Man of Steel is the story of an alien, raised on Earth, to be the best person he can be. But when his own kind come looking for him, he’s got to finally put his trust in the hands of weaker–almost to the point of uselessness–former enemies. Willing to sacrifice everything he believes in for the people of Earth, this alien must triumph over evil. But at what cost?
In short, Man of Steel is the best episode of Dragonball Z I’ve ever seen.
Sorry, kids of the 90s, that’s not high praise. A great Superman story should never be able to be compared to DBZ. At best, DBZ should be seen as taking the simpler, more basic story elements of Superman and adding several hits of acid with a side of cheddar.
Oh, let’s say some good stuff before I start getting mad. This is the best action superhero movie I’ve seen since The Avengers. On an action movie level, it may even be better than The Avengers. When stuff was ‘sploding on screen, the visceral FUCKYEAH reactions I was having were fantastic.
For probably the first half of the movie, they had me. They had me good. They were balancing the need to tell a story against the need to see things blow up. Character was shown through on screen actions and acting. Everyone on screen in this movie, I felt, brought their A-Game.
For, I don’t know, 45 minutes at least… I believed that a man could
fly enjoy a Superman movie on every conceivable level. They got his passion for doing the right thing. They got his love for his family, and his desire to discover who or what he was. They got it through their heads that a comic book movie needs a steady pace of action.
Then they save the fucking dog and they throw it all away.
I can’t stand dog-saving in my action movies. Every mindless action movie from the mid-late 90s had a dog saving scene. The trend hasn’t really gone away. So throwing in a dog-saving scene stops any momentum a movie has with me. But to then add in a huge character defining moment… one that would forever alter the Superman of this film universe’s life… and have Supes act 100% completely out of character… and hinge it on the save the dog scene. I just don’t know how to express what a huge disappointment that was. Man… I’m getting mad again just thinking about it. It was stupid, bad, awful, lazy story telling that had no business in any movie, much less a Superman one.
But, I let that go as quickly as I could. Shortly after that is when General Zod shows up on Earth, and things pick up the pace again. But the damage had been done. The lazy story telling was starting to peek through more and more. I couldn’t enjoy the suspenseful build up towards an action sequence… because apparently atmospheric pressure has replaced kryptonite.
On the subject of action sequences… holy hell. They were amazing. The pacing of this movie is fantastic, and the action scenes are crafted masterfully. In the beginning, you don’t even really need to have your brain turned off. The action and storytelling are that well done. Absolutely amazing.
One of the chief complaints about the last film was that there was little to no action. It was the top complaint of many a moviegoer. Well, that cry was heard loud and clear. But that’s the problem sometimes when you only notice the complaints about one flaw. You forget to fill in the other details that people want out of your product.
Once the film gets going there’s a definite need to turn off your brain. The collateral damage of Superman’s fights puts every other superhero movie to shame. Which is awesome to see… but not to think about. Not once, that I noticed, does Supes worry about collateral damage. Not once. He casually floats down to the ground holding Lois dreamily in his arms… while fucking debris crashes down on the cityscape around him. Sorry, citizens. No time to catch that shit… I’m wearing my Fuck Me Eyes. He hops over a B-train of Lexcorp tanker trucks casually… letting it just explode in the storefront behind him. Fuck that guy and his store. He was probably an embedded terrorist.
What the fuck, Supes? It’s asshole stunts like that that inspired The Incredibles. If the real Supes was to think about all the people who must’ve died thanks to him tossing Zod, Ursa and Non (was that the underlings names this time aroung? I don’t know) through building after tanker truck after subway… he’d pull a Dr. Manhattan and blink off to Mars or something.
But still… I managed to get my brain turned off in time… And that was some cool shit to watch. I almost forgot about saving the dog. There’s flying and jumping and punching and double overhand axehandle smashes and explosions and laservision galore. There’s even more product placement in the Ursa & Non street fight than last time. Hilarious. FUCKYEAH moments everywhere.
So I kept my brain turned off for all the fighting, and the weaknesses that apppeared out of thin air, (literally, ’cause of the atmosphere or something) and the wanton destruction, and the Buck O’Five ‘Murican soldiers, and I enjoyed the ride as best I could… all the way up to the very end. But… despite all it’s amazing powers, there was one flaw that beat me. Maybe it was destiny. How sad.
The ending of this movie was as close to a Mass Effect 3-level failing as I think I’ll ever experience in a theatre. Say what you want about it. Say it happened that way before. I don’t care. I understand where you’re coming from. But that’s how I feel. Mass Effect 3′s ending ruined the entire trilogy for me. I was disappointed by the Mandarin, but not enough to ruin the movie. I was disappointed by pretty much everything in Star Trek Into Darkness, but not enough to ruin the movie.
The ending of Man of Steel practically ruins the entire movie for me. The flaws I’ve been mentioning have mostly come to me as I think back to the movie. I find as time goes on, I’m remembering less and less of the visceral FUCKYEAH moments, and more and more of the flaws. When this movie started, for a very large portion of it, I thought I was finally going to see a fantastic Superman movie. One that nailed it on every level. It started so strong.
If I was going to rank my experience watching a mindless comic book movie… this would easily be 5/5. If only I could get over the really, in my lowly opinion, catastrophicly poor story decisions. Or even if it hadn’t started out of the gate seeming like they got it. Maybe then it wouldn’t bother me so much. I can’t on good conscience give it anything better than