First Negative "Superman Returns" Review -- Critical Kryptonite?

by | June 18, 2006 | Comments

It had to happen eventually — after a flurry of excited positive reviews following this month’s sneak press screening of "Superman Returns," the first voice of dissent has emerged, courtesy of internet critic Dave Poland.

Poland, drinking the "Superman" hater-ade in his Movie City News column, "20 Weeks of Summer," was less than impressed by Bryan Singer‘s revival of the beloved Man of Steel. In his list of the worst movies so far of Summer 2006, "Superman Returns" ranks 5th (slightly better than "Mission: Impossible III," just a little worse than "X-Men: The Last Stand").

Some snippets of Poland’s critique:

"It’s terribly cast, poorly conceived, extremely light on action, features a romance that is not remotely romantic, doesn’t feature a single memorable, ‘gosh, that was great’ repeat-to-your-friends moment in a positive way (the blunder bits start early and often)…"

"The casting of Kate Bosworth is looking as faulty as the casting of Emmy Rossum and Jacinda Barrett in Poseidon. In fact, aside from Frank Langella, who gets nothing to do anyway, there is barely a single good casting decision."

"It’s not a hideous piece of crap. It really is about a step behind X-Men: The Last Stand, equally poorly directed, equally missing complexity, equally not up to the standards of the first two films, but with less interesting characters and absolutely zero sense of humor about itself."

Dave Poland: Bryan Singer’s own critical Lex Luthor?

Poland also takes some choice shots at fellow writer, The Hollywood Reporter’s Anne Thompson:

"In this case, it will be interesting to see whether what I am calling ‘The Anne Thompson Rule’ is in effect. What that means is that Anne often shoots from the organ just below the hip when it comes to movies that may have a strong female appeal and, truth be told, I am always looking over one shoulder when she gets on that tear."

Critical pan aside, Poland agrees that "Superman Returns" will make mucho bucks at the box office, although he predicts it "will be crushed by Pirates of The Caribbean II and played out completely before August 1."

After posting his review, Poland experienced such a backlash of criticism that he wrote a lengthy response in his "Hot Blog," wherein he defends himself and raises some interesting questions about the state of current entertainment media ("Is it only people who work for papers with a circulation over 500,000 that are entitled to their opinion?"). Click here to read his blog.

"Superman Returns" hits theaters June 28, and currently sits at a 92% Unofficial Tomatometer (with 13 sneak reviews).

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