With a little help from a national newspaper, I was lucky enough to attend the Norwegian premiere of the new Superman movie, Superman Returns.

Superman Returns movie poster Almost 20 years after the last Superman movie, the Man of Steel returns. If you’ve seen any of the original Superman movies, preferably the first one, you’ll probably have the same experience as I had during the opening sequence. As the familiar Superman theme fades in, I got the shivers. That’s without doubt a good start.

As you can probably understand by the title, Superman has been gone for some time and now returns to Metropolis as his alter ego, Clark Kent. There, things have changed a bit: His secret love, Lois Lane, is engaged to be married to another employee of The Daily Planet and has even managed to become a mother to a little boy.

With original Superman actor Christopher Reeve too dead to play the role, director Bryan Singer has dug up Brandon Routh and given him the tight trousers and the cape. Most of Routh on-screen acting experience comes from TV series, but that’s OK – the Man of Steel is also the Man of Action, he is not expected to talk much anyway. The best thing with Routh is probably that he actually resembles Reeve enough for us to make believe that we’re looking at the real thing.

Thumbs up to Kevin Spacey who is doing an excellent job as Superman’s evil nemesis Lex Luthor, possibly even better than the original Lex, Gene Hackman. Spacey is just as evil and wicked as Luthor has to be, he is a bad guy with a bad plan.

Superman Returns is close to being a must-see for everyone, but lacks a major element in a movie of this kind. The final, epic battle between good an evil – that’s Superman and Lex Luthor – is almost non-existent. Sure, they fight for a short while, but something is still missing.

Also, some of the computer generated graphics lack the quality of a box office killer. Some scenes look like they have been slapped together in the last minute and it reminds more of a 1995 Toy Story rendering.

Still, Superman Returns comes highly recommended. That I got a free Superman t-shirt did not influence this review. Honestly.