Tuesday, June 18, 2013


My friend and fellow Superman fan John Ricotta and I watched Man of Steel tonight in IMAX 3D. Arriving forty-five minutes before the show, we sketched out how we would show both Superman's origins and his current ordeal, and the movie unfolded just as we wanted.

This is the first live-action movie to focus on Clark Kent's search for identity. Meanwhile, Lois Lane is first on the trail of a mysterious savior. The heart of any Superman story for me is Clark's relationship with Lois, and Amy Adams' Lois gets to know Clark before anyone else, even before Clark discovers Jor-El and puts on the jammies.

Clark, Lois, Zod, and Jor-El are all well served. I do agree with the criticism that there is too much destruction. Superman's handling of Zod in the end keeps to the post-Superman Returns grittier mission statement, but the dialogue telegraphs it, so it seem drawn out. Nevertheless, Warner Bros. now has a Superman on whom to build a new franchise. Godspeed.


Bryon Quertermous said...

I always like reading your reviews Gerald because I think you and I have the same philosophy. I think we're able to separate a movie from it's source material and appreciate (or not) it for what it is alone.

Jeff Rutherford said...

I was ambivalent about Man of Steel. As eye candy, it was beautiful. But sadly, like the majority of popcorn summer movies - superhero movies and other genres - the movie had faded by the time I reached my car in the parking lot.

As someone in NYC on 9/11, I was offended by the climactic battle. Hollywood filmmakers in some odd Godzilla/nuclear bomb moment haven't realized that buildings falling and causing sudden, violent death was a traumatic event for many NYers - and other Americans. Yeah, yeah, we're in 2013, but it's just really dumb to keep doing this. Plus, as you said, people have pointed out that Superman wouldn't idly participate in a battle that was causing hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent deaths as a result.

My BIGGEST issue with Man of Steel was the death scene of Superman's dad - Pa Kent (whatever his character's name). I hated, hated, hated the whole premise and idea of that scene. Superman wouldn't have stood by and let that happen - EVER.

Gerald So said...

I agree with you about the trend of gratuitous destruction at the movies in general, but with people showing up with powers equal to Superman's (but not concerned for human life), massive destruction could take place. The problem I had was how clunkily the dialogue gave Superman no other way to handle Zod.

I bought Jonathan Kent's death because he accepted death to protect Clark's identity. When Jonathan was in peril, Clark was less sure of himself than he would be when he took on the role of Superman. As much as Clark wanted to save Jonathan, he also wanted to respect Jonathan's wishes to keep his alien nature secret. If Clark had miraculously saved Jonathan, there would be a lot more questions and attention than the Kents could handle.