Superman: The Movie Review

The Plot:

Christopher Reeve takes on the role of one of DC Comics’ most beloved superheroes in this 1978 origin story. Just before his home planet, Krypton, is destroyed, Jor El saves his newborn son, Kal El, by sending him away to planet Earth. There Kal El is raised as Clarke Kent and thanks to his superhuman powers, soon becomes the saviour of the world fighting for peace, justice, and the American way.

The Good:

From the very beginning it is clear that director Richard Donner wants to stay true to the comic book origins of the Superman story. After its opening sequence of a comic book narration the film moves swiftly on to give what is surely one of the greatest themes in film history. John Williams’ score played over the opening credits will surely set you up for what is truly a remarkable comic book adaptation.

Christopher Reeve’s portrayal as the Kryptonian superhero is pitch perfect with his ability to switch between the vastly different characteristics of both Superman and his alter-ego Clark Kent, offering both a serious role and a bit of comic relief thrown in for good measure as Kent stumbles around the place trying his hardest to look absolutely nothing like the cool, calm and collected Superman.

Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor is just as good as the antagonist with his constant vanity and sheer determination on destroying the world in true villain style. Although it’s nothing like the villains we’re so used to in todays super hero movies it sits neatly in between that of the ultra camp 1960s Batman film and the current era of serious toned, more realistic adaptations.

The set pieces and ground breaking visual effects that aid the film, make Superman an easily rewatchable blockbuster which even nearly 35 years later can still entertain.

The Bad:

Not much can bring this film down really, but one of its few low points is perhaps its lenghty running time. At nearly two and a half hours long, the film could have been easily cut down by about twenty minutes or so. It may even have been possible to make a few additions to the story while still resolving things more quickly. That being said, the storyline is just what was needed to set up the franchise. Nothing too heavy, but not too light, perfectly balanced in between.

The Ugly Truth:

With a stellar cast and brilliant set pieces Superman: The Movie is the perfect way to bring such a classic story to hollywood, especially in the time of release. The years that have passed haven’t lessened the film much if at all, and still proves to be an exciting two and a half hours. From the second you hear the beautiful tune of John Williams’ score accompanied with the majestic opening credits sequence you’ll most definitely be hooked.

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