Happy July 5th everyone! A day that will go down in history for historically being the day that everyone in 1776 got together, discussed the constitution and then took a nap. But enough of me and my awkward introductory jokes, for today (at long last and after many promises) I shall hitherto and henceforth-more review Man of Steel.
Micah Reviews: Man of Steel
After Superman Returns darkness fell upon the Superman world, a dark shadow of not caringness and much MUCH more interesting super heroes. But now with the Batman Trilogy done and with Green Lantern being sort of a stupid hero can Superman actually return? Can the Man of Steel steal the spotlight once more? In some words: Probably not.
Many and many years ago in a kingdom by the sea—I mean in a planet by the… umm… stars. There lived a species known as the Kryptonions. They were a super advanced society but for some reason (despite obviously having the capability of space travel) they decide to stay on Krypton despite the fact that the planet was about to become a slushy made of lava and death. In this time there was a guy named Jor El who (for some reason) was the only person smart enough to take steps to prevent the death of his species, by sending his son Kal El off the planet and towards another planet (Earth). Meanwhile a General person named Zod El… I mean just Zod he (apparently) does not get a last name, attempted to lead a coup against the government. He tried to get a hold of Kal El and Jor El so he could ride the EL Train and save the world. (More on this later)
But despite all that Jor El saved his son, Zod was captured and imprisoned in the Negative Zone (where the glass is ALWAYS half empty), and Kal El made it to earth, was adopted by the Kents and renamed (dun dun DUN) Clark Kent. Clark spends an unusual childhood not beating people up and getting in trouble with his father for saving the lives of innocents and eventually grows up into a big hairy, hairy man who travels around looking for the reason that he was sent to Earth.
Eventually (as you may have guessed) Zod escapes his prison and (while also searching for the lesser known Positive Zone) comes looking for Clark so that he can save his people and destroy the Earth (cause apparently those are mutually exclusive) and it is up to Clark (now having reclaimed his lineage and wearing a cool costume) to save the Earth and stand for Truth, Liberty, and mass destruction of property.
I’m gonna start with some props to the actors that I liked: Amy Adams did really well as Lois Lane and was the first Lois in a long time that I haven’t thought was just a stupid, helpless, star struck woman who existed solely so that Superman could catch her when she fell from high places. Secondly props to Russell Crowe who OWNED Jor El. I mean if they made a Jor El movie I would be ALL about that. They won’t though… cause that would be a good idea and stuff. I also thought Henry Cavill did pretty well with Superman… I mean he wasn’t great and he came off a little wooden but—isn’t Superman kind of supposed to be like that anyway? Plus after watching what’s his name from the last Superman movie prance around in a cape like the prettiest girl at the ball it was nice to see a manly Superman with a deep growly death voice and chest hair. I’m just saying.
I appreciated the tone of the movie. It’s grounded and believable and far better handled then most other Superman movies or even then the ill fated, ill smelling Green Lantern movie. It was a world that I could relate to… for the most part. (more on that later)
The fight scenes were cool. For the most part (more on this later)
Okay… here we go. Let me premise this real quick: This is the best Superman movie I have ever watched. See that? Remember it. Cause this is gonna get ugly quick.
Okay so at the beginning of the movie Jor El gets all up on Zod about how he’s going to only let certain people live and how that just isn’t right. Then he launches his son into space carrying the key to saving Krypton with him and subsequently dooming his entire race. See the problem there? Sure Zod was only going to let certain people live, but you just killed everyone except for the one person you wanted to live.
Secondly: sure the Kryptonian council wanted to stay on Krypton for… whatever reason it was that they decided staying on a planet that was about to throw its own personal all lava t-shirt party. But we KNOW that Kryptons had space travelling capabilities and Kal El and his wife Betsy (not at all her real name) could have children so… why didn’t they just leave? Why didn’t Zod just steal some stuff and go out on his own? Seems like you don’t have to go to the bother of killing the current leadership when the current leadership is actively choosing to bathe in a planetwide lava swimming pool?
Moving on from that (and ignoring the fact that the planets head scientist somehow beat up the planets head soldier) the pacing of the movie was on a slow train from Slowville travelling to Slowington. We spend the first thirty minutes of the movie on Krypton watching Jor El run around but then twenty minutes later Jor El (or more accurately Jor Els computer ghosty thing) summarizes the whole beginning of the movie anyway. Did they think we had already forgotten? Were they worried that the audience would show up late or something? It felt like when you’re watching two TV episodes back to back and have to sit through the “Last Time on Teen Vampire-Wolf-Zombie… Bieber” anyway. So not only was the pacing slow but it definitely felt like it REALLY didn’t have to be.
I’m gonna skip some other stuff that I could talk about like Mr. Captain Kent needlessly sacrificing himself to hide his sons identity despite the fact that if he had just sent his INDESTRUCTIBLE son in the first place it wouldn’t have been an issue at all. The fact that after a whole movies worth of people talking about the consequences of alien life being revealed to earth (a theme that I genuinely liked) when a spaceship teleports itself above Metropolis everyone just sort of… stares at it like my mom stared at me when I showed up an hour late for dinner. Also, why is a reporter on the plane carrying the super-secret weapon of secrecy and death? Is it so Superman can catch her when she invariably plummets from the plane? I think yes. There were other things that I’m skipping cause I realize this has been going on for a while so here are my final three thoughts:
First off this is a weirdly humorless movie. Like I really liked the dark, serious tone of the film but I think there was like one line that made someone (to be read: not me) in the theater laugh in the entire movie. That’s a LONG time to sit through a movie and not have someone say something funny. I mean I realize I’m a weird person but unless I’m asleep there are very few two and a half hour periods of my life where I do not laugh at something, it’s weird that a Superman movie just became one of them.
Secondly the movie talks about how “It’s taken 33 years for Superman to adjust to earth’s climate” and when Superman gets exposed to a Kryptonian atmosphere he gets violently ill. Yet when Zod and his people arrive on Earth it takes them literally two minutes to gain superpowers. Zod loses his helmet and while he does struggle with controlling his powers he doesn’t really show any of the very obvious side effects that Superman did. Also, Superman gets his power from the Sun right? So how do Zod and his people gain powers so quickly when 90 percent of their bodies are covered in armor?
Finally: the hilarious amount of destruction in this movie is well… hilarious. I really liked the super powered awesome super hero fighting… for the first thirty minutes. But you can only destroy so many city blocks one building at a time before it starts to get really really old. As if Zach Snyder (the director) had this same thought, at one point Superman and Zod fly to space literally for no other purpose then to destroy a satellite and come back to earth so they can destroy more buildings. This went on for what felt like DAYS and anytime that I, Micah Thompson: legendary destroyer of buildings and adorable yew lambs, am telling you to stop breaking cities… you should stop.
Man of Steel has its problems (see small book written above) but all that said it’s not a terrible movie. It’s long, and maybe (dare we say it) takes itself a little too seriously but on the whole it’s a good Superman movie. Not a great one, not even a really good one, but a good one. Honestly, it would probably be a lot better watched at home where you could occasionally leave the room for twenty minutes to make breakfast or paint a picture or milk a cow and then when you got back… nothing will have happened.
I give it 3 falling Lois Lanes out of 5.
Concluding Conclusions: I literally sat here and stared at that line for like five minutes. I originally put 2 out of 5 (which made sense given that I spent an entire page pointing out things I didn’t like about it) but in the end I went with a 3. It’s like a 2.5 out of 5 but since doing that much math makes my head hurt I just rounded up and went with it… because once again: it is the best Superman movie I’ve ever watched.