Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on June 15, 2013

manofsteelMan of Steel has some cool superhero action, though not much better than in a couple of Justice League Unlimited episodes, and it is pretty well cast with likable actors, but the story really lost me on several occasions. Which I can only discuss in a very spoiler-filled way, so proceed with caution:

  • We’re to believe a planet who’d mastered interstellar travel to “hundreds of thousands of worlds” ran out of resources on their homeworld and opted for a dangerous and ultimately suicidal energy source rather than try to bring in resources from the outside? The Kryptonians are idiots.
  • Krypton is just not that interesting, for origin story purposes. That stuff went on way too long. There’s no reason to make Jor-El some kind of badass fighter and dragon rider. I realize to set up General Zod, they had to do more than my preferred single-page origin story (because, fuck it, we all know the idea already anyway)… but that had to be like 20 minutes of… not Superman.
  • Jonathan Kent’s death was ridiculous. If Clark goes back for the dog, everyone lives, and no one’s secret is exposed. Even if he gets caught in a tornado, he’s enveloped in a cloud of debris, and he can just emerge unscathed and be like “holy crap, I thought I was going to die, I’m so lucky.” There has to be a better way to write that. If both Clark and Jonathan had to turn back, one to get the dog and one to get the girl, that scene is fine. Then, of course you send the indestructible one to get the girl, since the girl is more important. But then the tornado happens to turn towards where the dog is, and you get to have your dramatic moment. As it is in the movie, this is a senseless death.
  • The one sub-commander or whatever saying that her advantage was being “born without morality” or something. First, this was like halfway through the movie, and a weird concept to just throw in. I mean, we know she was bred to be a soldier, and that was important thematically, but to throw out the idea that his morality would hamstring him… that’s certainly a valid idea to explore, but it didn’t seem like one they were exploring.
  • And then in that same fight, she says something about how “evolution always wins,” but she was a product of selective breeding, basically having exited the natural selection process. So what she said didn’t make a bit of sense.
  • Superman doesn’t kill people. If they wanted me to buy into that, they needed to do a better job of convincing me that he had no other choice. He can’t reach out to fry his hands on the eyebeams to block it from hitting those people? He can’t tilt Zod’s head up or down? He can’t heat vision Zod in the back of the head? Take of flying and drag Zod with him?
  • I did like that he had a horrible reaction to having to kill someone. But then there weren’t really any lasting repercussions. He yelled and was sad, and then we just moved on. If Superman kills someone, it would haunt him forever. That it was the last other Kryptonian, that would only make it worse.

My opinion may have been adversely affected by some jerkwad in the theater who kept talking, but I just don’t think it was very good. There were some good pieces, I liked a lot of Clark’s early life. I liked his time kind of wandering around, David Banner-style, I liked the action, I liked the anguish he felt after killing Zod (a couple idiots, including the aforementioned jerkwad, clapped when he killed him). But with all the things I didn’t like, the end result is kind of mediocre at best.


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