Film Score Friday: Superman Returns

It’s time for another Superman movie!

Director: Bryan Singer
Music: John Ottman

Initially, the world was excited about this movie when it was released. After watching it, we were unsatisfied. Here’s my opinion…

They tried too hard. Brandon Routh looks SO MUCH like Christopher Reeve. I think his casting was perfect in that sense, but he lacked the natural charm we saw in Christopher Reeve. Routh’s Clark Kent was likable, but his Kal-El was too serious.

Have you watched DC’s Legends of Tomorrow? Routh as Ray Palmer/The Atom is perfection! And there was a crossover event where he plays Superman in another universe, which was really awesome! If he played Superman in Superman Returns the way he did in LoT, that movie would have been different!

To me, Superman Returns was disappointing because the story was vanilla and meh. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor was a little too much. (Honestly, I cringe at all of Kevin Spacey’s performances now.) They tried too hard to pay homage to the original Superman that this film failed to stand on its own.

Let’s talk about the score.

Director Bryan Singer (more cringe) tried to get John Williams to return as the film’s composer, but Williams had other commitments. Singer then turned to John Ottman, a regular collaborator. Singer and Ottman were granted permission to use John Williams’ score interpolated with the new score. It was another way that this movie lacked enough originality.

My favorite track comes with my favorite scene: Superman recharging using the power of the sun. It’s a short but powerful scene, and the music makes it what it is. (The bit I like most starts at 1:34 and ends at 2:14)

The first time I watched Superman Returns, I liked it. Every subsequent time, I liked it less. It’s been a minute since I watched it, and I haven’t done so since all the sexual misconducts about both Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer came to light, so it was difficult for me to watch. It’s sad that their involvement in this movie has tainted its already fragile existence, because on the surface it’s a palatable film with a good film score.

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