Coming into Man of Steel, I had expected the summer’s best film and a weird Batman-Nolan edge of the franchise that hadn’t been rebooted since 2005. My expectations weren’t completely off, but glaring issues made my experience with the film a little lukewarm. Visually, the film was extraordinary and certainly topped every other super-hero film in action; the scenes were intense, quick, and realistic. The characters—both the protagonist: Superman, and the antagonist: Zod—were solid characters with strong actors to convince the audience. The start of the film was spectacular, and the growing-up sequences along with Clark starting his life in the world was addicting.
Everything else however, was a little bit of a let down.
The first issue was that many of the changed aspects of the story were stupid; the story itself was foolish and told from a very-linear narrative, instead of starting out with the threat of invasion and then flashing back to Krypton and boy-hood. Pa kent died from a tornado for a dog, which both clark could’ve saved but didn’t for the sake of a silly ‘this is important’ type trope. There was much confusion over the ‘Fortress of Solitude’ issue and how Superman managed to piece together where to travel to, not to mention how poorly Lois Lane was segued into finding him.
The very slow pace of the Superman origin story, and yet the sudden quickening of his transformation to ‘Superman’, then following the somewhat odd intrusion of General Zod with perfect timing. The laughably horrendous attempts at ‘subtle product placement’, which was blatantly obvious companies filling every cent of advertising purchase they could into every frame in the ‘Smallville’ fight.
Finally, the biggest issue was the one-too-many fight sequences that happened near the end, and Superman’s lack of disregard for collateral damage. It works in a cartoon, but if I’m supposed to believe that superman would fight in real life—I would like to at least see him care occasionally about the people he’s likely accidentally killing and attempt to rescue.
The final fight should’ve been combined with the first Metropolis fight, without the need for Zod to take off his suit or simply get sucked up in the prison zone like everyone else. Superman fighting a technological space-weapon octopus while the military blew up the weapon in Metropolis is just odd as Superman should’ve saved the day without the military or the silly weapon. I really enjoyed the soundtrack for the film, the cinema photography and the storyline when he wasn’t Superman, but as Superman it seems glaringly apparent that zack synder—the director of the film—missed many good opportunities for a flawless reboot. I give Man of Steel a 7.9 out of 10.
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