Why I hated “The Man of Steel”

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.

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About deisesupes

Creative Writer, part time journalist, part time Graphic Design enthusiast.
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11 Responses to Why I hated “The Man of Steel”

  1. Ciaran Sheridan says:

    Agree with you on a lot of those points now that I think back , I actually thought there was something wrong with the copy of the film when it jumped straight away to young Clark saving the bus ,maybe I’m starting to get fed up with super hero films , they all seem to just be about blowing shit up lately, also there was not one laugh throughout the whole film , it took itself way too seriously considering that was a lot of the appeal of the original films

  2. deal says:

    This website definitely has all the information I wanted about this topic and didn’t know who to ask.

  3. Stephen Ring says:

    I know you stated that you never collected the comics but they really help with a lot of your problems with the movie. In the late 80s John Byrne did a run on Superman also titled Man of Steel. It involved 3 Kryptonians invading Earth and ended with Superman exposing the three of them to green Kryptonite, killing all three. Coincidentally in Superman II after he takes away the 3 Kryptonians powers he pushes them down a bottomless pit which usually leads to you dying. As for the swearing, In the issue and animated film “What’s so funny about truth, justice and the American way?” He and main villain Manchester Black go on about the wankers he used to deal with. But i have to say I do agree with the bad idea of Lois discovering his identity so soon

  4. deisesupes says:

    I know what you’re saying Stephen…but i think a lot of people have got their hands on Superman down the years…there have been some really questionable decisions…but what Donner did was create a proper, epic story…yes it looks dated now and there are many things we would change…but from the get-go they wanted to cash in on The Dark Knight with this movie and make it dark and moody and what not. Just because someone once had superman characters swearing…or once had superman being violent….I don’t think that that excuses it.

    I have to believe Stephen, that you would have enjoyed this film if it stuck to a story arc. I can forgive a lot of things about it, but not that.

  5. Stephen Ring says:

    I loved the film. It’s really keeping in line with DCs New 52 run here Superman “kills off” Clark Kent to create a new identity doing jobs like being a fireman so he can save people and this film uses that at the start. Even the suit keeps close to the comics, with no more yellow belt or red underpants, although at the minute its Kryptonian battle armour. And the bit where he first learned how to fly had me grinning from ear to ear with goosebumps running up and down. Yes there were things that went against it but I don’t think a film has ever been created that doesn’t. I do feel from reading other reviews, not yours, that a lot of the hate on the film is coming from Zach Snyder haters. But at the end of he day, this is an origin film, look at the Batman series and what came after Batman Begins, one of the greatest movies of all time in the Dark Knight. So I do feel that the Trinity of Snyder, David Goyer and Christopher Nolan is the way to go in the future with hopefully a Justice League film in the next 5 years

  6. Ally says:

    I agree with you on all of your points! Thank you so much! All of those people saying how it was so brilliant… Ugh. DC Comics’ movies take themselves way too seriously. With some, like the Batman trilogy, that can be used to their advantage, but with something like this, it falls painfully flat. This movie had no heart, no soul, no character development, and I felt like, since the movie jumped around so much, I didn’t make a clear connection to Superman or really care about what happened to him throughout the course of the movie. It was just a mess of a film. You want a good superhero movie, go watch the Avengers or the Iron Man trilogy.

  7. I just saw the movie about 40 minutes ago… I was so mortified that I had to find somehwere that didn’t ask me for a fucking facenook account (I don’t have one)…
    What a completeley shit movie…
    I mean is it the fact that the audence is dumbed down or marketing is working so much better???

    Fucking stupid movie!

    No, no. I won;t go into the stupid shit but say one thing: It’s like Transformers 8 meets Fast and Furious 17 trying to hump Gremlins 44; The granny ll rolled into one… And we the fuck fell for it. Well I did…. Save yorself some popcorn and buy a fucking bottle of jameson… DO NOT WATCH THIS SHIT!

  8. writerlyderv says:

    The thing you’ve got to ask is; was there even a need for a remake? When you’ve got even big directors like Steven Spielberg unable to get finance from studios because they’re skewed towards remakes, you know you’re in trouble.

  9. Scott says:

    I could not agree more. I watched it in shock. I was hating it. I couldn’t believe they had done this to the superman I adored as a child. Instead of magical it was Michael Bay; over the top, devoid of subtlety, drowned in CG explosions. I guess I wasn’t in the target demographic this time.

  10. Ace says:

    I hate to be rude in correcting you but Henry Cavil had NO CGI MUSCLES on him during the entire movie, that was all real. Also there are comics with Lex Luthor and Zod as villains like Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, and others that same Richard Donner co-wrote like Superman: Last Son So give them a shot, especially since comic books are the medium Superman was created for.

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