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With the recent release of Man of Steel, another superman movie, many fans and critics alike have high expectations for this film. Afterall, this is Zack Snyder’s reimagination of the Superman story after the mediocre performance of Superman Returns (released in 2006), which left many audiences snoozing throughout the film, and Warner Brothers desperate for another shot at starting a reputable Superman franchise. Man of Steel does not represent just one film, but the beginning of an “epic” trilogy much like the Dark Knight films, and even the start of a possible Justice League film. With this in mind, it is no wonder that there is such high expectations for this film. The awesome trailers before the release of this movie placed even more hype behind Man of Steel to the point where it couldn’t possible live up to. When I went to go see this film, I was utterly disappointed.
Man of Steel Trailer:
In making this post, I have formed three main points to why this film was dissapointing and why Man of Steel sucks big steely balls. Afterall, with a budget of $225 million, Zack Synder (Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hool) at the helm, and Christopher Nolan (Momento, Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Prestige) producing Man of Steel, how could this film go wrong?
Man of Steel is burdened with trying to explain too much. Not only did the film have to cover the whole back story of krypton and its downfall, but also Kal-El’s childhood and his struggles growing up. A lot of the scenes felt rushed. We have cutscenes to superman when he was going to kindergarden to when he was a fisherman off of a fishing boat. It almost felt like you were shown 5 minutes of him in his youth so that your are forcefed an image or a feeling of a character’s development that made it patronizing and simplistic to the audience, without any sense of mystery or subtly (or maybe it was the crappy dialogue, but we’ll get to that in a moment). It was as if a scene was supposed to fill in the blank for a question about Kal-El; Kal-El had a dark past. Kal-El felt like an outcast, Kal-El grew up unable to fit in. And as such, these scenes did not fit naturally in sequence, nor was the presentation polished.
With the best actors and actresses Warner Brothers could find playing this movie, I was cringing at some of the one-liners that Henry Cavill (Kal-El) would blurt out. The dialogue of this film was uningaging, uninteresting, and lacked depth other than what the writers wanted you to understand. Cut to “Kal-El had a dark past”. Also another disappointment was the limp performance of Louis Lane. I wasn’t thrilled with Amy Adam’s Louis Lane, which wasn’t just the bad script. Amy Adam’s poor chemistry with British actor Henry Cavill left me not caring about her throughout the film.
Mom and Pop Kent, I didn’t care for each of them either, but I blame the script on this one.
Russell Crowe, I like him but when I saw him dying earlier on in the move by the hands of Zod and then popping up at different locations of the kryptonian ship later on, Jor-El (Russell Crowe’s character) looked like an eerie ghost. Almost creepy for the fact that he was still playing a pivotal role in helping Kal-El and Louis Lane despite him being deceased for the past 31 years. When you have this guy constantly pointing to where you should walk towards, in a strange dark space ship, you would think it is creepy too.
It was just too depressing.
The beginning of the film was slow and looking through Kal-El’s childhood, it was just too darn depressing for me to watch. I was waiting for the moment where I would stand up in applause because of something epic happening but that never came about. Between a bad script, rushed cut scenes of his past, and eerie ghost of Jor-El, it was just too dark to watch.
When Zod’s ship finally made contact with the Pentagon, it flashed a single message to TV screens all over the world: “You Are Not Alone”. Really… Zod would make a bad distorted video and transmit it across earth to reach Superman? I thought that was pretty ridiculous.
Other things to Consider.
Zod was great. He really shined in the film because of the multiple layers that this film portrayed. In Man of Steel, Zod is convinced that he is doing the right thing. In the beginning scene where Zod tries to overthrow the government after years of mismanagement and complacency he was actually doing the right thing in saving Krypton. The Krypton ruling council did not even listen to Jor-El for crying out loud (and continued to not listen to the warnings that the planet is about to collapse). The worst enemies are ones in which they believe they are doing the right thing, and for Zod, he was trying to do the right thing by preserving the Krypton race. He is one of the few Kryptonians alive and carries the burden of saving his entire species. With such a heavy burden, it is no wonder why General Zod would take the most extreme measures to achieving his goal.
Not that I am saying this movie is absolutely terrible, but as a superman film, I had high expectations that this would be the big epic movie that would anchor the next Justice League film.
Man of Steel has a current Rotten Tomato score of 59 out of 100. After watching Man of Steel, I have a greater appreciation for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. And just for nostalgia, below is a review by Ebert and Roeper of the Dark Knight:
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