Superman Returns

In theaters.

I’m no expert, but I can’t think of anyone in the comics pantheon who is more of a Christ figure than Superman, sent to Earth by his wise, noble father to save humanity. Superman Returns certainly doesn’t shy away from religious allusions. Two characters explicitly describe the Kryptonian knight as a savior and argue over whether the world needs such a champion. The confrontation between Superman and Lex Luthor — wielding a dagger of kryptonite, thus rendering the hero powerless — reads like the road to Golgotha: Earth’s savior is viciously beaten and taunted and left to die on a desolate landscape, the sky cracked by lightening. And at the film’s climax, Superman falls to earth with his arms spread wide like a man on a cross, though we know, of course, that he will rise again. Superman Returns is an action movie by way of The Passion of the Christ with a splash of The Da Vinci Code thrown in to muddy the waters.