Capsule review of Superman Returns:
Theme: does the world need a saviour? Answer: Yes and Superman's got the job. Cracking set pieces. Fizzing effects. Superman (Brandon Routh) interestingly ethereal. Kiss-curl still cute. Touching moments of homage to Chris Reeve. Predictable stuff like un-supermanning dangers of exposure to kryptonite. New, unexpected, dynamic between Superman and Lois Lane - with contemporary emotional twists. John Williams’ stirring theme retained for all key moments. Marlon Brando’s mumbled voice niftily re-cycled, as and when. Kevin Spacey's lazy-ish performance as Lex Luthor is cruel and funny (with a tip of the wig to Gene Hackman), but played this side of full-on silly. Less of Clark Kent than before, but probably enough. Tights, pants and cape less colourful, but possibly more durable and a tad more sexy. Daily Planet building still reassuringly art deco, but staff now use computers and digital cameras. Over-long by twenty minutes. Over-sentimental dénouement. Overall verdict: Man of Steel triumphantly salvages his reputation, rescues a franchise and, obviously, saves the world!