June 10, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the NC title sequence. Then we open on NC sitting on his couch at home, with his laptop computer on his lap. He sees on YouTube the teaser trailer for Superman Returns, from the Trailer Guy)
NC: Man, I remember that being a good teaser.
(He clicks on the video, and it plays)
Jor-El (voiced by Doug): Even though you have been raised as a human being, you are not one of them. (NC nods) They can be a great people, if they wish to be. I have sent them you, my son. (NC mouths, "Fuck yeah!", as the Superman logo appears) Superman.
NC: Man, that still holds up. Too bad the movie sucks ass.
(He clicks on something on YouTube, and several videos on how bad Superman Returns was are shown)
NC: The hell is this? I watched one Superman Returns video. It doesn't mean that's all I want to see.
(He clicks on another part of the YouTube site, only to come up with even more Superman Returns videos. NC groans and then clicks on the "Trending" page, which seems to be trolling NC now, because it consists of nothing but Superman Returns videos)
NC: No, Superman Returns will never be trending!
(He then does a search on news, and several videos on the Snyder Cut come up)
NC: Okay, that's a little different.
(He clicks on a video, and a nerdy woman in glasses, played by Tamara, appears)
Nerdy woman: Hey, movie nerds! Today, I want to talk about the Snyder Cut and how it's not Superman Returns.
NC: (confused) What the shit?
Nerdy woman: Now, I for one am shocked that's not Superman Returns. I mean, everything pointed to the Snyder Cut being Superman Returns. (NC stares in shock) ...Superman Returns!
Chart Guy: Today on "But the Chart Says...", we're going to be taking a look at the likelihood of the Snyder Cut becoming a hit. (NC sighs with relief) But seeing as how you clicked on a Superman Returns video, every video you see now has to be about that.
NC: (incredulously) How do you even know that?!
Chart Guy: You might be wondering to yourself how I would even know that. Well, if you look at the chart...
(He gestures toward a chart, which has appeared in the corner, which reads, "CLICK ON YOUTUBE VIDEOS = ALL RECOMMENDED VIDEOS WILL BE ABOUT THAT". NC sighs and throws his head around in frustration, realizing there is no other way out)
NC: All right, I guess I'm talking about Superman Returns.
(The title for Superman Returns is shown, followed by footage of it. Dozens of posters of various superhero movies, both made before and after this movie, are also shown in the opening thoughts)
NC (vo): In 2006, with almost 20 years since the last Superman movie, and several bizarre attempts with (Images of Nicolas Cage, Robert Downey, Jr., and Ben Affleck are superimposed) several bizarre people gone awry, Superman Returns settled on the master of comic book movies... (A rapid-fire montage of comic book movie producers is shown, before settling on Bryan Singer) ...at the time, Bryan Singer. He achieved surprising success with the first two X-Men films, so he seemed like a good middle-of-the-road choice for the Man of Steel. The only problem was, it was 2006. While superhero movies were just starting to make a comeback, they were nowhere near the powerhouse they are today. People didn't exactly know what the best way to handle them was, so they were mostly played pretty safe. Say what you will about comic book films after, but there's no doubt several of them pushed the envelope. Before then, even the biggest hits didn't take that many risks. Superman Returns might be the crowning achievement of playing it too safe. While certainly tapping on ideas that could be made interesting, it retreaded way too much of what's already been done before, resulting in a major bore-fest. Audiences mainly said the deep stuff is fine, but Superman doesn't even throw a punch in this, causing the film to majorly underperform at the box office. So, what happened to turn arguably the most popular superhero of all time into an excuse to catch some (An image of the Superman logo is superimposed, but with a Z instead of an S) super Zs?
(NC is shown coming into his review room)
NC: Let's talk about this two-and-a-half hour snoozer, as nobody else who talked about it I think could actually stay awake.
(The nerdy woman suddenly wakes up)
Nerdy woman: What? Oh. Uh, yeah, I tried, but I guess no one can get through this without falling asleep.
(The Chart Guy is shown holding a pillow and a blanket)
Chart Guy: I just thought that a pillow and blanket were required when discussing anything about this movie.
NC: (sighs) Let's snore our way through this with Superman Returns.
(The Chart Guy immediately falls asleep)
Chart Guy: (snoring) Charts, charts, charts, charts...
(The movie begins on the planet Krypton, Superman's home planet)
NC (vo): Okay, let's talk about, in my opinion, the biggest problem with the movie, and it's right at the beginning...
NC: Superman missing for years.
NC (vo): The excuse they go with is, astronomers discovered distant remains of Krypton and he vanished.
NC: Kinda weird, but I guess it could be interesting...
NC (vo): ...if we see the mindset, what led up to it, the choice of leaving his new home and the people he loves to possibly reconnect with the past one.
(Instead, it's all explained with simple text on the screen)
NC (vo): Nah, just text it to us! (Green arrows point out Superman's disappearance, told in a single sentence) In fact, only one sentence explained what happened; the rest reminds us what we already know! Is anyone going into a Superman movie really not aware of this information?
NC: It's like starting off The Dark Knight with...
(Text pops up reading: "Bruce Wayne is the guy dressed as a bat". Then after a beat, another word is added: "Dumbass". We then cut back to Superman Returns)
NC (vo): It may seem odd spending the majority of time focusing on what's not needed, but you'll find that's kind of the wedding theme of this movie; it's gonna pop up over and over.
(The title for the movie is shown, which is identical to the original Superman, music and all)
NC (vo): So, you'll quickly put together this is supposed to take place in the same universe as the Richard Donner films, using the same theme and even casting their lead (Images of the two actors playing Superman are shown: Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh) based on how much he looks and sounds like the late Christopher Reeve.
(Cut to a clip of the original Superman)
Superman (Christopher Reeve): (to Lois Lane) Well, I certainly hope this little incident hasn't put you off flying, miss. (Lois shakes her head)
(Cut to a clip of Superman Returns, on an airplane, which Superman had just saved from going out of control and crashing (given the oxygen masks hanging from the ceilings))
Superman (Brandon Routh): (to the crowd he had saved) Well, I hope this experience hasn't put any of you off flying.
NC (vo): Judging by the credits, you might think maybe this could work. The music and visuals are pretty cool, getting you hyped up...
NC: ...but tell me if this matches the style of the Donner films...
(As the credits end and the camera closes in on Earth, there is an abrupt cut to black for a beat before flashes of lightning illuminate the exterior of a mansion, with several cars parked outside)
NC: (dramatically) Superman battles (now imitating Scooby-Doo) g-g-g-g-ghosts!
NC (vo): This immediately doesn't match! It'd make more sense if this popped up after that shot...
(The mansion, illuminated by lightning, is shown again. This time, the words "Super Scooby Doo Where Are You!" pop up, while the Scooby-Doo theme plays)
NC (vo; singing): Super Scooby-Doo, where are you? (normal) It looks like a dying old millionaire is leaving to Lex Luthor for, sadly, the exact reason you would expect.
Millionaire: (to Luthor) You've shown me pleasures that I've never known.
(A shot of a CG-animated girl is shown in the corner)
Girl: Ewwww! (covers her mouth)
NC (vo): ...as the cast of Knives Out discover this via a snarky Kevin Spacey performance.
(Lex Luthor, who seemed to have hair as he entered the room, pulls on his hair, which comes off his head easily, revealing that it was only a wig, and his dome is as bald as ever. He gives his wig to a little girl)
Luthor: You can keep that. The rest is mine.
(The little girl screams)
NC: Agreed. By far, that's the most shocking thing Kevin Spacey will ever reveal about himself.
NC (vo): Meanwhile, in Smallville, we see Superman's mother [Martha Kent, played by Eva Marie Saint] playing Scrabble with her dog... She might be nuts. ...as something lands in her backyard.
(As Martha looks out the window to investigate, she spots a huge meteorite crashing into the ground. Cut briefly to a clip of Edgar (from Men in Black) reacting to the alien spaceship that crash-lands on his farm)
(Cut back again to Superman Returns)
NC (vo): It looks like it's Clark, played this time by Brandon Routh, arriving home via Kryptonian pod. You might be wondering where he got that pod from. Did he make it? Did he find it?
(A clip of the original Superman movie, showing the pod Kal-El was delivered in as a baby is shown)
NC (vo): Is it the one he was delivered to Earth in, made to fit a grown man instead of a baby?
(The opening words about the astronomers discovering the remains of Kryptonian is shown in the corner)
NC: We wrote you a sentence! (reaches out hand) Check, please!
(We then cut to a ship in a storm, rolling over some violent waves as it does)
NC (vo; singing to the Gilligan's Island theme): The movie started getting dull, this boring film will flop...
(Meanwhile, Luthor and his henchmen enters Superman's Fortress of Solitude)
Henchman: Was this his house?
Luthor: This is where he learned who he was.
NC (vo): Lex Luthor goes searching for Superman's home once more, as this version is kinda (A shot of the poster for Halloween is superimposed) Halloween-ing itself, as rather than work with the challenges of (Posters for remakes/sequels of classic movies are shown: Creed, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Purge: Election Year, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse) the previous bad films like other clever franchises, Singer does what he always does: says, (Posters of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Superman Returns are shown) "Nah, I don't wanna," (A shot of an Etch-a-Sketch is shown shaking) then shakes up the franchise like an Etch-a-Sketch. So now, (Posters for the first two Superman movies are shown briefly) only Parts 1 and 2 are canon, even though I can't think of anything in (Posters for the third and fourth Superman movies are shown now) III and IV that technically gets in the way of anything here. In fact, I'd argue if Superman is aware (A shot of Luthor in the first movie is superimposed) Lex Luthor knows where he is, he'd upgrade his security a little bit, at the very least to beef up (A shot of a German shepherd is shown) Krypto [Supes' dog]. And yes, I do appreciate the irony that a film ignoring previous installments in a franchise is (Posters for later movies featuring Superman are shown: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Justice League) ignored by the continuing installments in the franchise.
(Jor-El's face appears in one of the crystal screens)
Jor-El (Marlon Brando): My son...you do not remember me...
NC (vo): Luthor comes across a crystal with Superman's father, played by Marlon Brando's...let's just assume pissed-off ghost, who is unaware he's talking to Luthor.
Luthor: Tell me everything...starting with crystals.
NC: And cinematography...
(Shots of wide-angle closeups in other Singer productions are shown)
NC (vo): ...as Singer is still convinced wide-angle closeups are the only shots there are.
(We then cut back to the Kent farm, where Clark Kent is seen)
NC (vo): Clark wakes up at his mother's, has a flashback to when he was a kid playing with his powers, and tells his mom he didn't find anything on his journey.
Martha: Five years. Did you find what you were looking for? Your home?
Clark: That place was a graveyard. I'm all that's left.
NC (vo): You might be wondering what he's talking about exactly. What are the details of this already-vague setup?
(The "astronomers" message is shown next to NC again)
NC: The sentence is (points to it) right there! You're gonna make him think he did a bad job!
(The message shakes up and down, with the sound of crying added in, as though the message is the one crying. NC looks at it)
NC: No, no, no, sentence, you were great, you did wonderful. (points at camera) They're wrong!
NC (vo): Apparently, this is enough to jump right back to normal, as Clark goes back to the Daily Planet, ran by the loud and eccentric Perry White, played by the sleepy-eyed and fascinatingly disinterested Frank Langella.
(A montage of clips of White is shown)
White: I want to know it all, everything. / Lois, Superman. / (looking at a piece of paper) What are these, lottery numbers? / Yeah, that makes you an expert, so you're gonna do them again. / Great Caesar's Ghost! / Come on.
NC: This man was Skeletor! (A shot of Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is shown) There was no way he was told to go bigger, and he held back!
Clark: Thank you for giving me my job back.
White: Don't thank me, thank Norm Parker for dying.
Jimmy Olsen (Sam Huntington): (to Clark) It was his time.
NC: The doctor said (A shot of Superman firing his eye laser beams at what looks like Norm Parker is shown in the corner) twin lasers through the heart, but we all know it was old age.
NC (vo): He also discovers Lois Lane, played by "I'm this many" Kate Bosworth, won a Pulitzer for her story "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman". (A shot of the editorial is shown, along with additional words added in by NC...) "...and Clark Kent is a Douche too".
Jimmy: (looking at a photograph of Lois, who has a child of her) He looks just like his mom. Fearless reporter Lois Lane is a mommy.
NC: (as Jimmy) She gave birth when she was fifteen! (normal) No, seriously, check the birth date. (A shot of Bosworth's page on IMDB is shown, showing she was born on January 2, 1983) Do the math. A little weird.
NC (vo): Lex returns to the mansion, where they see one of the dogs ate the other!
Kitty Kowalski (Parker Posey): (looking at dog, still chewing) Weren't there two of those?
NC: Dammit, that's so dark, I kinda have no choice but to love it.
NC (vo): ...where he tells Kumar to test the power of the crystal on a model of the city.
(As Kumar dips a crystal in a lake in the model of Metropolis, the ground suddenly shakes)
NC (vo): The crystal does so much damage, the models start screaming...
(As the ground shakes, the model buildings spark and the model trains go flying off the rails while the sound of screaming apparently comes from the model people themselves as the trains hit them and smokestacks at the model factory burst into flame)
NC: Apparently, we're in American Toy Story now. (A poster for the made-up movie American Toy Story is shown in the corner)
(In real-world Metropolis, too, the power goes out and everything goes black)
NC (vo): ...causing electricity everywhere to go out, including a plane Lois is in.
(Struggling, Lois unbuckles her plane seat belt and tries to help some of the other passengers, crawling along the ground to keep balance. But it's no use, as she is flung violently against the ceiling, walls and floor)
NC (vo): (with each hit) Dead! Dead! Dead!
NC: Jesus, was Lois (A shot of the following appears in the corner...) Supergirl this whole time and we never knew it? That'd be a fucking twist!
NC (vo): Clark of course notices the plane and changes into Superman to save the day.
(Several Air Force personnel spot an unknown aircraft on their radar)
Air Force personnel man: There's some kind of unidentified bogey on coming in from the north.
NC (vo; as one Air Force personnel man): It's a bird! (as another man) It's a plane! (as a third man) Nah, it's (A shot of Apache Chief from Superfriends is superimposed) Apache Chief. I always wondered when he was coming back.
(As Superman flies toward the plummeting plane, which is now burning up and breaking apart, we cut to a baseball game in progress, where the plane is plummeting towards)
NC: (rolls eyes and shakes head) Don't know how we missed that!
NC (vo; as sportscaster): As you can see, they switched out the pitcher, the crowd is going wild, and we're all about to perish in flames. (as a second sportscaster) It was nice knowing you, Rick. (as first sportscaster) I love you, Don.
(Superman gets in front of the plane's path and pushes hard against its nose, slowing it down and stopping it just inches from hitting the ground)
NC (vo): Superman stops the plane from crashing, though, realistically, (NC adds an effect of the plane disintegrating) I think it would turn to dust, and he's even reunited with Lois.
(Superman enters the plane to check up on everyone inside)
Superman: I hope this experience hasn't put any of you off flying. Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel. (Some of the passengers nod)
NC: Well, you've just become every airline's favorite movie.
(As he says this, a graph showing various airline companies' stocks is shown, clearly all plunging from 0% to at least -40% to -80%)
NC (vo): Everybody cheers as Superman officially returns, and his first big action sequence back is...fine. It makes sense to do something like this. I mean, he already saved more people than in (A shot of the following is shown in the corner...) Man of Steel. But here's the thing: from Luthor testing his evil plan to Superman getting everybody to safety, we spent a total of (The words "16 MINUTES" pop up in yellow) sixteen minutes. That's including the crystal getting a couple of jump-starts before it causes panic, Clark talking to Jimmy inside a bar, Superman taking a ship to space that in no way affects the story, and watching effects that for the time were good, but not building-a-sixteen-minute-scene-around-it good.
NC: (crosses arms) Apparently, this film didn't go through any test audiences, and this is one that really could have used it.
NC (vo): There are so many scenes that easily could have been cut down, or at the very least, focused on more interesting stuff. Like Lois' son [Jason White]! Holy shit, Lois has a son! Well, what the hell is he like? He ought to be interesting. Well, he's...there.
Jason (Tristan Lake Leabu): (to Clark) Who are you?
Clark: I'm Clark.
(Jason breathes through an inhaler)
NC: (as Clark) Oh, thank God he's not my kid.
NC (vo): We also have Richard [White], played by James Marsden, who's...
NC: ...get this – the other guy!
NC (vo): Weird, right? The handsome do-gooder who's always second banana...
NC (vo): ...usually to something blue! But don't worry, they make him fascinating. They give him the intriguing characteristics of being a pilot and loves horror movies.
NC: (confused) Um...anything else?
Lois: He's also a pilot and he loves horror movies.
NC: (shrugs) Well, guess that's it.
NC (vo): How is it we're fifty minutes in... Fifty minutes in! ...and we've learned nothing about these people?!
(Cut to footage of Lois in the original Superman)
NC (vo): Look at Lois' introduction in the first Superman. Immediately, you have an idea what her personality is like: egotistical, gets what she wants, would probably cause trouble just to report on it.
(A clip of the movie is shown)
Jimmy Olsen (Marc McClure): What are you writing, Miss Lane?
Lois (Margot Kidder): An ode to spring. How do you spell "massacre"?
(Cut to another clip)
Lois: (to Perry White) It's got everything. It's got sex, it's about violence...
(Cut to another clip)
Lois: (to Clark Kent) There are very few people left in the world who feel...comfortable saying that word.
Clark: What word?
NC (vo): On screen for a few minutes, you immediately get her character.
(Cut back to Lois in Superman Returns)
NC (vo): Almost an hour in and what do we know about this Lois? Well, she likes Superman.
Lois: (to Clark) You are from totally different worlds, but you show such a strong connection that you knew you were destined to be with each other.
NC (vo): Really likes Superman.
Lois: A hundred and 25 pounds, faster than a speeding bullet, draws his power from the sun, and he never lies.
NC: Yeah, if Superman wasn't in this movie, I'd have no idea what she'd be talking about.
NC (vo): In fact, even when he wasn't in the movie, she was still talking about him – and got a Pulitzer for it!
Richard: She has a password.
Clark: Try "Superman".
(Richard types in "Superman" into Lois' password system, and surprisingly, it is the right one, as they're now in her account)
NC: And the funny thing is, going by this movie's portrayal, Superman's kind of a dick!
Lois: (to Clark) And then he just takes off without explaining why or even without saying goodbye.
Clark: Well, maybe he wanted to say goodbye, but maybe it was too difficult for him.
NC: (as Clark) I mean, that excuse worked on all the hookers I kept employed. I figured it would work on you.
NC (vo): Oh, that's right, Facebook's not a thing yet. Gonna have to stalk the old-fashioned way.
(Arriving at Lois' house, Superman scans it with his x-ray vision. He spots Lois and Richard inside making dinner)
NC: (nervously) Are you sure we didn't put on (An image of the following poster is shown in the corner...) Brightburn Returns?
Richard: That article that you wrote...
Lois: "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman"?
Richard: No, no, no, no, the other one: "I Spent the Night With Superman".
NC: (as Richard) No, wait, the other one...
(Cut to a shot of a newspaper, with a headline on it that NC reads...)
NC (vo; as Richard): ..."Why I Love Superman and Will Never Love Anyone Else Especially People Named Richard".
(Superman flies away, high into the stratosphere and out into space)
NC (vo): Back-to-back, we have what's great about this movie, followed by what's awful about this movie. Superman flies high above the Earth, listening to all the cries of the world and thinks which ones are the most important to help.
(A snippet of those cries plays as Superman listens)
NC: That's a great scene and deserves the time they took to show it, but it's followed by this...
(A clip is shown of Superman walking across a rooftop while being shot by gunfire which has no effect on him as he just walks toward the assailants shooting at him)
NC: No, wait, I'm sorry. I edited that to show what should have followed this...
NC (vo): Superman stopping a bank heist, and even a cool scene where a bullet bounces off his eye.
NC: But no. We get...
NC (vo): ...police sirens, the cars pulling up, money being carried, cops aiming their guns, the weapons being set up, loading up a helicopter that's never used, cops sneaking in, cops trying to stop him, cops failing in stopping him, turning the gun around, aiming the gun, and then finally Superman shows up! We could have figured all this out by just cutting to him reflecting the bullets, but no, we needed a whole two minutes of these non-main characters and their situation being established.
NC: And look, I know that sounds like a nitpick. I mean, two minutes, big whoop. But this is a problem that follows the entire movie.
NC (vo): Look at here, all you need to show is a woman's car out of control and Superman saves her, easy. But no, we gotta show him putting down the car, people looking, still putting down the car, peopla still looking, taking her to the hospital...
(There is a tracking shot focusing on a little boy in a crowd taking a picture of Superman with his mobile phone.)
NC (vo): ...this weird tracking on a kid taking a picture- Why did you need a tracking? A one second still shot would've been fine. Watch:
(The traking shot is shortened to one second to prove NC's point.)
NC (vo): See, fine?
NC: These scenes are so desperate to waste our time that there's literally a closeups of her pearls while she's driving!
(Footage of Kitty driving her car out of control due to the brakes being cut is shown, and sure enough, there is a quick close up of the pearls she's wearing as she drives.)
NC: What the fuck did that matter? Why do I need to know she wears pearls?
NC (vo): Act like our time is important!
NC: I mean, mine isn't, I'm doing this... But I have consideration for other people!
(Superman flies Kitty to the hospital and places her down in front of it.)
Superman: I'm glad you're feeling better.
NC (vo; as Superman): I hope this hasn't put you off of driving. Statistically speaking, 1.3 million die in a year.
(Clark enters the Daily Planet and walks past TV screens, which are all showing news reports about various sightings of Superman since his return)
Newscaster: Reports are flooding in from Metropolis, Houston, Gotham and as far away as Ireland.
NC: (as newscaster) The superhero Batman had this to say: "How do you know where I live? Oh, I mean, I'm just crashing on this Wayne guy's couch".
(In Perry White's office, Clark, Lois, White and Jimmy are looking at pictures of Superman that are on White's desk.)
White: Huh, these are iconic.
NC (vo): 'Cause it's the comic book cover, get it?
(The cover of the comic Action Comics #1, which contains the first ever appearance of Superman, is shown. The image on the cover (which is of Superman holding up a car) bears similarity to one of the pictures of Superman on the desk.)
NC (vo): Eeengh... I would've made the same joke.
White: I mean, they were taken by a twelve year old with a camera phone.
NC (vo): Bullshit! A crystal clear hi-res photo taken from a Breaking Bad phone you'd find in Froot Loops? I can believe a man can fly but not a Samsung SCH can take a picture that doesn't look like a (picture of...) Scary Stories illustration.
White: Every other paper in this town has got a female reporter stashed on the roof covering Superman.
Lois: Chief, I've done Superman-
(Jimmy snickers at Lois' line.)
NC: (puts his hands up as if he's being accused of something) Hey, you made that joke, not me!
(Lois and Richard are at Lois' desk. Jason walks around wearing a dustbin on his head making roaring noises. He walks into a door due to the fact that he can't see.)
Richard: (whispering) Lois...
NC (vo; as Richard): We should talk about medicine for our son. (normal) Clark proceeds to watch Lois as she leaves, for a rather long period of time...
(Lois walks into the elevator and as it goes up, Clark uses his x-ray vision so he can watch her as she leaves.)
NC: I'm sorry, am I supposed to be creeped out by Superman? I- I need a second opinion on this. Tamara?
(Cut to Tamara in her home... smoking a pipe for some reason... She is startled by NC's sudden appearance and starts coughing.)
NC: If I could see through walls, and I watched you going up an elevator-
Tamara: That's some scary shit and there's no other way to see that.
NC: Okay, good, I'm not crazy.
(Malcolm suddenly appears.)
Malcolm: I don't think it's weird at all.
(Malcolm begins smiling in a creepy manner. NC and Tamara are visibly disturbed by this.)
Tamara: Uh, Malcolm do you have something else to do?
(Malcolm suddenly steps forward.)
Malcolm: I just like to watch you guys.
NC: Well, uh, two's great, but three's a crowd. (nervous laugh)
Malcolm: I get it, you two want to be alone.
NC: That's the idea...
Malcolm: Okay. I have homework I gotta do anyway.
Tamara: (confused) Homework?
Malcolm: Bye, lovebirds.
(Malcolm, however, doesn't leave, or even move! He remains standing with that creepy smile still on his face!)
NC: Usually people move when they say goodbye.
Malcolm: No, they don't. They watch people in their homes.
NC: Okay, you're becoming Superman creepy! Tamara, I think we should move-
(NC soon discovers that Tamara is no longer standing in her home. There's a note left behind written by her that reads: 'Tamara doesn't live here anymore... DON'T TELL MALCOLM!!!' In a desperate attempt to get rid of Malcolm, NC picks up a remote control and tries changing the screen, however, he sees that, although the background changes, Malcolm remains completely still! NC is (understandably) terrified.)
NC: Are you watching me at night?
Malcolm: As opposed to...?
(And on that dark note, we go to to commercial (with Malcolm even blocking the Nostalgia Critic logo for good measure when it appears). Upon returning it's shown that Malcolm is STILL there! (again blocking the NC logo, though he has moved slightly to the left due to what happened in the sponsorship ad for this video.) NC looks at him, then presses down on his head, causing him to finally disappear. Satisfied with this, NC continues the review.)
NC (vo): Superman approaches Lois at the top of the Daily Planet. Finally, we can get some insight into the reason he abandoned his home and the people he swore to protect.
Lois: How could you leave us like that?
Superman: Krypton. When astronomers thought they found it, I had to see for myself.
(The "astronomers" message is shown again.)
NC (vo): Pretty much that sentence again! Yeah, that totally justifies ditching your responsibilities and even letting a dangerous criminal go! Oh, did I forget to show that part?
(Cut to an earlier scene where Clark learns Lex Luthor is no longer in prison.)
Clark: How did Lex Luthor get out of prison?
Jimmy: The appeals court called Superman as a witness, and he wasn't around.
NC: I'm 100% with Lois here!
(Superman is now flying around Metropolis with Lois in his arms.)
NC (vo): He tries the old trick of flying her through the sky, but thank God they have no chemistry whatsoever and she looks at all of this with blank indifference.
(More footage of Superman flying with Lois is shown, with a blank expression on Lois' face (and Superman's face too for that matter.) As NC talks, there is a brief cut to the flying scene from the original movie before returning to Superman Returns)
NC (vo): One of the most romantic scenes in cinematic history recreated with the love completed neutered! I felt more passion when...
(A clip of Supergirl flying while carrying Ethan in a bumper car is shown in the corner.)
NC (vo): ...Supergirl flew a bumper car with her unconscious boyfriend!
NC: I'm at least somewhat curious how that relationship turned out!
(Superman returns to the Daily Planet and gently lowers himself and Lois on the roof.)
NC (vo; as Superman) Well, I felt nothing. (as Lois) Me too. Let's never do that again.
Lois: So, will I see you around?
Superman: I'm always around.
NC: That's surprisingly not comforting, you creepy ass stalker.
NC (vo): Lois does more research on the blackouts, leading her to Lex Luthor's yacht.
(Lois enters Luthor's yacht, along with Jason.)
NC (vo): Yeah, this could be dangerous, bring the kid along.
Jason: Are we trespassing?
Lois: No. (beat) Yes.
NC: (as Lois) What's important is ("picks up" Jason) how much you can serve as a human shield.
NC (vo): In one of the film's stranger reveals...
(Lois comes across multiple mannequin heads with various wigs on them. Dramatic music plays over this reveal (and even a couple of closeups of the mannequin heads are thrown in for good measure).)
NC: WIGS! WIGS! AAAHHH-
NC (vo): Lex spots them and holds them hostage, of course, revaling his new evil plan. (beat) You'll be happy to know it's exactly the same as the old evil plan.
(Cut to the scene from the original film where Lex Luthor [played by Gene Hackman] reveals his evil plan to Superman.)
Luthor: Hello new West Coast! My West Coast.
(Cut back to Superman Returns.)
Lois: You're building an island?
Luthor: Not just an island, an entirely new continent.
(Cut to the original movie again...)
Superman (off screen): The West Coast as we know it would-
Luthor: Fall into the sea.
(...and back to Superman Returns.)
Lois: But the United States-
Luthor: Will be underwater.
Luther: Costa del Lex, Luthorville, Marina del Lex.
Luthor: The world will be begging me for a piece of high-tech beach-front property.
Superman: Millions of innocent people would be killed.
Lois: But millions of people will die.
NC: You know, I gotta give you credit, Lex...
(An image of Nuclear Man from Superman IV is shown in the corner.)
NC: ...Nuclear Man was stupid, but at least it was new.
Luthor: I'll have advanced alien technology. Bring it on!
NC (vo; as Luthor): Otisburg will be a reality! (normal) We're shown he has kryptonite, as well as the big twist in the film that is so bizarrely delivered, it's one of my favourite laughs in the movie. It's when Luthor asks who the boy's father is.
Crewman (via speakers): We're approaching the co-ordinates.
Luthor: (to Lois) Are you sure?
Crewman (via speakers): Yes, sir. Latitude 40 degrees north-
NC: (laughs) Not only does it interrupt a big dramatic moment, but it's not even that great a joke to interrupt such a big dramatic moment! (beat) And that weirdly makes it hilarious!
NC (vo): It's almost as funny as thinking this took place after Superman II. Wouldn't that kid [Jason] be, like, twenty-five? Oh, well, the strongest alien in the world has offspring. Better leave him with one lone henchman. That should keep things safe.
(The henchman takes off his hat, revealing a tattoo of a clown's face on the back of his bald head.)
NC: He wanted to be in the Joker's gang, but even he wouldn't take juggalos.
NC (vo): Lois gets their co-ordinates to land while Jason and the henchman play Chopsticks because... Superman! But Lois is spotted and attacked.
(The henchman approaches Lois in a menacing manner. Suddenly the piano is thrown from off screen and hits the henchman, killing him instantly.)
NC: I'd pay real money if his corpse looked like this!
(A picture of the henchman is shown in the corner with his teeth having been replaced with piano keys. Back in the movie, Lois and Jason are moved to another room on the yacht and are locked in by the other henchmen. Lois runs up to the door and starts banging on it.)
Lois: Open this door! Open it!
NC (vo; as Lois): Don't leave me in here with this freak! (normal) Lois asks Jason if he can open the door, but I guess it was one of those 'in the moment' things...?
Lois: Could you help mommy open the door?
Jason: I'm sorry.
NC: (as Lois) Gotcha. Hey, can one of you out there beat me up so my kid can go berserk?
NC (vo): Luthor fires the crystal and the kryptonite, creating a giant island, and Superman once again has to choose between...
(The scene from the original movie where Superman is faced with a similar conundrum is shown in the corner.)
NC (vo): ...saving the people or Lois first.
(Cut to Metropolis where...)
NC (vo): Buildings shakes, water rises, and even the sewers are set on fire.
(Footage of fire in the sewers of Metropolis is shown, including a brief cut to the 1990 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where Michelangelo and Donatello are in the sewers waiting for their pizza to be delivered. Fire is added to the scene, implying that they were burned alive (thanks for that imagery, Critic!). Back on the yacht, Richard arrives and finds Lois and Jason.)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Marsden flies in to save Lois and Jason, honestly looking more dedicated and heroic than Superman in many respects. Don't worry, she'll totally kill him for the guy that left her. But she gets knocked out and engulfed deep below because...
(The scene from the original movie where Lois dies is shown in the corner.)
NC (vo): ...we have to do that for some reason too.
(The yacht starts sinking with Lois, Richard and Jason trapped inside as the room they're in starts filling up with water. There is a brief cut to Superman discovering Lois' dead body from the original movie...)
NC (vo): Unlike the first film where it's a legit, shocking and heart-breaking moment when she dies...
(...and we cut back to Superman Returns.)
NC (vo): ...we all know they're not gonna do that again! So, we watch them underwater and Superman save people for ten minutes.
NC: This move has the exact opposite problem of Man of Steel!
NC (vo): Where in that one, I wanted him to save more people, here I wanna see him beat some shit up! Even the one criminal... One criminal! ...we see him stop in this entire movie, it's taken care of off screen! I'm tired of just seeing him hold stuff! It's 2006, you can do a lot more! Hell, in 1980 you were doing a lot more! So why is this supposed to be interesting? (sarcastically) Oh, yeah, drag out that drowning sequence! I'm so afraid they won't make it! Hey, remember that Superman reboot where they killed his son, as well as Lois? Really got me there, movie!
(Superman flies in and lifts the yacht out of the ocean to save them.)
NC (vo): Superman saves them in time, (sarcastically) yeah I was shocked too! (normal) And he lifts them to safety.
(Superman places the yacht down, rips the door off its hinges and pulls Lois, Richard, and Jason out.
NC (vo; as Superman): Well, I hope this hasn't put you off of sailing. Statistically speaking, it's...a hobby. (normal) He checks to make sure Lois is okay.
(After helping Richard, Jason and Lois (who's still unconscious) into Richard's seaplane, Superman uses his x-ray vision on Lois.)
Superman: She'll be fine.
NC: (as Superman) Also she's pregnant with triplets. Good luck with that! (...and he "flies" away.)
NC (vo): Superman confronts Luthor, unaware the island he's created is filled with kryptonite.
Luthor: What's the word I'm searching for? It's a little... Alien. It lacks that human touch.
NC: You're the last person to talk about human touch.
NC (vo): He punches Superman and his henchmen join in, rendering him helpless...
(The scene from the original movie where Luthor pushes Superman into his pool after exposing him to kryptonite is shown in the corner.)
NC (vo): ...'cause we gotta do that scene too. I guess it's supposed to be sad, but I'm just cracking up over how Spacey says the word kryptonite.
Luthor: (in a high-pitched voice) Kryptonite!
NC: How am I supposed to feel bad in any scene that has a delivery like that?
(The clip of Luthor saying kryptonite is shown three times in between cuts of Luthor's henchmen beating up Superman. We then see Kitty, who is on the verge of tears upon watching Superman receive his beating.)
NC: (as Kitty) I didn't know when you said we'd kill billions of people that meant someone dying!
(Luthor stabs Superman with a piece of kryptonite.)
NC (vo; as Superman): Ugh, give up...?
(After staggering around, Superman falls off the edge of the island and into the ocean, slowly sinking.)
NC (vo) Thank God...
NC: ...this movie doesn't have enough footage of people drowning.
NC (vo): Lois and her family saves him, but (feigned shock) oh no! The plane might not make it! Yeah, isn't that the biggest nail-biter you want in a Superman movie? Whether a plane will take off?
(Richard has difficulty bringing the plane up and it appears as if the plane has crashed into the rocks below. The movie holds on this shot for a few seconds.)
NC: (sarcastically) Oh, I guess that's it. They're holding on that shot a long time, I guess they're dead. Better roll...
NC (vo): ...the credits. Luthor won-
(Fake ending credits for the movie are shown, stating the movie was directed by Bryan Singer and produced by 'Some Very Angry People'. Soon, however, the fake credits disappear as the plane is shown taking off.)
NC: (feigned amazement) Ho, ho, you got me again movie! Two fake outs! how are you doing this?!
NC (vo): Please drag out this hideous looking climax as it's such as relief from the hideous looking everything else! Yeah, did I mention this movie's hideous yet? It's fucking hideous!
(Superman regains consciousnesses on the plane.)
Superman: Thank you.
NC (vo): Superman says he can't go out on such a pussy note, so he goes back to try to stop Luthor.
Kitty: Lex, are billions of people really going to die?
NC: (sarcastically) No, they get ice cream. (normal) The fuck do you think?
NC (vo): The exciting climax happens that I know you've all been waiting for: Superman lifts a giant rock!
(Superman lifts the island out of the ocean and into space.)
NC: Whoo! Yeah! Lift that big thing! This is so much different than the time he held those other big things! This time it's... BIGGER!
NC (vo): Whoo! Yeah! Lift that rock! Superman! This is what we waited two hours to see! Thank Christ! Can you imagine if he actually threw a punch in this movie, like hit anybody?! Fuck that noise! He's lifting A ROCK!
NC: Whoo! (beat) A rock!
(Due to the kryptonite in the island, Superman becomes very weak and falls down back to Earth unconscious.)
NC (vo): He Jesus' himself back to Earth as I guess they're building up the ultimate sacrifice for the people. Giving his life for humanity.
NC: (shaking his head) I don't even think he likes people!
NC (vo): In the other films he talks with the community, makes jokes, saves cats from trees. In this version he acts like he wants to get away from folks as soon as he saves them.
(Cut to a scene from earlier in the movie where Superman has taken Kitty to the hospital. He starts to fly away when Kitty suddenly grabs his arm.)
Kitty: Would you like to get a cup of coffee sometime?
Superman: Good night, Katherine.
NC (vo): I guess the idea is he wants to save more people, but if you want to drag out this big emotional moment, like humanity meant so much to him, show him with humanity! Because God knows we're not gonna get it with him and Lois, or him and Richard, or even him and his goddamn son! The movie opens with him saying he ditched everybody!
NC: I feel like asking what the hell were you doing for two and a half hours if not exploring your human connections!
NC (vo): Except I literally saw what you were doing all that time and I still have no idea.
(Cut to the front of a newspaper with the headline 'Superman Is Dead'.)
Jimmy (off screen): It's a bit morbid, Perry.
White: Always be prepared.
(It is soon revealed that there are two newspapers with two different headlines, the other being 'Superman Lives'.)
NC (vo): (sarcastically) Ha, ha! Another brilliant fake out! I'm sure they'll kill Superman in his first big reboot back!
NC: Idiots! (scoffs) You wait for the second film to do that.
(The poster for Batman vs Superman is shown in the corner.)
NC: That's thinking!
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Lex's assistant [Kitty] feels bad and sabotages him because...
(The scene from the original movie where Eve Teschmacher saves Superman is shown in the corner.)
NC (vo): we gotta go through that- Oh, fuck it, you know by this point. And they're stranding on a deserted island.
Kitty: But what will we have to eat?
(As if to answer her question, Luthor starts staring at the dog in Kitty's arms.)
NC: (laughs dismissively) No, seriously, they ate that fucking dog! (beat) And I still like...
NC (vo): ...him better than Eisenberg!
(A picture of Lex Luthor portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg from Batman vs Superman is shown in the corner.)
NC: He would eat that dog unprompted!
NC (vo): Lois visits Superman in the hospital and whispers in his ear the truth. (as Lois, whispering) I killed Mufasa... (normal) And he eventually gets better and visits Jason in his sleep. Again, this isn't terrifying in the slightest!
(Superman flies to Lois' house, goes into Jason's bedroom and watches him sleep.)
NC (vo; as Superman): There can only be one...
Suoerman: (whispering) You'll be different. Sometimes you'll feel like an outcast. But you'll never be alone-
NC: Yeah, say whatever pretty speech you want. You still have no connection with this kid.
NC (vo): Apart from bumping into him, hopefully remembering his name, and abandoning him like you abandoned an entire planet of living creatures to look for alien dirt! I'm inspired to spit!
(Lois is now outside of her house looking up at Superman, who is hovering above her.)
NC: (as Superman) I'm not paying child support unless you say it.
Lois: Will we see you?
Superman: I'm always around.
NC: (nodding his head) Spoken like a true deadbeat dad.
Superman: Good night, Lois.
(Superman flies away (and even flies through the sky and up into space in the same manner as the other Superman movies before this one had ended (even down to him smiling at the camera as he's flying by). It then cuts to black, ending the movie.)
NC (vo; as Superman): Good luck with your fiancé, I'm sure he'll be fine with everything you've been keeping from him! My God, we're terrible people! I can't even smile at the camera I'm so damn depressed! I'm back!
NC: But not for very long.
(The clips of the movie are shown again as NC goes to his closing thoughts.)
NC (vo): As stated earlier, Superman Returns was not the box office powerhouse they hoped for, and they eventually rebooted it again with Man of Steel seven years later. And for all that films problems, I can at least point to a couple of fun moments. This one is just a drawn out bore. It does have some good ideas, but they're never explored enough to be made interesting. Much like Superman in this movie, it begins with a good concept and then abandons it for seemingly no reason. I wouldn't mind seeing Superman as a father. I think it'd actually be kind of cool to see what a super kid would be like. I'm even down for him being gone for a while. I don't know, there's something complex you could do with that. But they never dive into the mindset of what anyone is going through. I barely know shit about this kid, so why do I wanna see him in another movie? Or any of these characters for that matter? Two and a half hours and I feel like I don't know them at all. That's a major problem! I think its heart is in the right place, but it's lacking in anything, for lack of a better word, super.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic, and why do I still feel like I'm being watched...?
(NC leaves his room and goes outside to see that Malcolm is now standing outside his house! NC is very fearful.)
Malcolm: This is what heroes do.
(Malcolm continues staring at NC and smiling creepily for a few more seconds until it cuts to black, ending the video.)
Channel Awesome tagline - Luthor: (in a high-pitched voice) Kryptonite!
(We're then shown an outtake where Doug's new kitten, Buster, interrupts him filming a scene. Doug laughs, looks at the camera and shrugs.)
Doug: Working from home!
(Doug then picks Buster up and moves his paw as if he's waving at the camera.)
(The credits roll.)