There are a priori reasons to dislike Superman Returns. Superman is always a little campy in his tights and red Underoos. And how can the film measure up to such cool and thoughtful superfare as X-Men or Spider-Man? Improved computer graphics and younger, handsomer heroes do not a great superhero film make.
Still, as the overture from the original film began to play, the jazzy retro letters swooped toward the screen and Supe burst forth from his Clark Kent shell, I almost cheered. Bryan Singer’s film was made for 30-somethings who were kids when the 1978 blockbuster Superman introduced another generation to the story of how Kal-El landed on earth, took instruction from images of his father, Jor-El, and began saving the world from bad guys like Gene Hackman.