By Necroziel 45 Comments
So I saw The Man of Steel this weekend and in my opinion it was… ok. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t hate this movie. It’s got quite a bit of hate from professional movie critics who seem to think that this latest flick takes itself just a bit too seriously. Funnily enough the general public seems to really like it and I’ve seen some people really passionately defend this movie. Personally I have my issues with this film. Some are nit-picks, some are real grievances. This entry’s going to be a list of the things I didn’t like. So I’m going to start by quickly running through what I did like; the action, the actors, the humor, the sets, the world, the nods to the DC shared universe and the effects. All were brilliant and a whole article could be written about why they were so good. But this is the internet where only criticism can exist. And with that, on to the bad stuff. I want to make it clear that this is just my opinion; I’ve only seen the film once so there are probably things I’ve missed or explanations for some of my problems so let’s kick off. Oh obviously spoilers ahead.
10. The First Natural Birth in Centuries
Ok so in the film it’s established that Kal-El is the first natural born Kryptonian in centuries. Jor- El keeps on mentioning it. He tells The Council, Zod, Clark and at one point I think he mentions it to his wife, who you think would be aware of that. Anyway they bring this up several times, as though it’s going to be important later. It never becomes important. Now I know what people reading this are thinking. It’s important because it shows that Kal-El isn’t bound by destiny like Zod or Jor-El. He can choose who he wants to be. Except that’s not true. Jor-El had a child for the purpose of saving his race. It’s symbolic sure, but other than that it’s just a bit random. I presumed while watching that his natural birth was going to mean that he was stronger than the other Kryptonians on Earth and allow him to beat them. But nope, it’s just some symbolism that’s not as deep as it thinks it is.
9. Zod can fly!!!! Oh wait, I don’t care.
This one’s more of a nit-pick but during the scene when Zod revealed he had learned how to fly I actually laughed aloud. I could see what they were going for, it was supposed to be an “oh crap Zod’s gaining control he’s going to be more dangerous now” moment. Instead it just looked bizarre. He throws Superman in to some rails and spouts out that he’s better trained than Clark and gasp he starts to fly!!! But at this point flying’s a bit of an old hat; Clark’s been doing it since the end of the first act. I think it would have been a much more powerful moment if Clark hadn’t learnt how to fly at that point. It could have been a really tense moment, where Zod appears to have more control than Clark and seems more powerful. This would have meant when Clark eventually won his victory would have been all the more heroic. But nope instead Zod reveals he can fly and then it’s on with the destruction of what’s left of metropolis.
8. Its below freezing out. Best put on a hat.
Lois travels to … somewhere in the Arctic Circle? I forget. Anyway it’s obviously cold there. Lois even gets told by soldier man that the temperature reaches -40 at night. Ok. But at night she’s wandering around the camp in a coat with the hood down. She doesn’t even bother to look as though she’s cold! Even when she follows Clark into the glacier she doesn’t bother with the hood. I know it’s a nitpick but you have no idea how much it bugged me. If the film hadn’t pointed it out I probably wouldn’t have noticed or cared but it goes out of its way to tell us it’s cold. Then completely ignores it. Not that it won’t do that with other things.
7. Metropolis estimated population: probably like 7 now?
Ok this one’s going to be short everyone’s mentioning it. The collateral damage in this film is huge. Smallville’s main street is obliterated by a Kryptonian wrestling match and the army. Then pretty much half of Metropolis is destroyed by a combination of Kryptonian doomsday machines, military incompetence and superman just not caring. Superman should have cared. He should have tried to convince the Kryptonians to fight somewhere else; he’s supposed to be compassionate. But nope, in this film he’s more than happy to let the people of Metropolis be the padding for his and Zods cage fight.
6. Why would the destruction of their home world be a problem for an interplanetary race?
Ok so I have to ask, can anyone explain why the Kryptonians stopped colonising worlds? Me and my friends can’t remember them giving a reason. Jor-El mentions something about the Matrix and designer babies but that’s not really an excuse. So why did they stop? The thing is, I know Krypton blowing up is integral to Superman’s story but by establishing that in the past they had a space empire and still had access to the technology which made that space empire possible you’ve created a big problem. They could all have easily escaped the planet and terraformed a new world. But nope they don’t because… reasons? Why didn’t Jor-El warn people earlier? Why didn’t the council try and escape the planet when it became obvious that Krpyton was doomed? Arrogance? Why not get an impartial person to review his results? How can a civilisation with such advanced space ships (who can open wholes to other dimensions!) run out of resources so they’re forced to cannibalise their own core? Don’t say that they probably stripped all the planets near them of anything worth having, because it clearly shows us how there phantom drive things works, it seemed pretty quick to get to our solar system. I’m rambling now... next point.
5. Here’s one we made earlier.
A minor nitpick again but it made me laugh in the cinema. So Clark goes on the space ship which has been there for like 20,000 years. Holo-El is telling him all about his heritage and blah blah blah you’re the bridge between two people. Holo-El leads him to a cupboard? Arming chamber? Wardrobe? Whatever and the doors open revealing the new Superman suit. It was supposed to be another moment where the audience goes, “Oh there it is!” and is awed or at least pleased. All I could think is, whys the suit in there? Clark arrived 33 years ago that ship’s been there 20,000 years so why does it have a house of El suit? Did Jor-El know it was there? If so How? I know the prequel comic explains the Arctic ship but that doesn’t count. If it’s not in the movie don’t expect me to know why there’s suddenly a superman suit on the ship. Just a minor thing but it took me out of the picture.
4. We want the woman as well! Why?
Why did the Kryptonians take Lois on the ship? This is one of the first things a friend said to me as we left the theatre. I didn’t know why. Do you? At first I thought it was to get information on Clark, they do mention a mind scanner thing. But then Clark presumably knew everything about himself anyway and they do the mind scan on him as well. Sooooo why take Lois? To provide a convenient escape for Supes? As some kind of hostage to keep Supes obedient? How did they know she mattered to him?
3. Superman killed Zod.
Ok here’s the big one. Just for the record one of my favourite Superman stories is “What's so funny about truth justice and the American way”. In case you’ve not read it, basically Superman gets confronted by a new group of antiheroes who kill villains. They scoff at Superman’s methods of dealing with criminals and it’s an interesting look at a difficult issue. In the story Superman refuses to kill on principal it’s one of his rules. In this film Superman snaps Zod’s neck at the end, to save a human family. (Why he didn’t just turn his head, I’ll never know.)Mark Waids gone on record as saying that it ruined the film for him. Others have said that superman should never kill it’s against the core of the character, and I agree. But I understand why they killed Zod. They’d made him so powerful and deadly that realistically it was Superman’s only option. My problem is with the reaction, Superman basically snaps his neck, cries for a bit and then gets a kiss from the lovely Lois which makes everything A-okay! That’s not Superman. How much more powerful would the scene have been if superman had fled after killing Zod. Lois tracks him down and he reveals his resolve to never kill again. He realises that there’s always another way. Then he comes back to Metropolis with a renewed purpose. It would have shown some real growth in the character into the superman who we all know and love.
2. Kryptonians are allergic to Earth’s atmosphere?
So Zack Snyder, or whoever, was very happy to have written a superman movie that didn’t have kryptonite. Except it did, they just never called it kryptonite, instead it’s Kryptonian air? You see when Superman goes on the Kryptonian ship he starts feeling weak and coughing blood. Zod says it’s because his body has adapted to Earth’s atmosphere. Ok fair enough, they established earlier that when Clark first arrived he struggled with breathing. Then Holo-El swaps the Kryptonian air on the ship with Earth’s air (why would you design that feature on your ship?). Supes regains his strength but the Kryptonians don’t lose theirs? Ok let’s say they were all wearing helmets. They weren’t, but let’s just say they were invisible. Anyway later on Zod needs the baby matrix machine so he goes to the 20,000 year old ship and while there he confronts Holo-El. Holo-El tells him to stop trying to conquer Earth and live in peace. Zod chews him out saying he doesn’t want to spend years struggling to adapt like Kal-El did. So they’ve now brought up the struggling to breathe thing 3 times. So like a rational person I presumed that this would play a role in the final defeat of Zod. It doesn’t. Nope it’s completely forgotten about. Despite setting up a logical reason for superman defeating Zod we instead get a violent neck snap... I did like the sensory overload stuff though. i thought it was clever.
1. JONATHAN KENT!!!
I hate, hate, hated this depiction of Jonathan Kent. I’m not a Superman expert by any means but my god! they got his character wrong. When Clark saves the school bus his dad basically tells him that he should have let the kids drown rather than expose himself. Superman is supposed to value life, this value was instilled in him by his adopted parents. If it was a choice between exposing his secret and saving a single life, Clark would always save them, damn the consequences. He learned this from Jonathan! But not in this movie. Then there’s the death scene. I was crying with laughter during this scene. He goes back to save the dog, despite his indestructible son being there with him. I understand why Jonathan didn’t want Clark to help. But no, just no. The film didn't earn that moment. Jonathan just looked like he was some crazy death seeker. Killing him was a mistake as well because now they can’t use the best scene from a superman comic ever. When Jonathan Kent dies of a heart attack and Superman hears it happen. It’s such a powerful scene in the comics because it shows that superman despite his great power is just as vulnerable to human tragedy as the next man. In the film it’s not a tragedy, it’s ridiculous. Anyway I’m done with this now, thinking about this film has annoyed me.
Well there we go 10 things I didn't like. Anything you didn't like? Think I'm wrong? Feel free to tell me. Also I really wanted Zod to react to the eye beams. He acts like he totally knew that they could do that.