By Josh Krubner
With the latest and hopefully final BVS trailer dropping today, and my amended plot speculation/predictions (which we’ll be putting up mine and Jim’s sometime before the new movie), it suddenly occurred to me that I have never done a formal review for Man of Steel as I have for other movies I “didn’t enjoy” like Amazing Spider-Man 2, or Terminator: Genisys.
I usually do these types of things from the “fan perspective” and then from the “casual movie-goer who has never heard of these things perspective."
Let’s get the latter out of the way first.
Man of Steel, a modern day adaption of the “Superman” story, is a bleak and violent look into an obviously Nolan-inspired “realistic” Superman story. The writing and camera work feel amateur at best, and something like Chronicle was able to tackle the same issues, but much better and with more heart. It isn’t your grandfather’s Superman, and it wont be for everyone. Man of Steel is a solid "C."
From a fan perspective, however, Man of Steel has ONE amazing spot. The sequence where he learns to fly and we even go through some DBZ-esque focusing energy, and balancing gravity to levitate rocks is one of the best scenes I’ve seen in any comic book movie ever. I hated pretty much every other possible moment of this film.
Lois Lane falls AWAY from a black hole. This is a thing that happens.
The characters of Superman lore are mostly there, but not a one embodies any of their former traits. The worst offender being Jonathan Kent, who would sooner die than have to spend another second with his adopted son - the same one who will grow up (usually as a result due to good ol' heartland parenting) to embody “truth, justice, and the American Way,” was at a young age convinced to be complicit in child murder/manslaughter.
The second biggest offense after the “handling” of Jonathan “Pa” Kent, is whatever the fuck they are trying to pass off as Zod. Originally being nothing more than a grumpy old man/bully, Terrence Stamp gave voice and heart to the seasoned, betrayed, regal general. Stamp’s Zod could explode the sun with his pinky, but he never would have, as it would work contrary to his goals. He wants to rule people by submission and defeat, but never by force. He also enjoyed being a “super god-like person” cause who the fuck wouldn’t?
Zod is arrested for waging a coupe on the leadership of Krypton… and it is on his watch that it explodes. If he didn’t have the biggest plot convenience since Amy Adams Lois… or Russell Crowe Jor-El, in the “world engine phantom zone prison being a terraformer,” what would he have done on earth? Gone into low power mode like a successful terminator or R2-D2? For no reason other than “he’s wired that way," Shannon says “screw being a super-god. I’m gonna take away my powers and remake Krypton.”- in the second worst plan I’ve ever heard in a movie (I’m looking at you Donofrio!).
There is also WAY too much emphasis placed on a bizarre subplot between Zod’s second in command lieutenant, Faora facing off with Capt Fighter Pilot supreme Elliot Stabler… (fuck if I remember his name in this movie) who tries to take down a super-powered Kryptonian with a fucking knife.
Man of Steel doesn’t actually have much in the way of plot holes, but it is horrendously written [in broken crayons by a hyper-active 8yr old on a sugar high crash] and filled with some of the most unforgivable plot conveniences and little to no setup I’ve ever seen in film history. The fact that they occur throughout the entire feature, one right after the other is just infuriating. A competent writer and an astute fan actually starts to feel embarrassed for the screenwriter around the time Faora says “We want…THAT GIRL… for no reason at all!”
When you argue these things pretty much daily, you start to learn fun key facts like the speed of sound, the speed of a “speeding bullet," and how yes, he did have fucking super speed as evidenced by: his getting from a boat to halfway up an exploding oil rig two-five nautical miles away in 17 seconds… and the fact that we see Faora use it later. He could have easily saved his father, the same way Clark saved Lana from the twister on Smallville! I realize he can’t move as fast as the Flash. The Flash moves at the speed of time! “Those races were for charity!”
Otherwise, there’s not much redeeming. If you like senseless destruction and “cool shit” happening on screen, you’ll love/enjoy this movie. If you like character arc, depth, and consequence, you’ll get very bored, very confused, and end up hating it. Superman II it’s not, and hopefully they didn’t kill Dick Grayson in the sequel.
Man of Steel is one of the all-time worst movies I’ve ever seen and it will always remain so. I only hope BVS is everything I’m expecting and this entire aborted franchise goes “Up Up and Away” so we can port over something like the CW Flash to the big screen Justice League.
Man of Steel gets a 0.3/10 or a solid “F.” (as in FUCK YOU, HACK SNYDER!)