trolldom, I didn’t (hate) Bryan Singer’s ode to Richard Donner so much as I was not impressed with “Superman Returns”. However, I did have two major gripes with the movie: 1) I’m a huge Kevin Spacey fan, but I truly hated his rendition of Lex Luther. I thought it lacked soul, substance and menace. Maybe I’ve been too spoiled by watching The Superman Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited for so many years, and how on point and solid that character was portrayed that I truly had problems going back to the Gene Hackman-styled antics. Now, I have NOTHING against Gene Hackman’s Lex Luther as it was great for its day – but in the 21st century? No. 2) HIT SOMETHING FOR GOD’S SAKE! That Superman didn’t so much as pluck a burglar in the head. Smash something, heat vision a thug in the booty – SOMETHING!
Forget Christopher Nolan for a second, what I like about the trailer so far is the tone of what’s being portrayed. It feels nostalgic and introspective – not brooding and self-flagellating (A Singer directing style that I abhor). For Superman fans, his internal monologue is almost as much of the story as his villains and acts of heroism. His humanity in the face of his God-like ability is always in a constant struggle. His desire to do the right thing versus what he can do without impunity is key to what makes him THE hero, not A hero. If he so wished, Superman could take over the Earth, decimate all it’s heroes and probably rule unopposed for hundreds of years (as his aging seems to slow the longer he’s exposed to our yellow sun).
In this trailer, I see his struggle to remain a man, more than just a symbol with the power to literally move mountains. Also what I see if true conflict in the physical sense as his Kryptonian heritage threatens Earth. General Zod (Michael Shannon) has come to Earth – and he means business. THIS makes me happy. Give me the emotional struggle inherent in any Superman story, but give me the ACTION that the 13 year old boy in this 39 year old body needs. The last few scenes give me the impression that Warner Brothers and David S. Goyer/Chris Nolan took notes on the issues people had with Superman Returns and course-corrected. With note, I liked the fact that Superman in Superman Returns had an illegitimate kid – it gave him a bit more – humanity. But I digress…
Thus, I have hope. Hope that on June 14, 2013 I will see not a movie, but a journey that will leave me in awe and rekindle my high coming out of Dark Knight Rises. Hope that the new direction will be a success and that a potential 2015 Justice League movie will be something to anticipate and not dread. Hope that the little 13 year old boy in me will look up to the sky and see a bird… a plane.