WARNING: Spoilers ahead, do not read unless you have seen the film or couldn’t give a shit either way.
Okay, first and foremost, i’m a fan of Superman from the Richard Donner movies. I enjoyed the odd episode of Lois and Clark, I didn’t really watch Smallville but will get around to it sometime…I thought Superman Returns had the right idea but made some poor mistakes in the execution of that idea. I don’t collect Superman comics and I don’t watch superman cartoons. I hear about all these super villains and they all sound as cartoony as they are, so they do not interest me.
To many, this will explain why I didn’t like Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
I WAS NOT, looking for a replication of the original, but, what I loved about the original could have been reproduced, WITH a ton of new ideas and new technology. What Znyder did was bastardisation, pure and simple.
Here’s what was amazing about Superman: The Movie – It was slow and it was deliberate. The open credits were long, but boy were they spectacular. Man of Steel has no opening credits (Trying to be clever Part One). Supes opened on Krypton and built up the superman background story nicely. Man of Steel did this too, and I really enjoyed what they did with the General Zod story. After the intro to Man of Steel I was happy enough with what was happening.
And then, straight away, we go from Krypton to Clarke Kent saving some guys on an oil rig. I was sitting in the cinema thinking, oh…already? They revisited his childhood through flashbacks, which for me just contributed to the messiness of the film. There was no rhythm.
Superman the movie was a big crescendo, it had many set pieces and they all paid off nicely
1 – Krypton
2 – Smallville – We see clarke learn about who he is…and then at the end he finds out who he will be. We see the first shot of him in the suit and the first sound (bar the credits) of that famous score. Set piece 1, pay off 1, spine tingling moment 1.
3. – The first save with the suit – The helicopter…the phone booth…that heroic theme again…brilliant.
There was a crescendo building…and it actually built up into the second film when Supes came back to fight Zod. Where was the crescendo in Man of Steel?
It will probably be easier if I listed what i didn’t like about Man of Steel
In no particular order
1- The straight away save. As mentioned above, I would have preferred to go with supes on his journey, realise with him that he’s different.
2. The lack of a story arc. There was no start middle and end…I never had time to invest in the story because it jumped from place to place too often.
3. Lois. So, she finds out straight away about Superman/Clarke. There goes that big story. Why?!!
4. I loved the idea of Zod coming to find the son of Jor-El, but didn’t particularly enjoy the idea behind it…turning the earth’s atmosphere into Krpton’s? meh… It would have made more sense for Zod to just want to be the general of earth.
5. The Hans Simmer score. I listened to this a lot before the film came out. The main theme from the trailer was pretty epic, but although main cue was used every 3 minutes in the film, that main theme, with percussion, wasn’t used until the epilogue. A wasted opportunity there you would think…but the reality is that there was no perfect scene in the film, no big pay off where they could have used it.
6. Lois: “When you’re done comparing dick sizes” – Sorry, I’m no prude as you know, but this kind of line does not belong in a superman film.
7. The end followed by the added on end. So, by doing something odd and a bit hard to grasp, Superman and lois, with the help of Jor-El who inexplicably comes back from the dead, prevent Zod and his army from harvesting the earth’s atmosphere. The end. Right? No…Zod then comes back and has, what is ultimately a pointless fight. I mean supes already saved the day…this fight could have been done so much better.
8. Superman breaks Zod’s neck. The jury is out on this one. Yes they wanted to make a darker, more moody and dark knight like superman…but by doing so you really are taking liberties in my opinion.
9. CGI muscles. They CGI’s Cavill so he would look like the cartoon superman. No need tbh.
10. I didn’t care about anybody in this film. I was bored almost all of the way through. The CGI at the end was similar to the avengers with buildings falling down all over the place. I now know why 9/11 happened…buildings in New York (metropolis) are structurally unsound. There is no need for so much destruction and fast paced action, it excludes the audience too much. Yes, we are spectators, but a good film will suck us in and make us a part of the film. This kind of 99% CGI action alienates us completely.
Superman Returns had too much heart, Man of Steel had no heart at all.
I’m seeing a lot of love for this film, and that’s fine…maybe I’m just being too critical about a character that I love…but in another way I don’t know how people can love a film that is so all over the place and prevents the audience from having any kind of investment in the characters or the story.
The film had the highest grossing June opening of all time, and guarantees a sequal…I don’t know what to feel about that right now. All I want to do at the moment is smack people that say that it’s brilliant (one idiot on twitter called it the most beautiful film of all time) and huddle together for a chat with those who feel the same as me.
Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion yada yada yada…not on this blog they’re not!
Just kidding, as always your thoughts, as long as they are in complete agreement with me, are welcome.