Editorial | Review: Man of Steel

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Overall, I loved Man of Steel.  The visuals were stunning and the sound enhanced the overall feel.  It was nice to go to a movie and not be distracted by sound effects.  I hope that as a genre, comic book movies are moving past the era of ear shattering explosions and crashes.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to hear what is happening on the screen, but I like my eardrums intact.

Unlike others that have seen the movie, I did not have a problem with the final plot “twist.”  As a moviegoer, I found Superman’s decision to kill Zod quite satisfying, considering the fact that the villain had just destroyed an entire city and plotted to wipe out humanity.  The heavy, audible snap of Zod’s neck was a nice touch.

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY BECAUSE THEY WERE MISSING:
  • That bizarre curl on his forehead
  • Crazy outfits and hair on the Kryptonians
  • “Truth, Justice, and the American way.”  [It’s time to retire that phrase]
THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY BECAUSE THEY EXISTED:
  • Jor-El.  Wow.  I was blown away.  Did NOT expect Russell Crowe to pull that one off.
  • Slightly crooked teeth and chest hair on Superman [He may be the perfect humanoid, but his physique is not humanly impossible—thank goodness!]
  • A haphazard ponytail with the ponytail holder showing on Lois Lane in the desert!!  This felt so natural and realistic.
  • FLAGS EVERYWHERE!!!!  It’s been a long time since I saw a movie that felt so patriotic.
  • Superman: “I grew up in Kansas.  I’m as American as they come.” [I felt this was a fitting adjustment to his normal catchphrase, see above]
MOMENTS THAT I LOVED:
  • Faora: “Is that what you want me to tell General Zod?  That you are uncooperative?”
    Col. Nathan Hardy: “I don’t care what you tell him.”
  • Superman destroys the surveillance drone, because he’s 100% American.  [I may or may not have fallen in love with him at that moment]
  • Gen. Swanwick: “Captain, why are you smiling?”
    Captain: “I just think he’s kinda hot.”
  • Jor-El: “My son is twice the man you were.”  [According to his DNA structure, isn’t he millions and millions the man Zod is?]
    jor el
PLOT POINTS THAT MADE NO SENSE:
  • Zod declares that either Superman dies or he dies… and then proceeds to remove his greatest strategic advantage by taking off his armor
  • Lois Lane is now one of two people responsible for dropping the “bomb” that will save all humanity.  [Really?!?!  We’re all ok with having a reporter completing a military operation???]
OTHER RANDOM THINGS:
  • Holy product placement, Superman!!!!  I saw Nikon, Ihop, Dodge, Sears, 7-Eleven, U-haul, and the Royals… it’s a drinking game just waiting to be played.
  • “You know what they say, it’s all downhill after the first kiss.”  [Really?  They say that? Pretty sure I’ve never heard that ever.]
  • First moments with both fathers felt campy and forced (Truck bed with Kevin Costner after the bus incident and on the spaceship with Jor-El telling him his history).
  • Also the history sequence was weird and included things that happened at Jor-El’s death.  How did it get programmed onto the drive?
  • The spaceship design was disappointing.  My guess is that artists are trying to make them look like they are of elemental alloys not found on Earth, meaning they must be denser than anything here, but they just look like they’re carved of stone.  There are a million geniuses in Hollywood; surely SOMEONE can come up with a new design.
  • I literally wrote down, “Oh god the monologue!!” at one point when Faora was destroying the Ihop.  It was just a series of grandiose, pathetic one-liners about how weak Superman was [uh, really?] and how they were going to kill everyone he loved, repeated over and over with increasing volume and intensity.
CASTING COMMENTS:
  • I adored Russell Crowe as Jor-El.  He stole every scene he was in.  I was surprised that I could not take my eyes off him [and I’m not a huge Crowe fan in general].
  • Also, Diane Lane did a phenomenal job as Martha Kent.  So often the mothers (or aunts, in Spidey’s case) of super heroes come across as overprotective or a little weak.  Not so.  She showed her own inner steel, facing down Zod and planning to rebuild the Kent home.
  • Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent was only slightly overshadowed by his wife.  After the first somewhat awkward scene with his son, he really shone as a kind, gentle father figure.
  • Henry Cavill himself did a great job as the title character.  He was tall, broad-shouldered, cleft-chinned, and blue-eyed, but I didn’t get the “pretty boy” feeling that I usually do from Superman actors—perhaps it because the forehead curl was gone.
  • Amy Adams was the worst casting call.  I don’t think she was completely awful, but she did not embody Lois Lane in any way.  She made silly decisions, and put herself in harm’s way, not because she could handle it, but because she appears to be too dumb to know any better.  Physically she didn’t fit the part either.  Her face was simply not the full, happy face of Superman’s lady-love.  [And her hair was so flat!!!  Someone grab her a can of mousse STAT!!!]

Considering that I just sat through another 2 ½ hour long Superman origin story…  I loved this movie, and I cannot wait to see the next movie from Zack Snyder.   Four and a half Death Stars from me for this one!

4.5 Death Stars

FINAL THOUGHT:  DID ANYONE ELSE SEE THE SIGN FOR LEXCORP IN ONE OF THE NYC FLYOVERS?????????? 😀 😀 😀

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Filed under Editorial, Movie Reviews, Movies, Tracy Gronewold

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