Alternate titles to Man of Steel:
- Flashbacks of Clark Kent Being Bullied (Boo Hoo)
- Daddy Issues
- Kryptonians Smashing into Buildings
Obviously, I wasn’t a fan of the movie. It’s never good when in the middle of the movie, I just want it to be over already so I can go outside and talk about how I hate it.
The first few minutes were actually promising. Krypton is shown nearing destruction, which the council seems oddly okay with. While General Zod attempts a coup, Jor-El (played by Russel Crowe not singing) sends his son Kal-El to another planet.
The movie then segues into unnecessarily numerous flashbacks of how Clark Kent is so good and so compassionate that he doesn’t hit back even when he’s being bullied and provoked. What a paragon of goodness! (What a crock, more like.)
Wait, what’s that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s… MORE FLASHBACKS!
This time, it’s of Jonathan and Clark’s loving but strained relationship. We see Jonathan impress upon Clark that he shouldn’t use his powers, as the world “wasn’t ready” for it. Clark then grows up feeling torn between his natural powers and his upbringing against using them.
Which is why one of the most disappointing scenes was when Superman first suits up in his blue-and-red outfit and flies at mach speeds. There’s no joy in the moment. There’s no relief at not needing to hide his powers anymore, which has burdened him all his life. The scene is a wasted opportunity.
I also bemoan the predictability of the script. There was no edge-of-my-seat, what’s-gonna-happen-next scene. Particularly when Jonathan dies—he and Clark have an argument right before disaster strikes, so obviously Jonathan’s going to die before they make up in order to give Clark dark and twisty daddy issues.
|A father figure and a future superhero argue right before the father figure dies?
Now where have I seen that before? Hmm…
I get that they wanted to make a movie with heart, but it came across as an excessive appeal to sentimentality. Worse still is the lack of humor, which would have made it somewhat tolerable.
|Pictured: my favorite scene in the entire movie|
Depicting Superman’s roots was an ideal goal; who doesn’t love a good origin story? But this movie used such confusing and poorly executed jumps between flashbacks to present time that it got in the way of the actual storytelling. Shame.
Perhaps the worst thing about it was that I went into it with high expectations. I dislike Superman most of all comic book characters, and I had hoped that Man of Steel would make me change my mind. Sadly, it didn’t, so I’ll just have to wait on the sequel to see if that makes me like the character any better.