More MAN OF STEEL Musings

Mom Of Steel

Apex Fan Bob Foster shares some thoughts about Superman’s return to theaters.

YOU. DO. NOT. THREATEN. SUPERMAN’S. MOTHER. MAN OF STEEL blew me away. (Vaguely spoilerish) Yes, there were changes to the “standard Superman story”.  But what did those changes mean? A keeping of the core of the character with a stripping away of the cheese level that comes from a straight forward Superman the public is used to seeing.

What we do get is both a bigger and a smaller story. Smaller, as in it is Superman’s journey into being Superman. Clark finding Superman in himself, accepting who he is and what he must do. Bigger as well? His personal journey is helped along by MASSIVE and GIANTLY EPIC destruction by way of General Zod (an excellent Michael Shannon – whom I always love) and Faora (quiet but oh so threatening and able to deliver the damage) and some other Kryptonian soldiers who seem just to be just there.

It was amazing to finally be able to see the massive scale of super-powered persons wail into each other. I think I liked the Smallville battle more than I did the climax. Some have given negative remarks on just about 70 minutes of action on the back half after a first half being more character driven (along with that action based prologue). I didn’t mind.

There has been a great deal of Internet chat over the amount of property damage and widespread death throughout Metropolis in the finale; and the fact Superman does little to stop it – even contributing more. This is very true. While off-putting to see this in a Superman movie, Superman is still green at this whole “saving the world” thing. The enormity of what happens and the final bit will ground the Big Blue Boy Scout in sequels by weighing on his shoulders.

All the performers really held their ground. Big props to Diane Lane as Martha Kent. She, and Kevin Coster as JonathanKent absolutely sold me, even with Pa Kent being a bit morbid on how Clark deals with his powers. Russel Crowe presents more Jor-El than we’ve seen before, even if he becomes both Exposition Bot and a literal Deux ex machina. Amy Adams made a terrific Lois – it is a shame she gets lost in the mix for the second half but I look forward to her and Clark working together next time to expose Luthor. It’s nice to see Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White but we don’t have much to connect him with but will presumingly get more of him and the Daily Planet in MAN OF STEEL 2. and of course, Henry Cavill as Superman is spot on.

I’ve tried to be so careful not to spoil much.  There is so much more I want to say but don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone else. Seeing it again tomorrow.

One last thing. I SQUEALED, literally, at the opening line of my review.

For more thoughts on MAN OF STEEL, check out ApexFan’s official review here.

You Might Also Like

  • Jessica Breaux

    I agree with your analysis for the most part. This was a wonderful Superman tale and an excellent introduction for a new generation. I too have read complaints about the level of destruction and (probable) casualties in Metropolis, but that didn’t get under my skin the way it did for some other viewers. Yes, in all likelihood there were thousands or maybe even millions that lost their lives in Metropolis, but I do not understand what Superman was to have done about it. Keep in mind the poor guy had only JUST come into the fullness of his power. I mean seriously. Superman finding out who he is, testing out the limits of his power, and Zod coming to kill everyone takes place in the space of about 48 hrs. 72 hrs if we’re being generous. Furthermore, Superman is fighting a guy who has trained his whole life to kill whereas Kal has spent his whole life holding back and trying not to kill. I also find it rather amusing that so many are placing the blame on Superman and Zod for the destruction in Smallville and Metropolis, but did no one notice that the military was a big part of that too? The fighter pilots shot up the town in Smallville and they were firing missiles in Metropolis.

    The only point on which I kind of disagree is about Jonathan Kent. Kevin Costner did a fine job in his performance, but I just didn’t really care for this Jonathan. You are correct that he was morbid, but that’s not necessarily what bothered me. What bothered me was one scene in which Jonathan tells Clark to let 12 or so people die so he could protect his secret. That was particularly jarring and, despite the fact I’ve seen the film 3 or 4 times now, it still doesn’t sit right with me. I get that he was trying to protect Clark (and also himself and Martha) from what might happen if Clark’s true identity were revealed, but it just doesn’t jive with who Jonathan is. In every iteration of Superman Jonathan has told Clark to hide that part of himself from the world, but he has never (to my knowledge) told Clark to let innocent people die just to protect himself. It just felt off and wrong.

    Despite my distaste for this iteration of Jonathan Kent, I really enjoyed Man of Steel. It was an excellent film and I look forward to what they’ll do with Man of Steel 2.

  • This one had a lot of ups and a lot of downs for me…
    The action was impressive. The whole opening sequence with his parents was awesome. It got me pumped for the rest of the movie. General Zod was spectacular! Michael Shannon really blew me away. The significant lack of cheesiness was also great. I appreciated the way that Snyder deftly avoided it, while making a few subtle winks at its potential for cheese.

    However, Jonathan Kent was a total tool. That whole thing with the tornado… come on! You don’t have to do that just to prove a point, that’s beyond ridiculous. Lois was also a total drag. I just didn’t feel that she had any real chemistry with Clark. Their kiss at the end felt so forced. And that random intern at the end? Why were we supposed to care about her? Maybe if Superman had saved her himself, it would have made more sense.

    Overall, it was highly entertaining. But I think a few things could have been thought through a little more critically in the editing process.