The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Truth, Justice, All That Stuff

I went to see Superman Returns (in 3-D no less) last Thursday. I entered the theater a little nervous. The original Superman: The Movie from 1978 is a favorite of mine, and I was afraid that it would feel more like Spiderman than Superman. I was apprehensive of the score not being by John Williams, but I was encouraged by the trailer and generally favorable buzz that preceded the release.

In short, I liked it. A lot. Right from the opening credits, it's clear that this story aims to honor the feel of the '78 version. Indeed this movie is an extension of the Donner film. By the end of the movie I was convinced that Routh was not only the right actor for this Superman, but any Superman. The film delivered for me in just about every way. And while I acknowledge its flaws, which happen to be inherited from the original movie, I still love it to death. If you love the original and don’t go into the movie with a chip on your shoulder because of the new actor/suit/tag line, then I think you will have a good time. I consider this movie a worthy successor to the first two films*.

But all is not right for me.

“Truth, justice, all that stuff.”

The patriot within gets kicked in the crotch every time I hear it. I thank the fifty stars that the line was in the preview, so it softened the blow and didn’t distract me while watching the movie.

“Truth, justice, and the American way.”

That is the way it should read, the way it’s always been read until now. Superman is an American invention, and as far as I’m concerned embodies what is best about this country. It has nothing to do with who or what party is currently in office. It has to do with our rise to power, our need to help the weak, and our belief that no obstacle is too great to overcome. That is the America I believe in anyways. Those traits do foster less admirable ones like arrogance, but being so close to Independence Day, I won’t pick that particular scab.

So it bothers me that because Warner, reportedly, wanted more of an international audience, they mangled the line and featured Superman helping out all nations of the world. Superman is as American as apple pie, Chinese take out, and NFL Football.

Speaking of football, I’ve got a script to finish.

Peace out.

*We will conveniently choose to forget that Supermans three and four existed and just move along because there is nothing to see here.