I recently watched Man of Steel and I guess I had some issues with the movie. The visuals looked great, the action was cool and I kind of liked the new suit. I mean, there’s pretty much no chance making this suit not looking ridiculous by default, but at least this version did’t have underwear on top. And it didn’t look like some cheap halloween costume with the alien material actually adding a lot stucture and depth to it.
Sadly, I liked my Superman much better without the suit. Not because of the tights, or let’s say not only becasue of the tights. My main problem is, that he just lookled so much cooler half naked, hair on chest and with a fullgrown beared. He looked so badass when he rescued the people at the platform in the middle of the ocean. I was so happy to see SuperMAN, with the emphasis of MAN. And what did they do? Yeah, they got rid of the beard and for some reason Clark kind of looked like a puppy for the entire rest of the movie, which was a lot considering he shaved very early into the adult-part of the movie. Great. Thanks, now we’re back to SuperSonInLaw or maybe you’d prefer SuperBoy? My man disappeared with the beard. I’m sad.
Also, I’d like to add that Clark had his best moments before he’s gotten into the suit. Or at least that’s how I see it, because the moment he became Superman, he pretty much was the embodiment of justice and wasn’t allowed to be a character anymore. As a child, he was angry and upset that he wasn’t allowed to show his powers or to fight back when bullied. When he was an adult he stole clothes, this might sound minor, but that’s still a criminal act. And when this douche at the bar mistreated Clark’s girlfriend? Vandalism. I have to admit I really liked what he did to the truck in order to get some revenge, but he was acting on instinct, becasue he was angry and was acting outside of law boundaries without any question. Sadly, that’s about it. He’s Mister Super-Nice Guy for the rest of the movie, 100% good to the point where he had a mental breakdown over the death of his mortal enemy who tried to kill the entire population of Earth. When this happend, I was just like: “Ok, guess that’s what had to happen.” Instead of a mental breakdown, why not let him do something completely unexpected, something not “good”, something like looking down on Zod’s corpse in disgust, heck, I would’ve preferred to see him spit at Zod or something. Becasue that shows character. Being the embodiment of justice is not being a character, because a character has good and bad sides and acts on it. Super man is not allowed to do that and I had a feeling that a lot of potential was wasted there.
And Superman was not the only one. This movie has serious issues getting it’s characters and character development right. Lois Lane was pretty much completely exchangable. It felt a bit like she was there to be his love interest, but the entire love story was very poorly done. Just because we all know Lois is Supermans one big love, doesn’t mean their love story doesn’t need to be told. It’s a bit disappointing, but the few moments where spraks were supposed to fly, it just didn’t really… happen. It hardly ever felt romantic at all and then near the end of the movie, suddenly you have the big passioante kissing show and I was seriously wondering where that just came from. When did they fall in love again? It’s not like they even talked this much, the fact that Superman was as silent as a fish for most the movie, didn’t really help that much either. Not with thewir relationship and also not with Clarks character.
Actually, when I think about it, even Preey White had more character than Superman and that’s a bit sad. He was actually pretty cool for the few moments he had. Strict boss, unerstanding leader and willing to give his life, because he doesn’t want to give up on this life of his subordinate.
The villain, Zod, I guess his motives weren’t even bad, it’s just that the execution is extreamly radical. He’s very loyal to his home and is willing to sacrifice an entire race to rebuild his old one. He might’ve been acting very strongly against humans, but with the best intentions for his own people. He wasn’t insane, he was just very loyal to his world and as a being created for war he did what his instincts told him to do, something completely different from Superman. I don’t think he was such a bad villain to be honest. Could’ve been worse, at least he had a legit motive for his actions and I can somewhat relate to what he was trying to do and why.
Another problem of this movie was, that it was trying to tell a story that was too big for a 2-hour movie. Personally, I think this entire thing would’ve worked out much better, if they would’ve done a 2-parter. The structure of the storytelling was so weird, especially in the beginning, it felt like half of the movie was cut out and I’m watching the remaining pieces thrown together. There was Krypton’s story, Clark’s childhood, his quest to find himself and a his true identity, Clark becomming Superman, Zod’s Story and I guess there was also supposed to be a Love Story of some kind. If they would’ve had more time, they would’ve been able to look at certain storyparts more closely and actually tell a story where character interact and are allowed to have enough time to become real characters developing. The entire movie felt very rushed. Ok, this rushing actually did help that moment when Clark was in the arctic or soomething taking off into the sky, wherne he was walking very very slowly, taking in his surroundings and everything. I think that moment worked pretty good. The rest… not so much.
I though it was a bit unfortunate that Clark’s quest to find himself and his true identity was done so quickly and then he immediately had to choose between Earth and Kryton. The find-your-identity quest could’ve been it’s own movie, I would’ve loved to see more of that, of the time when Clark was still searching for who he was. I was a bit shocked when I heared that he was already 33 years old at the time of the movie and this means, he was probably walking around living this very unsteady life for a pretty long time. That would’ve made a good movie in itself, I was very disappointed we only saw so litte of that.
What I did like, though, was how they explained his weakness and that they dared to step away from Krytonite, or whatever it’s called. That was just such a lame excuse to give him a weakness to begin with. Hey, we have a Superalien here, let’s think of a weakness… oh well, just give him some alien rocks. In this universe, his alien body reacted different to the atmosphere, the sun and the readiation of Earth than a human’s body does and this is where his strengh comes from. On the other hand, without this surrounding, he’s weak as a human. Of course, it’s much harder to play this weakness out, but it makes a lot more sense at the very least.
Now, the movie did so well getting rid of Supermans ridiculous weekness and they still couldn’t think of a way to explain why a pair of glasses is apparently the best camouflage ever? You know, the ending szene when Clark walks into the Daily Planet and despite the unimportant fact that his colleagues and his boss Perry had a first row seat watching him making out with Lois in the ruins of the city, they failed to recognize the guy, becasue he’s wearing a pair of glasses. Yes, I know, Superman has always been that way, but this doesn’t justify the stipud things this franchise has embraced since… well, forever? They really tried to break some boundaries with this movie, but couldn’t think of anything in this matter? Were they even trying? Probably not.
Also, something I would like to point out is something the movie absolutely failed to mention at all. And this is a topic apparently so imporant every single Man of Steel fanfiction manages to adress it. I mean, if Teenagers who think they possess writing skills for some unknown reason and write cheesy love stories about Lois and Clark think far enough to adress this point, why doesn’t the movie? Again, no time? I’m really blaming it on that, actually. What I’m taking about is the destruction of Metropolis during the last fight Superman vs Zod. Not only is the city heavly damaged to the point where it should take years (even with the help of Superman) to transform it into a state that could be considered normal – different from before, but back to being a normal functioning city, but there’s also the issue that many people in the buildings that were destroyed during the fight will not have been able to leave the building in time. In other words. Hundrets of people died, probably thousands and the movie completely dismisses this. Not even mentioned once. If Clark is so upset about killing his enemy, what’s his reaktion to accidentally killing countless of innocent people during his fight? That would’ve been intersting to see how he deals with that. Whom does he turn to? His mother? Lois? Maybe he tries to deal with it alone? Who knows and the movie doesn’t give us answers to these questions, it completely avoids these questions in the beginning.
Ok, for the ending of my little… rant about this movie, have another picture of SuperMAN. Just for the heck of it, because it’s so damn cool and it sets me into a better mood. Now, did I enjoy this movie? Yes. I guess, I did. I kinda liked it, even though there are many faults and lot’s of things could’ve been done better. I was more disappointed than anything else, because I feel like this movie coould’ve been much more than it turned out to be. It’s still probably and easily one of the best Superman movies in the past 30 years or so, but the TV series Smallville was a lot better to be honest and that was a TV production. The TV series was furtunate enough to be able to tell Clarks story in 10 seasons, that’s a lot of time to build a character and it’s so sad to see how much character Superman lacks in Man of Steel. It’s still an enjoyable movie and like I said, I consider it one of the better Superman movies, so it’s worth to be checked out I guess, there’s just a lot of wasted potential, too.
So, final verdict… I’d say 6/10 symbols of hope.