Man of Steel

Hello, I’m a unicorn. For my first movie review, I’ll talk about the controversial new Superman movie. Personally, I liked it, but I can see where the anger is coming from, so I’ll break it down to “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

The Good: There will probably be people who disagree with me, but I thought that Henry Cavill made a pretty good Superman. He seems, for the most part, like someone who wants to help, but also feels alone because he is a God-like being who has been raised as a mortal and just wants to find his place in this world. I went in worried that Superman would be a Superjerk, like in the Golden age of comics, but, with the exception of one or two scenes, he’s pretty easy to sympathize with. They actually wrote Lois Lane as an intelligent woman who is capable of figuring out Clark’s identity. I think that the best actors out of all of it were Superman, Lois, played by Amy Adams, and Ma Kent, played by Diane Lane. I didn’t see Amy Adams as Lois Lane, I just saw Lois Lane. Ma Kent was every bit as kind and understanding as expected. General Zod was okay. He was a threat, but wasn’t very compelling or memorable. Russel Crowe was enjoyable as Jor-El, but all I saw was Russel Crowe. The scenes on Krypton are cool to look at and the action sequences can be fun.

The Bad: The color palette was really washed out, and it suffered from Shaky Camera Syndrome. Shaky Camera Syndrome is when the camera is constantly moving even when there is no action or it makes the action very hard to see. I don’t get why most movies do this. I don’t know about you, but when there’s a fight scene, I want to see what’s happening. There are also a lot of plot-holes such as “Why doesn’t Supes give them the Codex and the other Kryptonians can colonize Mars if they don’t want superpowers?” Boom! Problem solved. Or “Why doesn’t Supes go to his dad and ask him how to defeat Zod in the first place?” The other issue I have with it is that Supes let’s a lot of people die and wreaks a lot of destruction. The real Superman would’ve found a way to get Zod and the rest of the Kryptonions away from the city. They also should’ve shown him helping to rebuild after the huge battle instead of the cringe-worthy satellite scene. I can forgive his lack of carefulness though because this was his first outing in the tights, but it’s harder to forgive the fact that he was forced to kill Zod. He’s Superman, and Superman always finds a way to avoid killing. I can think of two ways of the top of my head. #1 Tell the family that Zod is trying to kill to run out of the way of Zod’s lazer eyes. Throughout the entire scenario, they were just cowering there when they had the space to get away unscathed. #2 Push Zod face first into the ground, then brace his knee against Zod’s spine and pull until his back breaks. It would still be gruesome, but at least he didn’t kill. To their credit though, we did see that Supes was was forced into it and that it made him miserable. According to Zack Snyder, this is the reason he refuses to kill. It makes me feel a little better about it, but not really. Why couldn’t it be that Supes refuses to kill because he knows it’s wrong?

The Ugly: Pa Kent. Oh, great Krypton, Pa Kent. For every bit of likability Ma Kent has, Pa Kent triples the hate-ability. He would’ve rather had a bus full of school children die than Clark be discovered. When I first heard him say it I didn’t quite process it because I felt the logic part of my brain dribble out of my ear. Almost every scene with Pa Kent is painful and enough to earn my anger. He also dies because because of his idiocy and refusal to let Clark save him, even though Supes is more than capable of helping him without revealing himself. Or, because Pa Kent was just trying to save the dog, Supes could’ve saved it while Pa and Ma Kent got to safety. On another note, it’s actually really unsafe to hide under and overpass during a tornado. Being from the Midwest and used to tornadoes, the Kents and bystanders should’ve known that.

Overall, as movies go, it’s pretty good. I’ve certainly seen worse superhero movies, (I’m looking at you Spirit,) but is it a good Superman movie? Yes and no. Yes, because of Henry Cavill’s awesome performance as Supes. He manages to capture all of Supes great qualities and nuances. The acting for the most part is great and the special effects are good. Actors can make or break your movie, and I think the casting was great. They could really carry a script that had problems and awkward dialogue. Heck, even Kevin Costner was trying his hardest to make an unlikable character likable.  No, because it doesn’t feel like a Superman movie as much as it does an attempt to recapture the popularity of Nolan’s Batman franchise. Superman isn’t Batman. The best description of him I have ever read is this: Superman is really a happy-go-lucky guy who helps people because it makes him feel good. Sure, it gets to him that he’s the last of his race and that he can’t help everybody, but he’ll do his very best. Why? Because it’s the right thing, and Superman always does what it right, kind, and good. He isn’t a character you relate to, he’s a character you aspire to be like. He’s the type of character where, when in a tough situation, you think, “What would Superman do?” The Superman I know and love would just as quickly save a kitten from a tree as he would save the world from Braniac. This Superman movie struggles with that. He causes a lot of destruction, but doesn’t suffer the repercussions from the disaster area that is Metropolis. I hope that this will be addressed in the next movie. It’s something that Lex Luthor can easily use against him. Overall, it’s worth a watch, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still a pretty good movie that I enjoyed.

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2 Comments

Filed under Comic Books, Movies

2 responses to “Man of Steel

  1. i didn’t think Cavill’s performance was awesome. the acting in a Superman movie comes in the form of Clark Kent – and this movie had a serious lack of Clark Kent. When you’re a superhero and you have to pretend to be a bumbling doofus, that’s acting. I think he’ll show his acting chops in the sequel.

  2. Fair enough. You’re right about the lack of Clark Kent and I hope he’ll be able to pull it off in the sequel. I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll make Clark and Superman different. Maybe awesome was too strong a word. I thought that Cavill did pretty well with what he had. Also, thanks for being civil about your disagreement. I obviously haven’t many comment, and am glad that my first one is as polite as this.

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