Friday, January 10, 2014

The Ultimate Superhero List: "Man of Steel" Revisted

Here we go again.


Superman Reboots

      I've always liked Superman. I know a lot of people that really don't like him though. So, there is a lot riding on the movie. It has to be everything Superman fans want to be and be everything non-Superman fans want it to be. It has to be Dark Knight good and Avengers good and make the same amount of money. So, can it be all that. Well... Directed by Zach Snyder (300) and written by David S. Goyer (Jumper), the film follows Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) as he learns to accept his extraordinary alien powers and become Superman. Guided by his earth parents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) and Kryptonian father Jor-El (Russell Crowe), he teams with Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in order to stop the villainous General Zod (Michael Shannon) from destroying the Earth. You know, the classics. Huh, deja-vu.

Man of Brawny.
Man, Oh, Man

     Opinions can change over time and this is something that even a person who never makes mistakes, like myself, will fall too. Yes, in my original review of Man of Steel, I did say I liked it, but over the last few months I've hinted at the fact that I might not like it nearly as much anymore. And with the Ultimate Superhero List in full swing, I thought I'd rewatch the film. And, honestly, my opinion has changed. Where as before I thought it was a fun, exciting, though not great first entry in the series, now, I think it's a dull, generic movie that wastes the great Superman character, which you change kinda see me thinking in the original review. And I will say that a lot of that is because is a big disappointment. I was really looking forward to this movie and it wasn't worth the hype. And I said it in the last review and I'll say it in this one, it's because they tried to make Superman in Batman. And boy does it not works. First off, the darker and edgier tone works for Batman's dark world, Superman is supposed to be in a bright, hopeful world. Hope, by the way, is strangely lacking from Man of Steel. When it ends with the deaths over, apparently, over 300,000 people dead in Metropolis, hope and joy are kinda out the window.

Cast Act

      But for me, the biggest problem is what Man of Steel does to it's characters. There characters are all so shallow and bland. Now, people might not like me saying this, but, it reminds me a bit of, surprise, surprise, The Dark Knight Trilogy. In those films, the characters were also fairly shallow. And before you start to throw thinks, let me explain. In those films, the characters all had pretty much one defining trait that lasted the whole series. They never grew, never really changed, outside the first film. But in those films it worked because Batman being Batman is cool enough, plus they were backed with good writing and an interesting story. Here, Superman needs to be more than just Superman. He needs to be a more interesting character, as does Lois and as does Pa and Ma Kent. But the film gives them all one trait and hopes for the best. And I just didn't care what happened. I was still entertained, but I didn't care. Superman was never really defined. They film just said a few inspirational trailer quotes and assumed we'd just believe he's Superman because they say he is. But he goes around, causing billions in damages and thousands of lives in collateral damage. It almost felt the like first act of a superhero movie. He got his powers, learned to not cause damage with them. I actually like him killing Zod, because to me it's his Uncle Ben moment, where he learns to be a better, real superhero. If it had came in at a half-hour in instead of the very end of the movie though, this might have been a very different review.

Payday 3: With Superpowers!!!
The Verdict

      Ultimately, Man of Steel is about to lose a few stars. It's a very weak start to the DC Movie Universe and so far, news about Batman vs. Superman vs. Wonder Woman ft. Maybe Green Lantern, The Flash and Lex Luthor? sounds like everyone involved is making the same big mistakes again. Overall, it's not a terrible movie, but it is incredibly disappointing. It's trying too hard to be Batman, nearly ruining the Superman character by turning him into a completely generic and utterly uninteresting fist puncher. Overall, the biggest disappointment of 2013. Man of Steel gets 3 stars out of 6.

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