Man of Steel Review

My Man of Steel Review for those that care:

I really wanted to like this movie, and before you say it could never have lived up to my expectations, that isn’t true. I loved the Star Wars prequels, even though they weren’t great movies. I can overlook lots of flaws for fun. But I need fun. Man of Steel wasn’t much fun.

After a night to sleep on it, the movie has a lot going for it. I actually think the acting and casting was superb. The ideas behind the story were intriguing;

– We saw a fully fleshed out alien culture in Krypton. If the whole movie would have been as intriguing as the opening scene I would be going back to see it again today.

– How would our post 911 world react to an indestructible alien? Not well.

– Clark Kent as a child being scared and unsure of why these strange things were happening to him, like being able to see his fellow classmates skeletons through their face. Crazy!

That is good stuff and felt real, but Zach Snyder got schizophrenic and never stuck to a small handful of ideas and let them play out. It is like he took every idea he ever had for Superman and expected them all to work at once.

Flashback sequences can work in movies, but they need to be used sparingly. The biggest issue is that this movie constantly removed you from the story and jumped you into a related story from the past. It never let the audience emotionally connect with what was currently happening, and made the movie timeline jump all over the place.

Telekinetic conversation (mind melding), rarely works in movies. We just don’t need surreal dream like sequences where people fall into skulls and scream. Nah.

We did get to see Superman’s powers like never before. He flys at supersonic speeds everywhere and the battle sequences show the real power we always pictured he had. The first time he lets loose on Zod for hurting his Mom… awesome! And while the CGI is excellent, it gets so repetitive. How many times can you throw someone through an entire building in one movie? Well Zach Snyder proved it can be done about 300 times in 2-1/2 hours. Enough already.

And I know I wasn’t the only one that was tired of watching Supes slowly rise after ever pummeling while the bad guys just jumped right up. Enough dramatic slow rises…

I love big spectacle movies too. Avengers was total carnage, but it never felt like you couldn’t watch any more. After the slow build up we watched 45 minutes straight of city leveling battle. I was real ready for it to be over when Zod met his end. The destruction done to Metropolis would have caused millions of deaths and I couldn’t help but think of that implication in the cartoon like violence.

And the score… The slow melancholy piano music didn’t work for me. It was feigning emotion when it wasn’t an emotional scene. Hans Zimmerman gets a D-. John Williams original Superman theme was uplifting and no where to be found.

The movie flat out needed better editing. The movie needed far more focus. The movie would have greatly benefitted from being 35 minutes shorter. If someone recut this same movie in a straight chronological fashion, without the flashbacks, I bet I would love it.

And I do love Superman. Always have. Sadly the plodding 2006 Superman Returns was a better movie. Sad, I know.

Overall, I still hope it makes gobs of money because I really want to see another Superman movie. The last 30 seconds of the movie are just great and I’d love to give them another chance, because if this one isn’t a financial success I’m afraid they will abandon trying to bring my favorite superhero to the screen ever again.


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