Though it wasn’t a bad movie by normal standards, Man Of Steel was not what I wanted for one of my favorite superheroes. What Snyder and Nolan did was take Superman, and make him average.

Man Of Steel
Directed By: Zack Synder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Chris Meloni, Michael Kelly, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Ayelet ZurerPremise: When John and Martha Kent find a baby in a pod, they know he is not of this world. As Clark grows older he realizes he has great powers he doesn’t know how to control. After hiding his powers for so long, Clark, a loner finds himself helping others. He’s become a myth, an idea of a savior, until Lois Lane discovers his secret and alerts the world, and other worlds to Clark’s existence. As his otherworldly enemies threaten to destroy Earth in order to hunt him down, Clark must decide if he’s done hiding his alien half and ready to start trusting his human half.

My Review: Superman is probably the mostwell-known and well-liked superhero in the world. Everyone knows Superman, everyone loves Superman. He is the kind of person you hope your kid grows up to be like, cape or not. He is a good guy who just happens to be an alien from another planet…with superpowers. He truly does good, not evil. Unfortunately, Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan took away everything that was “good” about Superman and turned him into your typical dark and brooding hero.

It’s a hard thing to do. To make Superman seem average. But mixed with grandiose and distracting camerawork, plot holes with obvious chunks of movie missing, and a gray/blue scale color pallete, Superman felt like kind of a downer.

 

Things I Liked:
1) Clark’s backstory. I’m a sucker for flashbacks. I blame JJ Abrams for that one. I liked that he was seen as a freak or an outcast as a child. It makes us understand him, and also makes the decision to help even his enemies all the greater. Unfortunately this theme doesn’t continue within the movie.

2) Amy Adams. She’s always this bright light in any movie, even when she’s in a serious role. She just carries this light throughout her. Unfortunately they didn’t have time to build up the chemistry between Lois and Clark so things were just lukewarm between them.

3) Henry Cavill is a handsome handsome man. Those piercing blue eyes. Those form fitting shirts…I could go on and on. And when they showed the teenage version of him, I swear he looked exactly like Tom Welling.

 

 

***SPOILER ALERT!!*** SKIP if you don’t want to be spoiled!!

 

4) The revelation of Clark Kent. *spoiler!!* I love how Synder teased Kent’s revelation. A flash of the Daily Planet. A flash of his suit. A flash of his black glasses. Everything was just an anticipatory teaser until Clark Kent, reporter at the Daily Planet was born. Genius.

 

 

What I Didn’t Like

1) The documentary style camera work. The whole shaky cam, “can’t find” the subject, quick zoom camerawork did not work for this kind of movie. Ok, so maybe it worked for the final battle but by then you were so sick of the movement you just didn’t care. A friend pointed out that JJ Abrams does this too, but I’ve never really noticed…and that’s how it’s supposed to be.

2) Michael Shannon. Michael Shannon is a good actor but I find with him that he’s either subtle or over the top. There’s no middle. Premium Rush he was SO over the top that he was cartoonish. For this movie he straddled the line so much it became almost comical instead of threatening.

3) Chunks of movie were missing. I felt like parts of the movie had been cut out so significantly. For example, Laurence Fishburne, who played Perry White, and Michael Kelly had small parts in the beginning of the movie, then suddenly they were all over the climatic ending. Like we were supposed to care about these characters fate even though we had NO IDEA who they were. But that was only one of the many, man holes in the movie.

***SPOILER ALERT!!!** SKIP if you don’t want to be spoiled!!!

4) SUPERMAN DOESN’T KILL. I agree with this article whole heartedly. In this movie Superman caused more destruction than he did saved lives. Sure the falling buildings looked cool, but how man lives were in those buildings. The Superman I know would have risked his life to hold up that building. He also, and this is my biggest problem with the movie, he also doesn’t kill. And when he does it should have a been a MUCH bigger deal than it was in the movie. I understand that when he killed Zod he was not only killing someone for te first time, he was killing his last lifeline to his home planet he only recently learned about. Its big, I get it. But Superman killing someone is BIGGER. This plot point wasn’t worthy of the first Superman movie. We have to get to know our first Superman. If you are going to make him a killer it should have been in movie 2 or 3. If you are going to make him a killer,  time should have been spent with him coming to terms with what he has done and what it means for who he is. If you are going to make him a killer, it needs to be handled with care. But it wasn’t. I don’t like my Superman like this. Superman is good. Let Batman be conflicted. Let Tony Stark be selfish and dramatic. Let the Hulk be an outcast loner. Superman puts others before himself. Like Captain America, Superman always had good values, he just needed the means and opportunity to show it. Keep Superman good! Let him be the beacon of light in a dark world.

If Man Of Steel were about any other superhero BUT Superman, I could easily say it was a good film. But because I have such high standards for my Superman, this film was a great letdown. I understand the temptation to let our Superheroes go dark, it’s interesting and gives them places to go. But the movie felt heavy. Whereas Marvel injects the comedy part of the “comic” book aspect to its stories. DC seems to be taking its characters in a more serious route and I’m not sure I like it. Make it fun. Make it brilliant. Make it thrilling. But most of all, don’t take the best part about a character’s character, and make him like every other superhero out there.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

 

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Comments
  1. Gene says:

    So is your 2 1/2 stars solely because he killed? I was shocked when I watched it, even said “Noooo” out loud in the theater, hahaha. But, given all the tweaks to the origin story, choosing not to save his father rather than coming home to him already dead, I don’t have as big an issue with him killing. I thought that scene was full of drama and he was clearly very angry about it. In fact I think it sets up the sequel to be where his “nobody has the right to take a life” standard begins due to his regretting killing Zod and wondering if he could’ve done more.
    Good review!

    • I have to say,if the “killing” stayed in, but everything else (plot holes, camera work, etc) were fixed, I would have given this film 3 1/2 stars. Or, if the killing part were left out and it ended differently, I may have thought about giving it 3 stars.

      I LOVE the bit where he chose not to save his father. It was heartbreaking, but fitting, and part of the reason why he made himself a loner. I didn’t mind that he was a loner. I just wished he had more charisma, personality, or humor. I felt like Synder made him TOO dark.

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