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"SUPERMAN RETURNS"
(2006) (Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Extreme Heavy Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Extreme None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Mild Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Action /Drama: After a five-year absence, the Man of Steel returns to Metropolis and must contend with Lois now being an engaged mother, all while having to deal with Lex Luthor and his latest diabolical plan.
PLOT:
It's been five years since Superman (BRANDON ROUTH) left Earth to search for any signs of his birth-planet, Krypton, which was destroyed long ago. Upon his return and after briefly visiting his mother on her Kansas farm, the superhero's alter ego, Clark Kent, resumes his work as a reporter at Metropolis' newspaper, The Daily Planet. Reunited with young photographer Jimmy Olsen (SAM HUNTINGTON), he learns from publisher Perry White (FRANK LANGELLA) that his colleague and erstwhile love interest Lois Lane (KATE BOSWORTH) is now engaged to Perry's nephew, Richard White (JAMES MARSDEN), who also works at the paper, and that she has a 5-year-old son Jason (TRISTAN LAKE LEABU). Worse yet, she's recently won a Pulitzer for her article "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman," which put into words how she feels about him abandoning her and everyone else so many years ago.

As Superman resumes his actions of saving the residents from any number of perils -- including Lois on an out of control plane -- he also learns that his arch nemesis Lex Luthor (KEVIN SPACEY) has been paroled from prison and is back to his old ways of being up to no good.

Having found Superman's arctic Fortress of Solitude with his assistant Kitty Kowalski (PARKER POSEY) and stolen some of the powerful crystals from it (as well as a chunk of kryptonite from a local museum), Lex has a diabolical real estate plan in mind that will make him rich, but also flood most of North America. From that point on and as he tries to reestablish a connection with Lois, Superman must contend with Lex Luthor and his destructive plans.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, especially if they're into superhero movies.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some intense action violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRANDON ROUTH plays a nearly indestructible superhero who returns after a 5-year-absence and must not only contend with Lois giving him the cold shoulder, but also Luther's diabolical plans. He tries to defeat him, reestablish a connection with Lois and save ordinary people from various perils, all while also appearing as the Man of Steel's alter ego, a somewhat flustered newspaper reporter.
  • KATE BOSWORTH plays the perky reporter who's moved on from her love of Superman after he abruptly left so many years ago. Now engaged to Richard (with whom she lives) and single mother to Jason (not being sure who the father is), she tries to sort out her feelings about Superman's return.
  • KEVIN SPACEY plays the diabolical and egotistical criminal who's hatched a plan to make himself rich and destroy Superman, with the results being the deaths of millions of people.
  • JAMES MARSDEN plays Perry's nephew who also works at the paper, is engaged to Lois, and finds himself jealous of Superman's return.
  • PARKER POSEY plays Lex's somewhat ditsy assistant who develops a soft spot for Superman.
  • FRANK LANGELLA plays the newspaper's publisher who demands that its focus be on Superman's return above everything else.
  • SAM HUNTINGTON plays the overeager photographer at the newspaper.
  • TRISTAN LAKE LEABU plays Lois' 5-year-old son who's practically the only one to see a resemblance between Superman and Clark Kent.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramatic action pic that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of 1 incomplete "s" word, while a handful of minor expletives and some colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present, while a single mother isn't positive about the identity of her 5-year-old son's father.

    Violence consists of men beating up a weakened Superman, another repeatedly shooting Superman (in normal fashion, so he's unharmed), a thug beating up a woman, some men presumably being killed by a huge rock structure falling on them, and a sun blows up, presumably killing everyone on a nearby planet (but we never see any of them).

    Those moments and other material (including a harrowing plane out of control incident, people stuck on a sinking yacht and other near drowning moments) may be unsettling or rather intense for some viewers, particularly younger kids. And some kids may be enticed to try to imitate some of the action and stunts.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some brief drinking and smoking occur. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are bright flashes of lightning in several scenes.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some occasional camera movement that's shaky and/or bouncy and might induce that reaction.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Kitty holds a glass of olives and a bottle of what appears to be vodka.
  • Jimmy tells Clark, "You look like you could use a drink." We then see them in a bar where both have beer.
  • Lois and Richard have wine.
  • Kitty asks Superman if he wants to get a cup of coffee or a drink, but he declines the offer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Lois pulls a barb of Kryptonite from Superman's side and it appears to have a tiny bit of blood on it.
  • We briefly see a wound on Superman's side or back where Lex earlier stabbed him with a jagged bit of Kryptonite.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Lex Luthor gets an elderly woman (who he presumably convinced to marry him -- but only for her money) to sign over her estate to him just before she dies (and we see her do that, but it's peaceful and he shows no grief or remorse).
  • Some viewers might not like Lois and Richard living together (although they're engaged).
  • It's implied that a recently deceased woman's dog ate its twin (we see fur, what looks like some bones and the surviving dog chewing -- all played for laughs, but some viewers might not like the joke).
  • We see that Lex's goons have stolen something as they return with a bullet-ridden van (we don't see any of the prior shooting).
  • Some bank robbers have bad attitudes (including one who shoots many police cars, and tries to kill two cops as well as Superman).
  • Lex Luthor steals a meteorite from a museum exhibit (we see the broken glass afterwards).
  • Kitty slaps Lex in the face after learning he had the brake lines in her car cut (as a distraction for Superman). She says she was going to fake the brakes being out, but Lex says that a man can always tell when a woman is pretending.
  • Lois is somewhat cold toward Superman upon his return, mad at him for the way he suddenly left five years earlier without saying goodbye.
  • When Lois returns from a flight with Superman, she tells a white lie to Richard about what she was doing.
  • Lois (with her son in tow) trespasses on Lex's yacht (not realizing it's his).
  • Lex is plotting to create a new continent just off the U.S. east coast with the results being that most of North America would be flooded.
  • Stuck on an island, Kitty asks Lex what they'll eat. He then stares as the small dog she's holding (and the scene ends there, but some viewers might not like the joke).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Clark's mother and dog hear a rumbling in their farmhouse, the radio signal goes bad and then a burning meteorite flies overhead and crashes not far away. Martha goes to investigate and we then see a hand reach out for her from behind her, but it's Clark who then collapses from his long journey back home.
  • Lex uses a tiny bit of powerful crystal to cause a major electromagnetic disturbance in the city and elsewhere. That includes a jumbo jet carrying a space shuttle on its top. Both lose power and start to plummet toward Earth, but it's not long before they regain power. But the astronauts can't shut off the booster rocket countdown. Once they go off, the couplings don't disengage, thus resulting in the shuttle yanking the plane below it at higher speeds then it can handle and setting the entire outside of the tail section on fire. Those inside the plane are thrashed about, but Superman then shows up, uses his laser vision to cut the shuttle free and then sends it on its way. But when he looks back, the plane (with various reporters onboard, including Lois) is spiraling belly-down toward Earth. Superman catches up with it and tries to get it under control, but the wing he's holding breaks off, followed by the other that smashes into him. He then races to catch the burning plane before it plows into the Earth, all as those inside the plummeting jet are thrashed about in their seats with some banging into the walls and ceiling, and some luggage flies out of the bins and hits people, etc.. He manages to catch it just above a baseball stadium field and then lowers it down to safety.
  • We see Kitty out of control behind the wheel of a car that's speeding down the road and sidewalks, plowing over everything in its path. She runs over carts, smashes into other vehicles and nearly runs over some people until Superman catches her and flies the car down to a safe landing. We later hear that she was supposed to have faked the out of control part, but that Lex actually had her brakes cut.
  • We see a person falling from a building and Superman catching him in flight.
  • While a thug watching her plays a piano duet with her son, Lois tries to fax a rescue plea back to the paper, but the thug then grabs her by the hair and throws her aside. He then grabs and bashes her against some furniture before picking out a rock or meteorite piece he's going to use to hit her. Just as he raises it, however, the piano suddenly slams into him, presumably killing him. Other thugs discover this and lock Lois and her son in a large pantry, throwing the boy to the floor.
  • We see a rapidly moving fissure beneath the water, headed toward Metropolis. When it gets there, it causes a ripple and shockwave through the city, generating broken windows and more. During this, a construction worker falls a long way from a high-rise before Superman catches him, while the man of steel has to catch a sign before it hits some people below it, as well as the large metal globe structure that topples off the building's roof toward Perry and others (he rests it down on an empty car that's crushed beneath the weight). Some cars also crash into others during this, all while pedestrians panic and try to flee.
  • We see a lit cigar on a floor as a gas line breaks. The gas then makes it to the cigar, ignites, and causes a fireball that blasts through a tunnel and shoots bursts of fire up through various manholes. Superman then flies through that, gets in front of the fireball and blows it out before it can cause more damage.
  • A huge, crystal-shaped structure grows from the sea floor and crashes through a large yacht's hull, lifting the boat from the water (with Lois and her family inside where they're thrashed about). Half of the yacht falls away, followed by the rest, sending the family down toward the sea. Water then rushes in and the family tries to crawl out, but a hatch flips down and hits Lois on the head, knocking her out and trapping the family in the space (with an air bubble) as that part of the yacht sinks below the surface (Superman then shows up and saves them by lifting the yacht).
  • With Superman weakened due to exposure to Kryptonite, Lex pushes him down a rocky hill. He then kicks him repeatedly on the ground (to the side and head). When he grabs Lex's foot, one of the villain's thugs drags Superman aside by the head and then throws the hero into a rocky wall. He and others then proceed to kick Superman, punch him in the gut, and hold his face down into some water. Lex then stabs Superman with a jagged piece of Kryptonite (causing him pain, but we don't see the actual impact). Superman then tumbles off a cliff and falls a long distance into the sea under which he starts to sink. He manages to get to the surface, but then sinks again (only to be saved at the last moment by Lois who dives in to get him).
  • Trying to lift off in rough seas in his sea plane, Richard guns the craft and briefly gets into the air, but must fly beneath a rocky structure before plummeting off a very tall cliff (for a moment we don't know their fate, but then see them fly up).
  • Lex's new continent starts falling apart and he, Kitty, and his thugs flee. A large rock structure then topples over, landing on three thugs (presumably killing them).
  • Weakened by kryptonite, Superman falls from space and lands hard on the ground in a park. We then see him in a hospital where doctors try to save him, but we then see a flat line on the heart monitor. We then see a newspaper headline indicating he died, but then see that Perry has two headlines ready (the other saying Superman lives).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifles/Machine gun/Knife made of kryptonite: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound, or attempt to kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • On some TV footage, we see a helicopter gunship firing (but don't see what it's shooting at or any impact).
  • We see that Lex's goons have stolen something as they return with a bullet-ridden van (we don't see any of the prior shooting).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: An incomplete "Holy sh*t," "Your friends give me the creeps," "It's freaking Gone With the Wind," an incomplete "What the..?" "What the hell is that?" "Come here, can-head," "Personally, I think that's a load of crap," "You're insane," "Great Caesar's ghost," "Piss off" and "Swell."
  • Some kids may be enticed to try to imitate some of the action and stunts that appear in the film.
  • A thug has tattoos on various parts of his body, including a clown-like face on the back of his bald head.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of dramatic, action-oriented and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 incomplete "s" word, 5 damns, 1 crap, 1 hell, 4 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "For God's sakes" and 1 use each of "God" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Kitty shows a little cleavage.
  • We learn that Lois is a single mother to Jason (and isn't positive who the father is), and isn't married to Richard (although they all live together).
  • Perry tells Lois that tragedy, sex and Superman are what sell newspapers, adding that they know she can't write "a damn" about sex.
  • Richard acts jealous about Lois' past involvement with Superman, including her article that was titled "The night I spent with Superman" (she says that's just the title, not a description of what they did).
  • Everyone in the office reacts when Lois matter-of-factly says, "I've done Superman" (meaning covered him in print for the paper).
  • Referring to a picture of Superman holding Kitty after rescuing her, Lois says he was busy saving the "hooker."
  • Asking about her son, Lex wonders who the father is, with Lois saying Richard and Lex replying, "Are you sure?"
  • We see Superman shirtless while unconscious in a hospital.
  • It's implied that Superman and Lois had sex five years in the past.
  • SMOKING
  • A pack of cigarettes falls from Lois' bag, and when she goes up to the roof, she tries to light up, but Superman repeatedly blows out her lighter.
  • When Lois returns from a flight with Superman, she tells a white lie to Richard about what she was doing. He then says, "Tell the truth...we're you smoking?"
  • We see a lit cigar on a floor as a gas line breaks. The gas then makes it to the cigar, ignites, and causes a fireball that blasts through a tunnel.
  • Lex lights up a cigar.
  • Lois nearly smokes, but thinks twice about that and then doesn't light up.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Lex Luthor gets an elderly woman (who he presumably convinced to marry him -- but only for her money) to sign over her estate to him just before she dies (and we see her do that, but it's peaceful and he shows no grief or remorse).
  • Lois's son watches in horror as a thug proceeds to thrash her about a room.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Christian thematic symbolism at play here (Superman being Christ-like in some ways, etc.).
  • We learn that Lois is a single mother to Jason (and isn't positive who the father is), and isn't married to Richard (although they all live together).
  • We see that Lois' young son has asthma and uses an inhaler.
  • Lois tells Superman that the world doesn't a savior and neither does she.
  • Superman saying that every day he hears people crying out for a savior.
  • Lex saying that Superman is good at saving the day, but not when it comes to Miranda rights or due process.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Seen from a distance, the sun "behind" the planet Krypton collapses and then explodes, destroying the planet via the resultant shockwave (many presumably die, but we never seen anyone).
  • We see a flashback to young Clark joyously running and jumping incredibly long distances around the farm. He then accidentally crashes into a weather vane and through the barn roof, plummeting toward the ground below when he suddenly stops and hovers just before hitting it.
  • The power of a small crystal bit destroys a miniature model city and even cracks the floor of the room in which it's located.
  • Some passengers are thrashed about inside a plane as it spirals and plummets out of control toward the Earth (and Superman is hit by one of the wings that breaks off - all while trying to save the plane and its passengers).
  • Cops aims handguns and rifles at the rooftop of a building during a bank robbery. A man up there then turns a massive machine gun on them, riddling their cars with a tremendous amount of bullets (no one seems to be hurt). Two cops then get on the roof and repeatedly shoot the gunman in the back, but his bulletproof vest protects him. He then turns and fires at the men with that massive gun, all seen in slow motion as its barrel starts revolving and the bullets start erupting from it, flying through the air, but then hitting Superman's chest. They ricochet off him and he walks toward the gunman who continues to blast him with machine gun fire. The gunman then aims a handgun directly at Superman's face and fires, but the bullet (seen in slow motion) simply bounces off Superman's eye without harming him.
  • We see Kitty out of control behind the wheel of a car that's speeding down the road and sidewalks, plowing over everything in its path. She runs over carts, smashes into other vehicles and nearly runs over some people until Superman catches her and flies the car down to a safe landing.
  • Kitty slaps Lex in the face after learning he had the brake lines in her car cut (as a distraction for Superman).
  • While a thug watching her plays a piano duet with her son, Lois tries to fax a rescue plea back to the paper, but the thug then grabs her by the hair and throws her aside. He then grabs and bashes her against some furniture before picking out a rock or meteorite piece he's going to use to hit her. Just as he raises it, however, the piano suddenly slams into him, presumably killing him. Other thugs discover this and lock Lois and her son in a large pantry, throwing the boy to the floor.
  • We see a rapidly moving fissure beneath the water, headed toward Metropolis. When it gets there, it causes a ripple and shockwave through the city, generating broken windows and more. During this, a construction worker falls a long way from a high-rise before Superman catches him, while the man of steel has to catch a sign before it hits some people below it, as well as the large metal globe structure that topples off the building's roof toward Perry and others (he rests it down on an empty car that's crushed beneath the weight). Some cars also crash into others during this, all while pedestrians panic and try to flee.
  • A huge, crystal-shaped structure grows from the sea floor and crashes through a large yacht's hull, lifting the boat from the water (with Lois and her family inside where they're thrashed about). Half of the yacht falls away, followed by the rest, sending the family down toward the sea. Water then rushes in and the family tries to crawl out, but a hatch flips down and hits Lois on the head, knocking her out and trapping the family in the space (with an air bubble) as that part of the yacht sinks below the surface (Superman then shows up and saves them by lifting the yacht).
  • With Superman weakened due to exposure to Kryptonite, Lex pushes him down a rocky hill. He then kicks him repeatedly on the ground (to the side and head). When he grabs Lex's foot, one of the villain's thugs drags Superman aside by the head and then throws the hero into a rocky wall. He and others then proceed to kick Superman, punch him in the gut, and hold his face down into some water. Lex then stabs Superman with a jagged piece of Kryptonite (causing him pain, but we don't see the actual impact). Superman then tumbles off a cliff and falls a long distance into the sea under which he starts to sink. He manages to get to the surface, but then sinks again (only to be saved at the last moment by Lois who dives in to get him).
  • Lex's new continent starts falling apart and he, Kitty, and his thugs flee. A large rock structure then topples over, landing on three thugs (presumably killing them).
  • Weakened by kryptonite, Superman falls from space and lands hard on the ground in a park.



  • Reviewed June 23, 2006 / Posted June 28, 2006

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