Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Man of Steel' movie -- Great action, but lacked awe and heroism

Here's my review of "Man of Steel" ---

Merits 3 of 4 stars

  "Man of Steel" isn't a bad movie, it just could have easily been a much better one.
  Here are 6 ways the movie went astray .....
  1.  Quite simply, the movie lacked simple heroism -- a vital ingredient in a super-hero movie.
  2. There was little awe and majesty to be found in the film and that's why it never really took off.
 3.  A Superman movie also should not be scary and yet I saw a 5-year-old scream during the middle of the movie and he had to be taken out twice by his mother. A Superman movie should be suspenseful, but not frightening like that.
4. There were only several attempts at humor in the movie -- it could have used at least a dozen more!!! 
5. Superman is unique, because he is the LAST survivor of Krypton -- at least in his early years. To have Zod and crew show up before he even had the name Superman was way too early and ruined that aspect. Darkseid or Brainiac would have been much better villains for "Man of Steel" and Zod needed to come later ....
6. There was lots of action to be found in the movie, I just wish some of it was redirected to show Superman AFTER the General Zod attacks, of him gaining some trust among the common folk, of him helping stop crime and regular day-to-day crisis and the like.
(Why they could have downsized the too-long main battle scene to save time and resources for filming Superman helping people after Zod was stopped.)

  That's pretty much my general take on the "Man of Steel."

  Now here are some specifics and yes, SPOILERS are found below!!!

--What I really really liked about the movie:
1. It was a different take/spin on the Superman story, another "Elseworld" tale, if you read DC Comics. Lots of differences in the movie vs. comics.
2. No Lex Luthor to be seen, but I did see a reference to Lex Corp.
3. It was interesting to see Superman faced with a kill Zod kind of dilemma, or he couldn't be stopped. (However, that take is NOT unique and was also previously done with the pre-"52" Superman back in the late 1980s, when he killed Zod and his cohorts in a pocket universe to prevent future murders by the villains.)
4. That the "S" symbol was reinterpreted to stand for hope in the Kryptonian language.
5. That Henry Cavill was great as Superman, as was Amy Adams as Lois Lane. (However, can we now have an American play "Dr. Who" or "James Bond" to balance the scales?)

--Little things I didn't like in the movie:
1. That Jimmy Olsen was a girl character, Jenny.
2. That there was NO "S" symbol on Superman's cape.
3. That there was NO reference to Superman's education in journalism.
4. That Lois Lane knew Superman as Clark Kent too from the very beginning.
5. That Zod killed  Jor-El on Krypton.
6. That the Phantom Zone was a weird kind of black hole, something that makes no scientific sense to me.
7. That Krypton had so many outposts and no survivors anywhere -- plus, that a ship buried in Arctic and thousands of years old could still fly and allow Jor-El to be a hologram inside it.
8. That you NEVER actually saw a scene where the Kents found Kal-El.
9. That Jonathon Kent died in a tornado ... where was Clark Kent's vaunted super-speed, that could have saved him undetected?
10. That the other Kryptonians became super-powered so quickly, when it took 3 decades for Superman to gain all his powers. In contrast, Superman lost his powers all too quickly on Zod's mother ship.
11. The movie's music was pretty dull. No John Williams kind of excitement to be found.

--Interesting things in the movie:
1. That you saw real-life businesses, I-Hop, Sears, etc.
2. I didn't time them -- but that sure seemed like the longest string of movie preview before "Man of Steel," that I had ever seen before any film begins. Also, the end credits go on in what seems to be record territory too.
3. I spotted at least one former "Smallville" cast character -- Alessandro Juliani who played Officer Sekowski in the Arctic. (He was Dr. Hamilton in the last season of "Smallville.")
4. There are NO scenes during or after the end credits.

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