Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why MAN OF STEEL Is A Good Movie And Why I Hated It A Lot


So, here's the "why it's a good movie" part. No cursing from me here. Children and the easily-offended can read this with no fears.

First of all, MAN OF STEEL is a good movie. Even though I hated it, I can't in any way say that it was a bad movie. The director did a great job visually. The scenery (especially the stuff on Krypton) and the special effects are pretty awesome.

As far as the cast goes, I've got nothing to complain about there either. I especially liked Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as the Kents. Michael Shannon, even though he was playing a MUCH different General Zod than the one I know and love from SUPERMAN 2, was very good in his role.

Amy Adams was fine as Lois Lane, though Lois was a little boring compared to earlier versions I've seen of her. I blame that more on the writers (I'll get back to those clowns soon) than on Amy Adams.

As for Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman...he was pretty great. He did a fine acting job and he definitely looks the part. Also, I admit to feeling sort of a kinship with him. In the scenes when he wasn't wearing a shirt, I felt as if I was looking at an exact body double of myself. It was somewhat eerie how similarly he and I are built.

So, yeah...beautifully filmed and a great cast. Good movie.

So, why did I hate it?


I'll tell you why I hated it. Because the the writers, producers, and director didn't seem to give one single, solitary shit about the history of Superman. They changed so many things around that there were a couple times that I almost walked out of the theater. I sat there getting madder and madder. The only reason that I stayed was because I bought a big tub of popcorn and wanted to finish eating it.

I'll focus on just a few (of the many) changes that I hated. First of all, it was ridiculous that Lois Lane knew almost from the beginning about Clark's super powers. Excuse me, but when the hell has that ever happened before? A huge, huge (did I mention huge?) part of the appeal of the Lois and Clark story has always been the mystery of her not knowing who he really is. Yes, I know that in some stories they've eventually gotten married and she knew his identity then, but it always happened long after they met. Here, she knows who he is and what he can do before he even puts on his costume for the first time.

So, Strike One there for me.

Now, let's talk about Jonathan Kent, Clark's adoptive father on Earth. First of all, let me make it very clear that Kevin Costner was awesome in the part. My beef here is in how the movie makers killed off his character. Jonathan Kent has always died of a heart attack in all the earlier versions of the Superman story. He never died from a tornado before.

Yes, I know what the story makers were trying to do with his character and with the story. Jonathan had told Clark earlier that he may sometimes need to sacrifice lives in order to protect his secret so he could use his powers later for the good of the world. So, when the tornado came and there were a bunch of people around watching the whole thing, Jonathan doesn't want Clark to save him, so Clark doesn't and he lets him die.

Yeah, fuck that. If you have a chance to save Kevin Costner from a tornado, then you fucking save Kevin Costner from a tornado!

Strike Two there.

Now, my biggest beef with the movie: when Superman kills General Zod. Yeah, that's right, KILLS. Superman doesn't kill. That's it. Bottom line. Superman NEVER kills anyone!!!

Strike three there for me, boys and girls!

I'm sitting here thinking of even more things about it that I didn't like but I've got other things to do right now. I'm sure you do, too. Hopefully among your things you're doing is anything but seeing this movie. It's a good movie, but the filmmakers crapped all over the history of the character. They showed almost no respect for the writers of earlier versions of Superman at all.

I'll never watch it again, that's for sure.


Elle said...

I enjoyed your passionate review. I can say you were generous in the like column there. Yes they did make great use of the studios multimillion dollar budget on effects and production. I'll give them that. And I applaude their ability to suspend my disbelief for the few minutes they filled in backstory on Krypton. Would've been nice to see the happier and thriving Krypton before the impending doom. At least that was my hopes as a young Superman enthusiast.

Next, while I agree about the disloyalty to the original story I think the writers wrote in the style of [what if this happened instead of this..] technique. They should've had voice overs in the trailers hinting at possible changes in story line. Terrance Stamp saying " Imagine making the hardest decision of you've ever had to make and then finding out you were wrong" or something along those lines. Letting the audience know this isn't going to be the typical Superman story.

Then, as for Zod I think it's possible it may have been played that way or cast that way rather because of a 'sign o' the times' mentality. The 80s sort of had that punk-chick, slick-hair, guy liner eye make up, shoulder pad fashion and along with it was that snarky arrogance. The looks on the faces of the Kryptonians in the earlier movies was like they were so appalled by our taste in everything from clothes, to cars. That snobbery was well played. These actors played it more brutishly. Almost like the generation that easily annihilates objects in an Xbox game. While I do not dislike Amy Adams I just didn't feel the chemistry there. Remember how Lois pined for the secret superhero. And soon she didn't know if she was falling for clutsy Clark or Superman. I wanted to be Margot Kidder's version of Lois desperately as a kid. Not at all with this Lois. However I will say I did enjoy Faora- Ul. The fight scenes she was in and her leadership.

Lastly, I think the writers were a little lazy with the ending. Nothing beats a climatic ending like the one they attempted but they would've pissed off a lot less folks had they taken the time to use clever tactics and devices such as having Lois use a piece of reflective metal or mirror tossing it from behind so Clark could bend his heat vision back to Zod or some other object in that lobby that would "indirectly kill" Zod. So it would be like Lois-a human killed him. Making her a heroine for her people while maintaining his code of honor. Or something to that effect. Something viewers wouldn't forsee. And probably allow the two of them to bond a little over the defeat. I may have ended up liking her character more. Christopher Reeve played shy and coy so well in the role it may girls crazy.

Buddy Gott said...

Thanks for the kind words, Elle, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the movie, which we seem to agree should have been a LOT better.