Just want to chime in with my appreciation of Superman Returns after having seen it earlier today. I loved the way that this film was first and foremost a story about how Superman’s departure resulted in the jilting of Lois Lane, and the cost that has on Superman’s life. I hoped for as much from a director such as Singer (I loved X-Men and particularly X-Men 2).
Lois Lane was perfectly cast, as was frankly everyone. (As soon as I saw Lane’s character working so well I couldn’t help but wish that the casting director of Batman Begins had as much taste). I don’t want to compare this to the first two Superman films too much, but briefly I will say that I felt Routh’s Clark Kent was so much more likable – rather than purely a “doofus” as Christopher Reeve’s Kent was. And I was never a fan of Margot Kidder’s “scratchety” Lois Lane (I couldn’t even stand Courtney Cox on the tv show Friends because of the similarity) so I was glad they didn’t mimic that.
As Superman, Routh showed vunerability that simply wasn’t there in the old films – and his frailty had expression thanks to the writer and director in the semi-creepy scene where he eavesdrops on Lane’s home. This film had shadings in character that a less brave director wouldn’t have depicted. Since Superman is a pretty thin character to begin with, these shadings made the difference.