Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Thoughts on Man of Steel

2013 is a big summer for comic book movies.  Iron Man 3, Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine, and Red 2 are all set to release, but none of them are as highly anticipated as Man of Steel.  Bringing Superman to the big screen is always a major Hollywood event and this movie is no different. MoS has left comic book fans divided, so we thought a few of us writers would weigh in with a spoiler filled discussion of what we thought of Zach Snyder’s take on Big Blue. Hit the jump for more!

Nevin’s Thoughts

I liked the movie. I want to get that right out of the way before I tear it up. Superman has always been a comic book character that I never found relatable. He’s overpowerd, self-righteous, and will never do anything wrong. A character that deals in black and white just isn’t interesting. Man of Steel managed to make him more relatable with showing us his upbringing and how he handled his powers at a young age. The stellar performances of the whole cast really elevate the young part of his life. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane nailed John and Martha Kent, but there are some missteps.

This is definitely a Superman movie that has the Christopher Nolan touch. Supes comes off as way to broody and depressing. I get that he feels like he doesn’t fit in and got bullied, but he grew up with a loving family. He isn’t Batman, dammit. His parents weren’t brutally murdered in front of him in a back alley. I feel like he really doesn’t have a reason to be so depressing. We catch glimpses of that charming and fun Superman here and there, like the interrogation scene or talking to the military at the end, but it isn’t enough. Since this franchise is bound to continue, they need to get past the depressing and let Henry Cavill put on the charm, because he is one hell of a charmer.

The first 20 minutes on Krypton were pretty amazing. Getting a feel for the planet’s government and people helped flesh out Kal’s world. Once we get past that into the highly disjointed second act of Clark being able to hop around and get virtually any job, things plod along until Zod’s crew shows up. When the fighting finally begins, the effects and carnage are fantastic. Sure, the fights went on for too long, but sometimes destruction porn is pretty to watch. The real problem with the fights is their location.

My biggest flaw with this movie is the fact that Superman never, not even once, tries to move the location of this battle between demigods to an uninhabited location. If this had been Son Goku, he would have stopped that shit instantly and taken them to some giant ass mountain top to break whatever they wanted, but instead all of the fights happen in heavily populated areas. The body count for Superman’s fight had to be in the thousands. And no, there is no way all of the buildings and streets were evacuated. Anyone who believes that is lying to themselves.

Then there is Zod’s death. I don’t have a problem with Zod being killed; I have a problem with when Zod is killed. Superman smashes through Metropolis killing thousands, and yet he can’t let Zod fry those four people in the subway? Come on. He should have snapped Zod’s neck the moment he realized that he would not stop. I’m sure fans might not agree with me, but Superman wasn’t being a hero for any of this movie. He was just being super, and that isn’t Superman.

Also, if you want to see someone explain my complaints better than I ever could, then check out Max Landis' complaints with the Man of Steel. This guy nails it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw_GlYve_Lg

Adrian's Thoughts

I thought Man of Steel was overall a fantastic film and was everything I hoped it would and should be. Other than the ending which conflicted with how I see Superman's character I loved how he was portrayed by Cavill as an initially mysterious loner figure darting out from obscurity to save someone then vanishing. He was a great Superman and I'm looking forward to seeing how he portrays Clark Kent. Below are some of the main things I liked and disliked about the film. 


  • Krypton - I liked how much we saw of Krypton. We had a peek at their culture and it was an interesting one. Loved the dragon type creatures. 
  • Armour -I liked the armour designs and how there was the need for them on Krypton but not on Earth. I found it Interesting that its only when Zod starts to embrace his new powers on Earth that he removes his armour. 
  • Jonathan Kent - I liked Kevin Costner's version of Jonathan Kent and how it was made clear that his utmost priority was to protect Clark and his abilities from being discovered by the world. Even going as far as to suggest that Clark should have left a bus full of his school friends to die rather than expose his abilities to them. 
  • General Zod - He was a multi faceted character, he truly believes he is doing the right thing and will stop at nothing to achieve it.   

  • Romance - I felt the burgeoning romance between Clark & Lois was a bit rushed. They barely knew each other and yet they were passionately kissing. 
  • Zoe's Death - I feel it was wrong for Superman to kill Zod at the end, Superman is an ideal we strive towards and he should never ever kill but find another solution. 
Man of Steel was THE film of the summer for me and I cannot wait to see the sequel.

So there you have it. We liked Man of Steel, but it had its flaws. What did you think of Man of Steel? Let us know in the comments!

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patrick said...

plain and simple it was just a C movie. Goyer needs to stop writing screenplays alone because he has no idea what hes doing. the only reason Dark Knight Trilogy was any good is because the Nolan Bros helped out on the script. fingers crossed they pick someone new for the sequel.

btownlegend said...

When gods collide, you may end up with property damage.

btownlegend said...

When gods collide, you may end up with property damage.

Greg Seher said...

It was a good movie, but an awful Superman movie. I mean do they understand what Superman is? It was like all they wanted to do was please the people upset that Superman Returns didnt have enough of Superman punching people. Plus Snyder really only has 300 as a feather in his cap, his overstylized violence worked there, but in Watchman it didn't fit and certainly doesn't work with Superman.
About all they got right was Superman as a kid, and a neat redo of Krypton. Zod was so-so, mostly everything else was filler. Superman saves and inspires, just because attention deprived people love disaster porn doesnt mean thats what a Superman movie should be about.
This movie was a sad comment on us, if all of a sudden Superman needs to kill and knock over buildings (full of people).

Nevin P. Jones said...

@Patrick: I agree that the screenplay was off. The first half of the film after Krypton was just jumpy and all over the place. Not only that, but Goyer and Snyder are the ones that wanted Supes to kill Zod. Nolan was very adamant about saying no to it. They had to convince him.

@btownlegend: When gods collide in a city, people get killed. Even if he would have tried to move the fight, I would have been happy, but he didn't.

@Greg Seher: I agree. Snyder is not to be trusted. I had hoped that with Nolan on as producer, he would be able to reign Snyder in a bit, but that obviously didn't happen. I feel guilty, because I loved the destruction porn, but the whole time it just felt overdone. I didn't have a huge problem with Supes offing Zod. It didn't seem like there would be any other way and it felt emotional. I also believe it will play a bigger role in the movies undoubtedly to come.

Mike-El said...

I enjoyed it, and I probably will see it again. However, I agree that it did NOT feel like a Superman movie. It felt more like a generic summer alien invasion flick with a superhero in the starring role.

The plot was a terrific skeleton for a plot, but that feels like all they had. They wanted moments A B C and D to happen and they just sort of filled in the blanks as they went along. Awfully damn convenient for the runtime that Zod showed up right after Clark found his costume.

I actually did dig Lois, though we saw far too little of her. I like the twist on her relationship with Clark... that was a believable course of events given the fact that she's a Pulitzer Prize wining investigative reporter.

The dialogue stumbles in places. “You can only remain hidden if you stop helping people, and I sense that's not going to happen.” That was enough to make me wonder who talks like that, and I was TRYING to like the movie.

I didn't mind Superman killing Zod... before Flashpoint, that WAS cannon. But it was never balanced out with him being heroic as Superman... Clark the student and Clark the wanderer got some decent hero moments, but never Clark as Superman. Superman became a means for Clark to let loose instead of a means for Clark to help people.

I could have done without so much Jor-El, but I can't put my finger on why... maybe that's more of a personal thing than an actual complaint. He just felt a little to convenient a plot device I suppose (that, or they had already paid Russell Crowe and now they planned to get every minute of screen time from him they could). Meanwhile, I would have preferred Lara and Jor-El facing the demise of Krypton together over Zod killing Jor-El, but I guess you can't have a superhero without someone's parent being murdered these days (I'm looking at YOU Barry Allen).

Sorry, this is way longer than I intended. In short, I had fun, I would see it again, but I was a little disappointed that I didn't actually get to see a Superman movie.

Greg Seher said...

@ Mike, totally agree with your point about never getting to see Clark being Superman. I mean how is he going to be an inspiring figure for people to find hope in? In this movie he first shows up as what appears to be fugitive, who brings an invading army after him, they fight it out and destroy a major city. We never see him saving people, just fighting. As much as I hated him killing Zod, I could deal with that in like a 2nd or 3rd movie, after he's already established as boy scout, but in his first outing ever he kills someone? Have these guys ever read a Superman book? I feel like they should be forced to read All Star Superman a million times before they write the sequel to MoS.

maybetoby said...

I'm sick of hearing people whine about Superman killing Zod. Some villains don't deserve to live.

Nevin P. Jones said...

I don't really have a problem with Zod's death. Hell, before Flashpoint it was even canon, right?

Soapbox Photo Booth Rentals said...

Was it in Shannon's contract to have the same amount of screen time as the title character? Trouble is, he's as overdone as the product placements that are immune to the destruction.

Nevin P. Jones said...

"Overdone" as in he has too much screen time or he overacts? I guess I didn't really think about him having so much screen time, but when you add in prologue time then he probably does have as much as Cavill.

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