Before I get into what I thought about said movie, let me just point out that Forbidden Planet NYC currently has a ton of great Superman books currently in-stock. Superman Unchained launched this week (SYNERGY!) under Scott Snyder (Batman) and Jim Lee (Justice League) and came out swinging. Grant Morrison has penned a ton of character-defining Superman books including All-Star Superman, Action Comics (2011) volumes 1 and 2 and a terrific run on JLA. There’s also Mark Waid’s fantastic
“Superman: Birthright” story, which the movie lifted directly from at times, a stretch of great Action Comics stories written by both Geoff Johns and Paul Cornell, and DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore, which has a bunch of solid Superman and non-Superman stories from the 80s.
So “Man of Steel“. Where do we begin? If you wanted a ultimately meaningless number score to save some time, I would give it a 7 out of 10. If you want to know why I scored it as such, allow me to explain.
There’s a lot to like about this movie. First off, props to whoever the casting director was (2 Lazy 2 Google/IMDB). Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, and Lawrence Fisbourne (who could have had more screen time in my opinion) were all great. Nothing Oscar-calibur, but I wasn’t expecting that sort of thing. I was expecting Superman. and I got it. Kinda. More on that later.
Zack Snyder is one of those directors who I feel is always style over substance, but thanks to David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, there’s actually some weight to the story. It’s VERY sci-fi at times, but given how Superman hasn’t had a quality movie in nearly 4 decades, I can understand why they took a new approach to the character. And again, most of it works. Snyder is very much in his element when it comes to the fight scenes, and I’m okay with the results. His style works (for the most part) when Superman throw downs with Zod and his allies, to the point where you can almost FEEL the punches when they land. Great fights scenes in comic book movies are kinda rare, which is why I like Man of Steel at overall. That and any scene with Superman and Ma Kent interacting is FANTASTIC.
Now for the bad. First off the pacing is off. The first 2/3rds of the movie zips by. Which isn’t too bad actually, because we’re all feeling a little fatigued when it comes to super hero origin dragging on in the beginning by now. But the last 2/3rd of the movie suffers for it, as the film pulls a 180 and drags for the last 40 minutes of 20. And given that this movie runs for about 2.5 hours, some stuff could have been cut out.
This is where things get spoilerish. So if you want to skip to the last paragraph, go ahead. There’s a lot of Christ comparisons in this flick, and that is a comparison I am not cool with, especially how much it’s beaten into the viewer’s head. Hans Zimmer, who’s stuff is great, really needs to turn it down a notch. His scores tends to overshadow the film to the point of distraction several times in the movie. It’s mad annoying.
Going back to the final 40 minutes of the film, expect some excessive violence, which to be honest, is very disturbing. A lot of the Superman mythos are altered throughout the film, which I understand you have to do to sell this movie to non-comics reader, but some stuff should be considered sacred, at least in my opinion. Superman often comes off cold and smarmy at times, which is pretty much the opposite of Superman. Especially when it comes to dealing with Zodd in the end.
Overall, Man of Steel is a good movie, but the missteps keep it from being a GREAT movie. However, it’s made a TON of money so far, so my opinion is ultimately useless. Hopefully Snyder and Co. and fix things up a little for the eventual sequel, and set things up for a proper DC Film Universe.