I challenge anyone to read Manohla Dargis’ review of Superman and find out more about the movie than about the critic’s psychotherapy.
Dargis paints a simple cartoon sequel as a homoerotic, misogynist passion play. But, as they say in therapy, it seems she’s projecting.
There’s always been a hint of Jesus (and Moses) to the character, from the omnipotence of his father to a costume that, with its swaths of red and blue, evokes the colors worn by the Virgin Mary in numerous Renaissance paintings. It’s a hint that proves impossible not to take.
Oh, I think I could resistIntentionally or not, the Jesus angle also helps deflect speculation about just how straight this Superman flies. Given how securely Lois remains out of the romantic picture in “Superman Returns,” now saddled with both a kid and a fiancÃ© (James Marsden), it’s no surprise that some have speculated that Superman is gay. The speculation speaks more to our social panic than anything in the film, which, much like the overwhelming majority of American action movies produced since the 1980’s, mostly involves what academics call homosocial relations. In other words, when it comes to Hollywood, boys will be boys and play with their toys, whether they’re sleeping with one another or not, leaving women to weep, worry and wait to be rescued.
Every era gets the superhero it deserves, or at least the one filmmakers think we want. For Mr. Singer that means a Superman who fights his foes in a scene that visually echoes the garden betrayal in “The Passion of the Christ” and even hangs in the air much as Jesus did on the cross. It’s hard to see what the point is beyond the usual grandiosity that comes whenever B-movie material is pumped up with ambition and money.
Maybe because the director’s point isn’t your point.
I read the whole thing and have no answer to the obvious questions: Should I take my kids to see the movie? Would I enjoy it? What’s it about? Is it exciting? Boring? Fun? Nothing. None of that. All I learn is a convuluted answer to the question, ‘And how does this make you feel?’