Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Man of Steel [2013]

Sigh... Superman is no longer the bright, optimistic protector of the American way. Now he's dark, moody, full of angst, and destroying lots of city property.
With that intro, you'd think that there's absolutely nothing I liked about this movie. Well... no, there were some things I liked about it.
The Kyrpton part, for example. I think it was rather daring of the film makers to imply that artificial population control was part of their downfall. That was very interesting, and the first fifteen minutes actually take place on Krypton. I liked that, it was pretty action-packed and to me, had more emotional tension than the fight scene at the end.
I still firmly believe that the Krypton scenes had a lower body count than the fight scene at the end.
Russell Crowe was also pretty good in this, though sadly, all I could think of was "NOW PRISONER 24601! YOUR TIME IS UP AND YOUR PAROLE'S BEGUN!" Don't ask why I type the Russell Crowe Javert's lines in all caps.
And throughout this dark film, there were a few scattered funny moments. Like when Superman was learning how to fly, that was pretty good. There were a few pretty freaky moments, too. Well, by a 'few', I mean the scene where General Zod was broadcasting his message to all the electronic devices in the world. Fairly chilling.
Unfortunately, the Man of Steel himself isn't that great. We don't get to see his personality because he's too busy being dark and moody through the whole movie. Um, I thought it was Batman's job to be dark and moody! And yet I feel like even The Dark Knight had more humor in it than this movie... Lois Lane was... well, for one, she was a little profane of speech. Secondly, aside from being your generic, intrepid, independent-girl-who-eventually-gets-a-boyfriend-anyway, she's bland. Doesn't have any chemistry with Superman, either! When they kiss towards the end, it feels really sudden and doesn't have any build up.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who was bugged by all the destruction in the fight scene at the end. Seriously! I get it, loads and loads of people died because of the terra-forming device that Zod set up. But I'll bet a lot more died when Superman and Zod were fighting! Yeah, they flew through buildings, knocked over a parking garage, pretty much laid complete and total waste to the entire city! Um we're supposed to be on Superman's side, right? Well how can we when he seems to have a total disregard for innocent human life? Isn't it possible to punch out a bad guy without destroying a city?
Of course though, he's really upset when he has to snap Zod's neck to keep him from killing a family.
I can think of several alternatives to killing him, Supes.

1. Now, Zod was using his fire-laser vision to slowly corner them, why couldn't you use your ice breath to freeze the laser? Or him, for that matter?
2. Knock him out? You know, whack him on the head? Incapacitate him in some way?
3. Also, didn't look like the family was totally helpless here, either. They could have moved out of the way before they were cornered!
4. If Superman was strong enough to snap his neck, then surely he could have wrenched his head around to give the people time to escape!

Or maybe the filmmakers could make a happy Superman movie, where he doesn't have to kill
And now for my other major gripe with the film, and that is the Messiah imagery.
Through the movie, there are various instances in which Superman is compared to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

1. Constantly spreading his arms out in a Cross.
2. Superman states that he is 33.
3. In the first half of the movie, Zod threatens the world saying that if Superman doesn't turn himself in, he'll... kill people? I think? Anyway, Superman goes into a church and talks with a Priest about whether or not he should turn himself in. I whole-heartedly applaud the positive portrayal of a Priest, but what makes me roll my eyes about this scene was the stained glass window behind Superman. Yeah. The Agony in the Garden.

I don't have a problem with Jesus imagery in movies and books, but there has to be a good reason! Did Superman die to save us from our sins? Um... noooo. And remind me of the part of the Bible where Jesus let his uncle get sucked into a tornado and destroyed a city.

The Verdict: C+
I liked the minor Pro-Life message, and the way the film looked. It was a nice lookin' film. The music didn't really jump out at me though. So I didn't hate this movie, but I didn't love it either. It doesn't help that I'm not a huge fan of comic book superheroes, but you should be able to enjoy a good movie regardless of the genre.



  1. Can I just say how much I'm enjoying your reviews? 'Cause it's true. This movie has been getting mixed reactions from a lot of people, and this was probably the clearest thing I've read about it. I'm not really that interested in Superman anyway, but I don't think I'll watch this movie--the Christ allegory idea kind of puts me off, and it seems to me that this movie is completely opposite what Superman is really supposed to be like: light-hearted, putting others before himself. Even if the comics and spin-off books get really annoying sometimes. :P

    1. Thank you, that's very nice to hear! :)
      I don't really like Superman that much, but I like it when there's idealism in movies. Most movies these days are really cynical, and it's nice when something different comes up. So yeah, it was kind of disappointing to go into the movie and find it to be very brooding.


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