One of the things that I think hurt Superman Returns was Routh was not acting at all. Instead, he was simply doing a Christopher Reeve impression.
He was?? I didn't see any similarity to Reeve. Although I hadn't seen the Reeve movies in a long time when I saw SR, and I haven't seen SR in quite a while now that I'm re-watching the Donner film, so maybe I missed something. Still, my impression of the two actors is that they could hardly be more dissimilar.
I thought he was, yes. The way her carried himself, the way he spoke, the inflection of his voice. I was looking at Brandon Routh, but was SEEING Christopher Reeve. Maybe that wasn't the intention, but it was what I got out of it.
Ironically, I've heard Dean Cain of Lois & Clark
claim that he consciously based his performance on Reeve, but in that instance, I didn't see it at all.