I don't "hate" SR, I just think it was misguided and disappointing. I didn't want to see a zillion-dollar fanfic about the Donner Superman, I wanted to see Bryan Singer's original reinvention of Superman. What made the X-Men films work so well is that they weren't a slavish recreation of something from the past, but a radically fresh and different take on the X-Men that still managed to capture their essence. That's what I wanted Singer to do for Superman, but he didn't even try, because he was too busy being a fanboy, and trying to recapture the flavor of a movie that was a relic of an earlier time and didn't age well enough to be worth resurrecting today.
I also didn't think much of the casting or the directing. Routh never worked as Superman for me. Kate Bosworth was breathtakingly gorgeous but breathtakingly wrong for Lois. And Singer seemed to be coaching the entire cast to dial their performances down to the most subdued level possible, so the whole thing lacked energy and intensity.
By contrast, I do hate a lot about Man of Steel. It has some great ideas here and there, the second act works pretty darn well, and unlike SR it has a great cast (except for Kevin Costner, whom I've never liked, and Amy Adams, who was merely okay as Lois, though better than Bosworth). But the third act is a hollow, soulless exercise in excess, and the story doesn't let Superman be Superman, reducing him to a passive and ineffectual lackey in a story about the heroism of Jor-El, Last Father of Krypton.
This is what happens when fanboys/girls and the general public demand action all of the time without anything else
(and I liked Man Of Steel
a lot.) I also still love Superman Returns
as well (I bought the Blu-Ray at the $5.99 discount price from the clearance rack at HMV
two Fridays ago!)
As for what you've said about Superman and Lois, Routh was no more emo than Tom Welling was on Smallville
, and Lois wasn't any more low-key than anybody was supposed to be (she's a hell of a lot more braver than the Margo Kidder version of Lois or the actress on Lois & Clark
, facing down Lex Luthor with a ton of backbone and rescuing Superman after he rescued her.
Set Harth wrote:
they gave us a strange, dark, gritty guy who knocked up Lois, flew away to space and generally behaved like a dead-beat dad.
It's not at all fair to call him a deadbeat dad because the whole time he was in space he had no idea he had a kid. Then when he finds out he has a kid and starts showing an interest in the kid he's labeled a stalker. This guy can't win.
I'm sorry, but checking in on Lois just to make sure she's okay is not being a stalker by any definition I know of (and I also think that the whole 'stalking' thing is overrated and a law that NEVER should have been passed anywhere, IMHO.) Superman was just hovering over and protecting people like he usually does (and like he was doing in that scene in space when he can hear all of the world's radio frequencies and can go and pinpoint where the need is or the danger is.) As for being a deadbeat dad, he had no idea that his sperm was going to be reactivated by the solar atoms of Sol and give birth to Jason (albeit with some prodding from Richard White's DNA), so the guy should be cut some slack on that one (although a potential sequel would be interesting due to the fact that Lex knows about Jason's parentage!)
Batman Begins gave us something different from the Burton/Schumacher films. Superman Returns gave us the same thing we saw 30 years ago with the Donner films.
Though the Donner films were generally regarded as good. So giving us the same thing as Donner is not necessarily a bad thing, while Nolan giving us something different from Schumacher was unquestionably a good thing.
There's NOTHING wrong with the Donner films other than people and fanboys couldn't get it (a few critics did
get it, and some moviegoers like myself did) and wanted action all of the time
. This time, they got it, but as the old saying goes, 'be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.' Now they've got it, and they're disappointed. It was just a good way to tell a Superman story, but people wanted more than Singer wanted to tell (perhaps he should have done a new story, but what for? Sometimes telling a continuation is better then telling an origin.)
BTW, John Kenneth Muir did a great review of Superman Returns
that still stands out for me, and codifies why I still love it as a movie: Superman Week: Superman Returns (2006)