I ummmed and aaahhhed about bothering to write about this. After all Man of Steel (MofS) was out some time ago and so a review of it is hardly prescient to the wider world. Plus there will be around 1/2 a trillion million billion reviews on the film out there so fresh ground would be hard to hoe.
Ultimately though I have decided to write about MofS because, I have some strong opinions about the the film. I have strong opinions on the character Superman and I think this film is an interesting comparison to other Superhero/comicbook movies. Plus I only watched MofS for the first time yesterday.
So cards on the table time I am not a big Superman fan. I never really read comics growing up but I sure as hell watched a lot of cartoons. Spiderman, X-men, Batman, assorted other marvel/DC comic characters. I had enough of a background to make an informed decision of whether I liked Superman or not. I did not like Superman.
I have always found Superman an incredibly boring character. In the parlance of modern video games he is too OP. Superman is indestructible. He is super strong, super fast, can fly, deflect bullets and is just generally a God. There is no threat of him being defeated because, he can’t be. I don’t find him an accessible or interesting character.
Even in MofS where Superman is facing other Kryptonians and he might be beatable there is still no interest. This is because, I don’t care about Superman. In MofS Superman is to charisma as off white paint is to colourful. He is just dull and nothing is done to make him a likeable character. The script may be partially to blame for this but I feel confident in calling it Henry Cavill is an awful actor.
Cavill clearly got the role because, he looked like Superman. A fact which was confirmed in his interview on the Graham Norton show.
This interview focused on the kickass exercise regime which Cavill had undergone to look like Superman because, acting is unimportant but Superman’s abs will give the women something to look at. The same goes for every other character in MofS they are all throwaway and I don’t care about any of them.
In particular the addition of Laurence Fishbourne and the other journalists was redundant. All they did was add extra running time to an already over long film.
This was a film of plot point to plot point there was no character development that I found interesting or realistic. Superman saves a school bus. You’d think the parents of the other childrenwould be down on their knees thanking him but they seem vaguely annoyed did they not love their children?
This was supposed to fit into the idea of how would humanity would deal with the emergence/discovery of a powerful alien living amongst them? I seem to remember Slumberman commenting about the idea that my earth-dad thought I would need to hide myself as humanity wasn’t ready for me but bio-dad wanted me to save humanity/ act like an example to others. This could have been an interesting idea to explore. It never was. I found this especially annoying as by having Superman surrender himself to the human’s there was an opportunity to do this.
Exploring this idea is not an action scene though and as such the idea is quickly dropped. Instead Zac Snyder gives us a bunch of throwaway actions scenes that are dull and forgettable. Although I should say I have no problem with Superman killing Zod. Zod was trying to commit genocide. I don’t know why people seemed to get hung up on this but then as I said I don’t care about the character of Superman.
I was so bored watching it. Although the film did generate some questions and thoughts. Firstly, why does technologically advanced Krypton not have video and instead use weird fluid metal?
Secondly, isn’t Superman’s dad also a bad guy. Zod was defeated in his insurrection attempt and placed in the phantom zone. So by stealing the codex all Superman’s dad was doing was impose his political beliefs that babies made by bonking are better than clones on his entire people. Who gave him the right to decide this for an entire civilization?
Third Superman destroyed a town in Kansas near his farm when fighting Lady Zod. I think the US government would have noticed this and have used it to narrow down where Superman’s earth-mom lived. Why then is Superman so confident at the end that no one could find out where he “hangs his cape”? Oh right he’s stupid.
Fourthly, exactly what did David S Goyer contribute to the writing of the Nolan Batman trilogy?
All those films are so good (compared to MofS even the 3rd Batman looks like a masterpiece) but everything Goyer writes without the Nolan brothers is awful.
That Da Vinci TV show sucked the big one and his credits are filled with awful awful projects like Jumper and Flashforward. How does this guy keep getting work?
Fifthly, what do producers do? How could Nolan allow his name to be attached to MofS. Surely he is rich enough already.
Lastly, how long can the film studio’s keep churning out these CGI laden dull periless films and expect people to keep going to them? Out of all the superhero films over the last decade and a half (!) I would content that only the three Batman films, Spiderman and the first Iron Man film are actually good films. That means that 15 plus superhero films made a lot of money but were at best poor or satisfactory. Of course they still made a lot of money.
So there you have it Superman Man Of Steel 1 out of 5 but a lot of questions.