Movie Review: “Man of Steel” Part 2

Click here for Part 1

Smallville

The Good:

1) Easily the best sequences & scenes out of the whole movie. Even after ten years of the TV show Smallville, this movie was able to bring some unique & powerful imagery & emotions into play. Smallville picked up Clark as a teen, and used angst as a staple. This movie focuses more on Clark as a child and a tween, and what that must’ve been like for him. We are masterfully dragged into what experiencing X-ray vision, super hearing, and heat vision as a child would be like. There’s also a strong sense of the isolation Clark feels from the other children.

2) Who really steals the show here is Kevin Costner. He gives such a heartfelt performance as Pa Kent, it’s astounding. But this take is very, very different….this is not so much instilling Midwestern values into Clark as he grows. No, this Pa Kent is more about telling Clark that he’s going to have to make some excruciatingly difficult choices. Traditional Jonathan Kent said: “this is what you should think.” This Jonathan says, “Here’s some things to think about….” and later on we see that manifested in an incredibly poignant scene. Jonathan motions to Clark to let him die during a tornado. He believed that the world was not ready for Clark, and didn’t want Clark to expose his powers to the Kansas survivors. Even at the cost of his own life.

The Gripes:

1) The main gripe is everything I just said that was good. It’s also really bad. Because that’s not Pa Kent. This movie fundamentally changes the nature of the Kents. Superman is who he is because of them. So even though it was well done from a technical point of view, it’s the wrong direction for Superman. Period. He wasn’t raised to fear what mankind would do to him. He was raised to inspire mankind to do better.Man of Steel Metropolis Review dT2ComicsChat

Metropolis

The Good:

1) This is the meat of the movie, and the best part about it is Lois Lane. She also has the single best line in the movie. For the first time in my life of watching Superman, their relationship made sense to me, as it was told here. She was literally his liaison into the world. The reaction to that was, for the most part, completely logical. There was nothing at all stupid about this Lois.

2) I also loved the flying, and the POV shots, and Cavill looks GREAT in the costume. I don’t miss the red trunks at all, and the armored/mesh look of his costume held up better onscreen than I thought it would.

3) I also love love LOVED the idea of not having Kryptonite. The movie makes up for it by having Superman’s time on Earth making him out of sync with a Kryptonian climate. A real pseudo scientific explanation that still produces a Kryptonite-like effect.

The Gripes:

Good lord, where to start.

1) I love Amy Adams as an actress. I really do. But she’s not Lois Lane, she’s Lana Lang. Incarnate. Her innate sweetness is all about that small town girl.

2) Superman is presented as a wandering soul, very much like the old Bill Bixby Hulk TV series. Once he reveals his powers he’s regarded as a freak, and has to move on. This roots his existence in sadness & vagabondness. Not hope or inspiration.

3) The ethnic change to Perry White, from Caucasian to African-American made no difference, but NO JIMMY OLSEN? I call foul.

4) Superman’s lack of regard for the people & collateral damage that he was causing. That was completely out of character. Throughout the Reeve series, it was always crystal clear that Superman had a high degree of awareness of the people. He was ultra careful to protect them, because that’s the point of him being Superman.

5) No Fortress, but a hostile ship. Did not like.

6) His “training.” Seriously, he and Jor-El meet, have a talk, and then he learns to fly in less than 24 hours? When the initial movie gave him 12 years to study & master his powers? Just no.Man of Steel Faora

7) This is the biggest one of all, the one that made me so angry I almost walked out. The fact that, ONCE AGAIN, Zod is on Earth for a brief period of time and suddenly masters all the super powers. Powers that Kal-El has had a lifetime to work out. Faora also absolutely had the best fight scenes & sequences. I know they tried to explain it by giving Zod the line about “being trained as a warrior to master his senses.” It just didn’t make any sense, and negates the one advantage that Superman would have. Also, another thing that the movies never do is realize that proportionally speaking. Zod, Ursa, and Faora would not be stronger than Kal. Under the yellow sun, since they all had powers, it would be like if they were still on Krypton in a fight, they wouldn’t be stronger than he. Only Non would be so. Also under this one, Superman spends, as usual, most of the fight getting his butt kicked.

8) Perry White serves no real purpose in this movie. We have absolutely no reason to connect with him. Which makes him a fanservice, and not a character. Wasted.

9) There is no Clark Kent persona until the very end. The good part was that Lois is in on it, she’s not the traditional blind dupe, BUT.

EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS WHO SUPERMAN IS AND WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE AND THE MILITARY KNOWS HE’S FROM KANSAS AND THEY KNOW WHO & WHERE HIS MOM IS.

In this day & age of no privacy does the movie really ask us to believe in the glasses disguise? After Superman face was all over the world? He loudly and destructively battled Zod & Co for the fate of the Earth, and no one would recognize him? Really? The most famous alien on Earth can now disappear into reporterhood? Really? And everybody knows who his girlfriend/human liaison is. See, you can not root a movie in Nolan’s version of “reality” and then expect us to believe that Lois Lane could EVER live in peace again. That would not be possible. She’d be hounded from sun up to sun down by paparazzi and FBI agents alike. So would Ma Kent. That farm would be under constant surveillance. AND. HIS. FACE. WOULD. BE. EVERY. WHERE.

10) There was no real thinking on his part, no outsmarting them, no outfighting them, nothing. If it wasn’t for Lois and Emil, and most importantly, Jor-El’s AI guiding Lois every step of the way, bye bye.

11) Wasn’t this just another real estate scheme? They wanted to terraform the Earth to make New Krypton? Not too far from Lex’s thoughts in Superman Returns.

12) They only call him “Superman” once in the entire movie.

And next……THE BIG KAHUNA.

Click here for Part 3

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