I just exited the 10:30pm showing of “Man of Steel” in IMAX 3D and I’m giving it to you straight — I thought it was a fun, action packed movie. It’s also easily my favorite Superman movie.
And here’s why:
1) I’m not a Superman fan. At all. If there is one mainstream comic book character I care the least for it’s Superman. But I enjoyed “Man of Steel” more than all the “Batman” movies from any decade combined. Not everything has to be “dark” this and “hanging people from bridges” that.
2) My not being a big Superman fan likely allots the leisure of viewing this movie through a different lens than the classic “Christopher Reeve is God” Superman fan. I know I just struck a chord. Believe me though, I get it — you love those movies and the man in them who wore the suit. We can all speak to something like that. But they’re not as timeless to others as you may believe. Have you ever tried re-watching the classic “Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!” 1970s TV show? The Reeves era of the Superman movie franchise is not quite that bad, but not too far off either. I’d like to repeat what a dude behind me in line said tonight that about sums up this argument: ”You can watch Christopher Reeve at home — I’m going to watch Superman in IMAX 3D.”
3) To that point, Henry Cavill makes a great Superman. Give him a few more years and another movie, and Christopher Reeve may as well take that seat George Reeves, Brandon Routh and all those other “phased out” Superman actors have been saving for him. Those other guys and Reeve are a piece of Superman history, but Cavill’s legacy has just begun. He certainly has the chops to make Superman his own. The potential is there for him to become an icon for the new breed of comic book fans. To put it simply: Jor-El would be proud of his son since true to the El family crest, he’s inspired hope in the Superman franchise.
4) SCI-FI SUPERMAN WORKS! This point can not be understated. Watching this film in 3D when the Krypton scenes were in full effect was breathtaking. From the scope of the planet, to the slow moving ships in the background and the fauna that live amongst the Kryptonians — it felt real. Looked it too. I would absolutely watch a prequel movie starring Zod and Jor-El on this planet — and other worlds — all freakin’ day.
5) When Zod was telegraphing the “We are not alone” message to the people of Earth, that creeped me out. Actually, Zod in general creeped me out. He reminded me of a religious fanatic who’s just incapable of seeing things any other way and resorts to extremes. When Zod said he was born or programmed or whatever to protect Krypton, it really put things in perspective on who he is. Then when he goes after Superman, it’s like he’s declared “If Superman lives, that means Krypton dies. It’s in my DNA to ensure that does not happen.” Intense stuff!
6) High-speed combat never looked so awesome! Man, the special effects team nailed the fight scenes. Except for the choreography being totally ignorant of Superman’s environment — and all that entails (see #1 below) – the fights looked wicked. Yes, everything was pretty much done via computer but a cool thought is these fight scenes are only going to look better as time goes on. Superman’s heat vision looked scary — I’m looking forward to his realization he has freezing breath.
7) Zod’s main general lady was so, so sexy. I feel ashamed to admit this, but I found her taking extreme pleasure in her job and ass kicking ways to be disturbingly hot. (Sorry Lois)
8) Which brings me to Lois Lane. I really liked this version of Lois. The choice of Amy Adams III to play her and not some outlandish super duper star like, say, Megan Fox, was a great move. And an important one — this movie becomes borderline intolerable if scenes with Lois suck. They didn’t, and she actually felt like a real person to me… which is who Lois Lane is, right? I liked her edge, persistence and ability to overcome challenges. Nicely done Amy Adams III!
And here’s why I couldn’t help but laugh at “Man of Steel:”
1) Superman totally killed a shit ton of people in the final act. And by a shit ton, I mean at least a couple hundred thousand. From destroying buildings, to making debris fall all the fuck over town, to destroying things in orbit that crash to Earth, to ducking trucks so they can blow up buildings behind him — the collateral life toll Superman’s responsible for has to be at least 200,000. Even after the main battle was over and Superman was fighting Zod mano-a-mano, he was still killing civilians, smashing through apartment buildings and stuff. Imagine being one of those people. You’re all like, “HOLY FUCK! Did you see all that crazy shit out there!? Aliens and ships and gravitational carnage and stuff!? WE LIVED THROUGH THAT!” You’re high-fiving your wife about to make a bagel when — BAM! Your ass is decapitated by Superman’s forearm as he’s bursting through your apartment building, punching Zod. That would suck so hard. And it happened. To hundreds of people.
2) Throughout most of the 3rd act I was expecting Will Smith and Jeff Golblum to come down and be like, “Really guys?”
3) Do we really need to computer animate newborn babies? I mean, really — there aren’t enough new born babies, like, everywhere to film? Then, if you must, computer whizz-matazz that baby’s face onto a doll or something and make it look good? Newborn Kal-El freaked me out almost more than Zod. Animated baby faces make me shudder.
4) Imagine if Metropolis (which is supposed to be what, Los Angeles?) really existed and was utterly destroyed like in “Man of Steel.” Do you have any fucking idea what that would do to the global economy? Business across the globe would be affected, and the economic structure as we know it would cease to exist. We’d be literally growing corn and shit on our front lawns. Damn, son! Wait. Wait a minute — we have Superman. It’s all good!
5) Pa Kent’s death. Clark’s driving with ma and pa in his late teens, early 20s when suddenly a tornado strikes down in the middle of a clogged Kansas road. Everyone’s rushing for an overpass, when Clark realizes his pooch was left behind in their truck. Shit! Running from the safety of the overpass, Clark runs towards the chaos. He and pa Kent meet in the middle. “Dad — our dog is still in the car!” “Don’t worry son. Here, take this kid I’m holding to safety — I’ll run back into the tornado without Superman powers to save our dog!” Right, because that makes sense. They’re both at an equidistant point to the dog — why didn’t pa Kent keep jogging on his merry way to the overpass with the kid, while Clark does his Superman thing real quick and saves their dog? Nobody would have noticed because they’re all crapping their pants over the giant tornado coming at them. It didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. And I laughed.
6) The scientist guy who solved the riddle of Kal’s life pod thing. “Hmm… that looks like a square, which if turned sideways is a diamond… so… yes! That matches! YES! That’s it! I’M A GENIUS!” Then he pressed the Super Key into the Super Slot which launched the thing at Zod’s ship, resulting in a black hole that sent the surviving Kryptonians into the Phantom Zone. He saved the day, kind of. Nice work, man — for science!
7) Can we now, as a movie going audience, be over the mass destruction of cities, its people and crashing buildings? It’s getting a little depressing.
8) Superman taking on the guise of Clark Kent by putting on “the glasses” during his first day at the Daily Planet was so ridiculous. Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan did such a great job making this movie feel like it fit in reality (willing suspension of disbelief being considered here, people!), but the second Clark put those glasses on as a disguise… What the motherfuck man. IT’S 2013 AND SO OBVIOUS WHO YOU ARE! Also, doesn’t that fat kid from the Ihop and all those other kids and teachers from Kansas know who Clark Kent really is already? Yeah, bro — cover blown!
Bottom line: go see this movie! If you’re an old school Superman fan don’t lie to yourself — you’re going to see “Man of Steel.” Don’t try too hard to find things to hate about it. Like Krypton, classic Superman’s had his chance. It’s time for the character to embrace the new millennium and this movie’s a great start.