I just got back from watching Man of Steel, the Superman reboot directed by Zack Snyder. “Oh no, it’s that guy who directed Sucker Punch! This will be the worst film ever!” Attach Christopher Nolan to it and you’ve got fanboys praising the trailers from all corners. But I’m not writing this to bash Man of Steel or Zack Snyder. In fact, I’ve enjoyed every single one of his movies while other people haven’t (high five!). Maybe that’s part of the reason why the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes aren’t so forgiving to even the mightiest superhero of all time (Zack Snyder).
I will retaliate by saying that most of the negative reviews are garbage, with some valid points; but their validity just comes from the viewpoints of the critics themselves, which aren’t known to be neutral when it comes to films. I am not talking from the standpoint of a fanboy, but as an audience member who quite enjoyed the film and got out of it more than these critics did and don’t regret wasting money and time on watching it.
Here are some points on how Man of Steel actually works and is worth seeing.
- Some reviewers, or well, a lot of them, argue (and it seems to be their main argument) that the movie suffers from actual storytelling and is simply just plain action sequences. Which movie did they go watch? The Krypton sequence already gives you enough story to shove that argument down your throat and you still complain that it lacks from any? I understand that overall, the film should have carried the sequences a bit smoother, but to say that it suffered from giving us a story to follow is just, well, false. I was surprised at how beautiful and immersive they made Kal-El’s (Superman) home planet. Which brings me to point number two.
- Another accusation is that there’s no real reason given for Superman to do what he’s doing (saving the humans). Why would he risk it all, especially turning on his own people, just to save a planet that, after growing up in it, felt so strange to him? If you recall the Krypton and flashback sequences of Clark’s (again, Superman) youth, you’ll get the answer to THAT question. It is pretty clarified, actually imprinted, on the audience that he was sent to earth to make a new life for himself and save it from collapsing just like Krypton (going boom boom) did.
- “Most of the movie consists of punching and flying around. If you remove Lois Lane and the Daily Planet, it’ll still be the same movie.” Wrong. Lois was a central point to the story because she’s what connected Superman to humanity. He trusted her with his secret and learned to trust the humans through her. Also, she helped him with stopping Zod and his henchmen from completely turning earth into a new Krypton. So taking her out? Not a very good idea. As for the Daily Planet, we needed its introduction because if you saw the ending of the movie or even read the comic books, he eventually ends up working there as his cover-up. Also, why WOULDN’T you focus on the Daily Planet, let alone mention it in a Superman movie/show? It’s like taking out the batcave from Batman films.
- Man of Steel is often being compared to the works of Michael Bay (most notably the Transformers trilogy) because of its ongoing action between Superman and the antagonists. I’ll say that you’ll get your money’s worth of action in this film and what else do you expect? We’re speaking of Superman here and it shouldn’t surprise any of us that a film based on his journey to protect earth from advanced aliens is action-packed. Why ask for less when there’s enough to go around? And NO, the action is far superior than what it was compared to (slap on the face!).
- Although the movie skips around a lot from past to present, it still maintains its superhero/storytelling formula rolling (and drum roll please…. EMOTION!). There’s just so much story to Kal-El that it’s all packed into this film that it might make you lose track for a minute or two. With so much to sculpt into a quality and visionary movie, it does gets harder to do, leaving the audiences to endure/enjoy two hours plus of story and action driven sequences. Oh, and I really don’t mind that. Bring on the three hour plus films!
- There’s been countless of interpretations of superheroes throughout comic books, TV shows and movies. It’s your choice (the audience) which interpretation best fits your expectations. If you prefer to rate (-cough, cough- current scores) Superman Returns far higher over this film, then good for you. That’s your choice of who your Superman is and enjoyed the execution of THAT story more. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed that film too, but had some issues with it (not so major).
And critics, I want to read something more than just your dislike for its action-packed sequences. But hey, that doesn’t stop me from going to a second showing to this film if I read bad reviews. It shouldn’t stop you either. Remember, reviews are written by people just like you; alright well, movie buffs and blah blah blah. Who’s to say that you can’t write your OWN review backing it or trashing any film at all? Of course, this is my voice and choose to like some things over others. I’ve simply explained MY side of the argument towards something that I really enjoyed. I must say that I definitely enjoyed this much more than I did any of The Dark Knight films, which I love. No hate there Bats. Speaking of Bats, there’s some Easter eggs in the film. One of them is a satellite that was destroyed while Superman and Zod fought. It read “Wayne Enterprises.” Boy, he must have been pissed! Another is a mention of S.T.A.R. Labs, which is connected to Cyborg and Booster Gold. The LexCorp logo is seen twice, one on what seemed to be a fuel tanker semi trailer and another on a building. Why you hiding Lex? Lana Lang was also mentioned and played by Jadin Gould in Clark’s flashbacks, as was Pete Ross (played by Joseph Cranford), though he had more screentime. I really wanted a mention of Zor-El, father of Kara-El (Supergirl), who is Kal-El’s cousin. We NEED a Supergirl film; Woman of Steel (2016). -HA
As for the actors, I have no complaints at all. They were perfectly fit for their respective roles, even Amy Adams as Lois Lane, who I was skeptical about at first. (Sorry) And Michael Shannon was a great Zod because he just has that villainous aura and look to him. Plus, he’s a top notch actor in my book. Take Shelter might be one of my favorites. I also had my doubts for Henry Cavill as the iconic superhero, though I was a fan of his work. It’s just hard picturing anyone as Superman. You get me?? Yeah? I think I found a favorite in Antje Traue, who plays Faora, the man-hating Kryptonian.
Oh, and special thanks to a certain mega-lo-store for selling tickets for advanced screenings to the movie. Worth it.