#1 Posted by ltbrd (619 posts) - - Show Bio

First off, this thread will have spoilers. So if you haven't seen Man of Steel than stop reading, go out, see the movie, and then come back.


My overall rating of the film: 8/10

Despite the title this is not about bashing MoS. Overall I thought it was a good, entertaining movie that simply didn't have the polish I had hoped for and never developed a sense of grandeur. Performances were amazing, graphically it was beautiful, the morality and tone was fitting given the story, the depiction of heat vision and flight were amazing, I think Lois knowing Clark's secret (when the new 52 was announced I thought it would be a great concept for Lois and Jimmy to know Clark is Superman and thus help him keep his identity secret so maybe someone is reading my post.....and if so I want a credit spot in the next film :) ) is much better than showing her as being clueless and thus hard to take serious as a great reporter, and it has the best screen depiction of Krypton yet.

But there were 9 big miscues that I felt pulled the film down......

1. The history of Krypton. Despite having the best screen (even against the animated series) depiction of Krypton yet, they butchered what they expected the audience to believe as the planet's history. Its clear that Kryptons were extremely advanced and it was great to see the reasonable leap that they would look to expand past Krypton given its harsh environment and limited resources. Yet were expected to believe that a 1000 ships left Krypton, built a galactic empire, and not a single colony survived? How does that make any sense that a race which could terraform a planet so easily, with such advanced weapons and technology, couldn't even survive on a primitive world like Earth or some large moon out there in space? Had something like a galactic war or even a foreshadowing/easter egg hint at Brainiac or some other big villain/group been used as the catalyst of isolation on Krypton it would have made a lot more sense but instead it simply ended with an unanswered reason for Kryptonian's isolating themselves on the very planet they were trying to expand out from.

2. The Codex. Just gonna leave it at that. Didn't hate the Matrix-style artificial birth because it was a great homage to John Bryne's 1986 Man of Steel origin mini-series. But there was just no reason for the Codex. If they can artificially grow their children why could they need a Codex when they simply have to take genetic samples from the prospective mother and father? That's all you would need for the process. Its also all that would be needed if Clark and Lois (should this version ever get together) wanted to have a child because even though it would be an artificial birth it would still represent the continuation of the Kryptonian race in another fashion. At the end of the day the Codex fails as a believable part of the new mythos and simply becomes the excuse for Zod's arrival....which could have easily been fixed by the movie established explanation of Zod's crew trying to find survivors, receiving the signal from the scout ship, and deciding to kill Clark because of his natural birth (which Zod clearly made known was heresy to the Kryptonian way of life) and take Earth for themselves and begin Krypton anew.

3. Clark losing his powers in Krypton's environment. Now, the idea of his body needing to adapt to Earth's atmosphere and then feeling a little weird on the Kryptonian ship I thought was actually a good idea as it brings in a nice science element and the debate on how we may one day populate new worlds and what those environments will be like. But, the concept of losing his powers because of Krypton's environment went too far because we already knew from Jor-El that Clark's body is enhanced by the yellow sun. Yes, Earth has a healthier environment than Krypton did........BUT EVEN ON THE KRYPTONIAN SHIP OR IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC CLARK WAS STILL IN A YELLOW SUN ENVIRONMENT!!! The World Builder wasn't turning the sun red and while Clark might have had to adjust his abilities a bit to account for the increased gravity around the machine his powers don't come from the stuff in the air they come from solar radiation. There is also the fact that neither Clark or Lois were affected by the environment of the scout ship, which should have been the same as the one on Zod's ship.

4. No Kryptonian feels ill when their ship switches to Earth's atmosphere. Going along with #3, when the Jor-El AI changes the ship's atmosphere so Lois can breath, none of the Kryptonians experience a power boost nor do they feel any ill effects. Yes, the majority of them were wearing their helmets, but the scientist wasn't (he wasn't even wearing armor) and yet nothing happens to him and we don't even know if he gained powers at any point. When Zod's helmet is removed on Earth he also doesn't go through any sort of pain or hardship, which the film already established Clark did as a child, in adjusting to Earth's environment....he simply had to learn how to handle his sensory abilities and eventually flight.

5. The World Builder. The concept itself is very cool, and it works with the idea that Kryptonians would have colonized anything and made it liveable. But there is no reason for it on Earth. Once Zod and the rest see what Clark and eventually they can do in Earth's environment why would they decide to loss all that power? Why would they cripple themselves rather than create a better Kryptonian race all with amazing abilities? That's one of the main points of Zod's interest in conquering Earth in the comics (the modern depictions not the original or the Russian version) because he sees how powerful the Kryptonian race could be. So for the movie to just fall back on the World Builder as Zod's trump card is ridiculous and unnecessary.

6. Jonathan Kent dies in a tornado. Despite Costner's great performance, the death was completely unnecessary and didn't create any real addition to Clark's character. The whole trust thing made no sense. Just my personal opinion, but it would have made a lot more sense if Jonathan had been killed by Zod when he was looking for the Codex rather than Martha simply getting strangled. Why? Because Zod had just minutes before told Clark he had killed Jor-El and then he goes and kills Jonathan as well. Two fathers gone by the same man. The blind rage from that I think would have better justified the destruction Clark causes in Smallville trying to pommel Zod. Not saying Faora hurting Martha wouldn't have made Clark as mad as he was, it would have just added a great emotional weight to the scene through the repeating pattern of loss at Zod's hands.

7. Freezing prisoners, putting them on a working ship, and then placing them in the Phantom Zone. So the entire point of the Phantom Zone is to hold prisoners....yet despite basically removing them from space/time the prisoners also have to be put into suspended animation and then placed in a ship which has no crew or guards on it? Why? How did that even make sense when the concept was put together? Shouldn't they have at least been watched over by security robots like the scout ship was and thus attacked once they were thawed? Why would the ship's computer systems have even thawed them without a command? Just a little extra thought into this would have been nice....something as simple as the ship's programmer/controller being loyal to Zod (instead of the out-of-the-blue realization that Jor-El designed the ship) and had planned to free him anyways would have at least made more sense than the ship simply letting prisoners go.

8. "He saved us". Yeah, that line was just stupid. Its not that I minded Jenny's character at all (don't really see how you can mind a character that had about 10 minutes of screen time and said little to nothing outside this line) its just that the line was stupid because she never actually saw Superman before that and she never saw him do anything (yet saw the military all over the Metropolis skies) so there is no justification for the line. It was clearly thrown in their to push the concept of Superman being a savior and technically he did shut down the terraforming but there was no way for Jenny to know that.

9. The kiss. As I stated before, I like the relationship between Lois and Clark in this movie. I think Cavrill and Adams were great in their respective roles and their relationship was built far more by respect and trust than infatuation. However, the kiss was a bad idea. Its not just playing the concept of "always leave them wanting more" and that their relationship shouldn't have progressed to that level yet........ITS THE FACT THAT YOU ARE STANDING IN A CRATER IN THE MIDDLE OF METROPOLIS!!! An entire city was just ripped apart and instead of concern for Perry, Jenny, and Steve....who are 20 feet away....we get Superman and Lois Lane making out in a crater. For shame Synder. For shame Nolan. For shame I say. I can deal with the destruction this film had, because I think people are taking it waaaay too out of context in complaining about Superman not trying to save more people as there are plenty of comic book battles where things are getting wrecked around him and Superman isn't stopping the battle to save the citizens......and in the Smallville battle he's clearly trying to fly out of time on multiple occasions and keeps getting stopped/pulled back by Faora and the giant guy. So the destruction aspect can be forgiven. But not the kiss. Not blatantly disregarding everything that had occurred and letting Clark and Lois "express their feelings". That kind of interaction would have been much better reserved for the sequel with Clark firmly established at the Daily Planet and dating Lois (a la the Dean Cain and Terry Hatcher series) than keeping up the concept of the relationship being Lois and Superman.

10. The religious angle. My God (pun intended)! Please stop making Superman into Jesus Christ. It is a terrible concept to begin with and one that constantly gets overplayed whenever its brought up (which is why I loved the animated series Bruce Timm kept it from ever becoming a major part of the character). The constant droning on about being a savior, or saving everyone, or bringing Earth into a promised land/future type of scenario, or changing the world, or any other overused cliche that permeated this film again and again. Please, please, please just stop. Just let Clark be a hero in his own right. Just let him have been raised right by Jonathan and Martha and without the constant sermons simply used his abilities for good. They did that by through the flashbacks, yet tarnished it with the savior speeches. Then they had to take a plot point from the For Tomorrow storyline and bring in the priest. Ah!!!!!!!!

11. Just a little more humor. I don't agree with critics that Cavrill played a cold Superman. When you watch the scene of him and Adams in the desert before Faora's ship arrives, you can see in the eyes and facial expression just how caring this Superman is without the need for Cavrill to be constantly smiling, smirking, or winking at Lois or anyone else. He plays a very well-spoken, charismatic Superman. Yes, Bale's Bruce Wayne had more humor......that's the point, Bruce Wayne is supposed to be a playboy like figure who nobody takes seriously....that's not Superman. He's supposed to be a leader, a calm presence, a guardian figure, and I think Cavrill conveyed that perfectly in his depiction of Clark/Superman. But humor could have come from other areas of the film and helped lighten some of the longer stretches, thus making some memorable moments rather than keeping an even pace until the next big action scene.

Were any of these miscues so terrible that the movie was a complete waste? Absolutely not! They are simply pieces of the larger puzzle that just didn't work and as a result didn't allow the film to claim a near perfect score, which it had the potential of doing because of the strong cast, action, and overall great depiction of Krypton and the Solomon choice Clark had to make as the story progressed. Its these types of miscues, though, why I don't feel Snyder and Nolan are as great a choice for future DC endeavors as other people do. These same types of miscues keep popping up in both of their films (sorry to all the Nolan fans but TDK and TDKR are full of them) and why I wish Warner Bros would look to a new creative team in future projects.

But to re-iterate, my overall score for the film is an 8/10 (the only higher score of modern superhero films would be Iron Man and a tie with Avengers and Batman Begins) because it is a fun movie, definitely a different but good take on Superman, that simply suffers from a few overused and underthought concepts.

#3 Posted by Perezite (1458 posts) - - Show Bio

Question: what the balls is Avengers doing there with Iron Man and Batman Begins and where's the Dark Knight?

#4 Edited by GeeWhiz (36 posts) - - Show Bio

Good post. I pretty much agree with all your points. I am also tired of the constant hammering of the message that "Superman will lead humanity into something better". It was one of the things that annoyed me about Smallville. Everybody kept telling Clark what a wonderful person he is and how great he is or going to be -- but in the show, he never really showed that to me. In fact, many times while trying to keep his secret from his friends he would act in a cruel way (say something mean to push Lana away). And how can he be an inspiration to others when all the other heroes (Supergirl, Flash, Green Arrow etc.) appeared *before* Superman came to be? Just let the character do great things and act as a kind, wonderful person and don't have other characters say those things. Actions speak louder than words.

As for the movie on the whole: I did enjoy it but found it disappointing. The action was great but it did not feel fun and joyous. There was none of the cute romantic flirting between Lois and Clark that I like seeing in previous movies and shows. It lacked humor. I did not feel any real emotional ties between Clark and his parents. I was disappointed in some of the things John Kent said to Clark (about how it might be okay to not help people in order to keep your secret). I grew up with the idea that Clark became such a good person based on his upbringing with the Kents. I didn't see it here.

Edit: Also did you notice how the Kent Farm seem to need a paint job? I couldn't help but wonder why Clark didn't use his super-powers to help around with the chores. I also didn't like the way John Kent died in the film. I have a feeling the film-makers did it this way to try and add a little "darkness" to Clark's character -- similar to how Bruce Wayne also witness his parent's death and was powerless to do something about it. But in Clark's case, he wasn't really powerless so he will have to live with a lot of guilt for the rest of his life.

#5 Edited by UltimateSMfan (1639 posts) - - Show Bio

The codex served to instill into each child their role in kryptonian society and genetically ready them for that role in life. Overall to the plot of the movie that's very relevant to the story n that's why supes was special he was born essentially with free will, thats why zod was so relentless when it came to destroying supes. He was genetically bred to be a soldier(general) and do anything and everything for the good of his people.

#6 Edited by ltbrd (619 posts) - - Show Bio

@perezite: I didn't like The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises. For TDK, Heath Ledgers performance was amazing but not enough to save what was a slow, drawn out drama that didn't add anything as a sequel. For TDKR, it was just a bad third act. But that's just my opinion.

@ultimatesmfan: You nailed what the Codex is on the head and in principle I think it works great for the Krypton presented. Its just that the details don't work. For starters, the Codex is a skull. Thus, it contains one genetic code. I guess it could contain more than one but then why make it a skull, why not make it a crystal or something that might pay homage to earlier portrayals of the character? By making it a skull you create a visual assumption for the audience that its from some person and thus their is only one genetic code in it which all Kryptonians come from. Its not that hard to tweak things to gain individual traits (its something like 0.001% difference to get a different physical trait) and that's what the artificial birthing process does. So if that's the case, why would Jor-El need to encode Clark with the Codex in the first place? Shouldn't each Kryptonian technically be a Codex should it ever be necessary to replace it since they all came from the Codex?

Then there is the point of tailoring new Kryptonians to a role. That would imply that the Codex, as a system, is either told what Krypton needs or has a means of measuring and calculating what Krypton needs. Take away Krypton and where does the input come from? How was Zod going to rebuild things anyways even with the Codex? Until he had the scout ship he wasn't even in possession of a birthing matrix....or at least its not implied one was on the prison ship (and why would it be).

Even if you got rid of the idea that each cell in Clark's body is carrying genetic code (which technically it is so really what should have been stated is that the Codex programming was added to Clark's DNA, not that DNA was added to his DNA....thus essentially making Clark a Codex even though that's not how he was viewed or described) and took the Codex at face value.......why would Jor-El even want to save it. The entire use of it is what he and Lara were rebelling against. By putting the Codex into his son he's potentially forcing Clark to save the Kryptonian race by using the exact same means that were a big part of its eventually destruction. He (Clark) would have to use the scout ship's birthing matrix and thus create artificially grown Kryptonians......which takes everything back to square one.

Then they go and destroy/remove any means of Clark ever getting to use the Codex to save the Kryptonian race should he have ever chosen to do so. So now he's just walking around with it and can do absolutely nothing with it.

#7 Edited by shadeninja1 (5 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltbrd: You make excellent points, i just figured i would interject a quick thought about the codex. Perhaps, it is the skull of a kryptonian born before the whole artificial birth process started. Perhaps, then, this kryptonian carried all the dna code for all the "jobs" that are given to each child as they are born...basically making him just like Kal El. if that was the case, then maybe the machine the codex was hooked up to determined the need for jobs and took only that part of the dna code and left out the other, essentially making each person only a small piece of the whole puzzle that is the codex. Again, if this was the case, it also would make sense that Jor El would put the codex into his son. it wouldnt be protecting the process that destroyed Krypton, but rather the opposite. It would ensure thay any child he had would recieve the full dna code rather than a small piece like all other children on krypton had been born with. anyways...just a thought.

#8 Posted by WIshIWasSuperman (1379 posts) - - Show Bio

I got a totally different interpretation of the codex and what it was. As a skull I understood it to be belonging to an ancient kryptonian - likely more ceremony than anything. A means to an end and tradition. In terms of what it contained and i'ts function - I understood it to contain the DNA of EVERY Krpytonian. Hence why it's a Codex - it's not one person's DNA, it's not even implied that it's used as part of the birthing matrix (although I recognise it is stored there, but considering the scout ship has a matrix, it's potentially not necessary for the process). I understood it to serve the function as a record of every kryptonian. It COULD be used to rebuild the Kryptonian race - hence why Zod wanted it, and hence why Jor-EL instilled it into Kal - so that he could CHOOSE (they repeat this several times throughout the movie that he will have to choose one day). He either chooses his Kryptonian heritage, or he chooses the human race. In the end he chose the human race (the "you had your chance" line he says before destroying the birthing matrix and scout ship). It may also form a plot device later that it's still within him. However, when he's escaping the singularity with Lois, notice there's an effect of something pulling off him - I understood this to be the codex being sucked away from his body. I could easily be wrong, and I'm not saying it makes much sense, but you don't see that effect on Lois herself or anything, Just Clark.

Also, regarding the "why would Zod change the atmosphere when they're clearly awesome when it's like this?" simply - why wouldn't he? The way he saw it, those powers were only relevant in the sense it placed them above humans - they're not essential or even necessarily beneficial to Kryptonians as a single species on the planet. Add in the fact it would make their lives harder, especially as infants.... it didn't bother me in the slightest - but that's me.

Then there's the pointing to the atmosphere de-powering him. Again I personally was happy with that. To me it was established that it was a combination of the yellow sun, the atmosphere and the reduced gravity that provides him his powers. Change one of those things and I expected it to be negative for him. This was the new version of "kryptonite". He struggled as a baby in Earth's atmosphere, however the other Kryptonians were adults - more developed bodies, so again accepted the idea that they didn't struggle the same as him. Babies are much more susceptible to problems, so again to me this makes sense. His body would have adjusted to the extremely negative Kryptonian atmosphere eventually, but in the mean time it was painful since his body wasn't accustomed to it... The only problem I saw (which you mentioned) is that the scientist doesn't appear to be effected in any way by the change in atmosphere - although since none of them had been exposed to the yellow sun (they never left the ship so I accept this isn't an issue for them), I didn't expect them to become powered like him.

#9 Posted by ssejllenrad (13028 posts) - - Show Bio

Good list and elaboration. Especially since it did not mention the usually b*tched about final fight and killing decision. :D

#10 Posted by Hunter_Zolomon (194 posts) - - Show Bio

Can the Codex from MoS be the skull of Bertron, the creator of Doomsday?

In Hunter Prey #2, we are told that 250,000 years ago after Doomsday killed him and his crew and left Krypton on his ship, the native kryptonians found his lab and "...took his genetic research for their own use. Genetic experimentation had become crucial to their existence, sending them down the path of a unique and disastrous future."

What you guys think?

#11 Posted by SandMan_ (4581 posts) - - Show Bio

At least it's not a destruction or Superman kills critic.