The New Yorker: The Critics: The Current Cinema
Regular readers will note that I have been enjoying Anthony Lane reviews a lot lately. This latest one about the new Superman Returns shows that, just like me, he is generally underwhelmed by "superhero" movies:
Bryan Singer, who last worked with Spacey on “The Usual Suspects,” has since moved on, if not up, to two helpings of “X-Men,” and now “Superman Returns.” It is clearly the fate of a smart young director—Hollywood would call it a reward—to be garlanded with the opportunity to stop making films about human beings and start attending to the preternatural. Every time another Marvel or DC product is dusted off, lavished with computer programs, and pumped up into a motion-picture event, we hear the same inflated claims: this superhero is different; we will uncover this man’s art and that man’s scope; we will show you what makes them tick, or levitate, or spin. Even Ang Lee fell prey, rummaging around for the soul of the Incredible Hulk, until it became clear that the poor old minty monster didn’t have one.... I have listened to Batman moan about how he will never fit in, and to countless mutants voice the same complaint, and, frankly, I don’t give a damn. The ethical duties of Superman leave me cold; I just want to watch him catch a falling car.