Saturday, July 08, 2006

Fantasy trip

Superman returned last week to Satyam Cinemas and a thousand other theatres across the world. John Lennon once said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. In saving Truth, Justice and the American Way, Superman, played by Brandon Routh with more than a passing resemblence to Christopher Reeve, is perhaps bigger than Jesus. And and in Bryan Singer's new vision, Superman looks like Christ on the cross half the time, leviating off the floor with his hands outstretched as superteen and then falling off the sky with his hands, well again, outstretched as Superman. Don't look for an action movie here. Though the action and special effect sequences are near perfect, they are few and far between. Much of the time Superman is missing the much married Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), spying on her family and learning her secrets. He even finds time to take Lois for a spin. Kevin Spacey is the new Lex Luther, taking over from the wonderful potrayal of the same character by Gene Hackman. Marlon Brando too makes a special effects aided reappearance.

But much before Superman, Singer began his journey into the world of comic books with X-Men, the movie that started the trend of getting arthouse directors to make commercially viable, special-effects laden fantasy/comic book extragavanzas. After Singer gave up on the project following the first two X-movies, The Last Stand was given to director of the famous Lost series on TV, the debutant Brett Ratner. But no assurance that this will indeed be the last stand. There is a Wolverine picture in the pipeline anyway. Mindless entertainment at its best and the scene in which Magneto rescues that thing with changing shapes is damn good. The climax is bit of a let down, but what else can a director do in a movie of this sort?