Yeah, a big fucking spoiler warning in the beginning so you know what you’re going to read here.
It’s hard to make a Superman movie, let a lone a perfect one. It’s because Superman is an ideal, a myth that people know and love for ages, a perfect hero with perfect morality.
Or so they say.
For me, there are no Superman, because event the last son of Krypton have his own flaw in almost every version of his story which I believe is what Snyder/Nolan/Goyer is aiming for in Man of Steel.
For the record, I’m a goddamn Batman fan because shitload of reviewer seems to have the need to emphasize how much of the fan of Superman they are, let me state that I bat for the… Bats.
Lame joke aside, let’s do the review.
What are the flaw of this movie? For me, it’s the flow. Snyder took a ballsy choice by telling the story in non-conventional linear way people are used with. There are complaints after complaints about this making the audience confused , but that’s not the problem (seriously people, pay attention to the movie and stop chattering, it’s not that hard to follow). The problem is, fhe flow between scenes are… stiff. It feels choppy and it’s a bit distracting because the visuals are great. I guess Snyder is trying out a new style, but that don’t work, at least for me.
Second, not enough time on some character. I’m not saying that the character aren’t developed, I’m saying that some of them aren’t developed enough in the audience heart to have impact when something happens to them. For me, Pa’ Kent’s death scene didn’t work really well because I haven’t love him enough at that point… but the last scene with cape, dog, and Pa’ Kent fixing his car really works because by then I already feel the emotional connection with the family. It’s a pity because I know I should feel like crying in both scene, but I only did in one scene.
There are several others, but those two are the most things that bug me when I watched the movie. So let’s go to the story.
I’m not a critic, not a professional one, at least. I’m also not a BIG comic book fan, I’m just a reader that reads anything on the reach of my hand. The only major Superman title that I remember reading through was The Death and Return of Superman, the one with Doomsday. I might have read some others, but that’s the biggest title I can remember when I heard the word “Superman comic”.
So I watched this movie as a general audience and a comic book reader, yet this movie satisfy me because it shows how people grow, how people make mistake, and how people struggle through the hard times.
Clark finding it hard to fit in as an alien on earth. He feel different because of his power that he can’t control as a kid, and have to surpress as he grow up. His family is supportive, yet his dad is against the idea of him showing or using the power because the world isn’t ready yet. Pa’ Kent is so persistent with this idea, he’s willing to die in tornado to protect his son’s identity and even have the thought of letting other people die.
I love this. A lot of people are saying that this isn’t the Pa’ Kent they know, and I totally understand that, but that doesn’t stop me from loving this idea because it’s so human. It’s human to be selfish (come on, letting your son watch you die when he could’ve save you IS selfish), and it’s human to be wrong.
When Clark asked Lois: “my dad think the world isn’t ready. What do you think?”, he also ask the audience. What do you think, is Pa’ Kent right, or is he wrong? Is the world ready for a Superman? The movie doesn’t give us the clear answer, it only shows that the world NEED Superman, and he come in the time when he’s needed, with his limited capability.
People always imagine Superman as if he’s a perfect being with limitless power and flawless morality. This movie deconstruct that idea by giving him a limit no movie has give him before.
Like I stated before, Man of Steel is a movie where people grow. We see Clark grow as a kid, as a youth, and as an adult, each with its own problem and mostly deal with he try to contain his emotion and not letting his power loose. Superman isn’t born perfect, he’s nurtured to be a good guy, he’s a good guy at the end, but he’s still human. He can still get carried away by his emotion and make mistakes. There are great balance here too, he’s born as the first Kryptonian that are free from pre-determined life role (destiny?), but he has to restrain himself on Earth, so he’s not that free.
Some people might root for Zod for following his role and destiny. He’s not wrong, he only want the best for his people. Some might blame Jor-El for being selfish by launching his son to Earth and abandon the whole planet, some might disappointed by Pa’ Kent’s decisions and words (as I mention above), and Superman’s decision to kill Zod, but that’s how life is. It’s not black and white, it’s not good and evil. This movie have a sense of realism, of choice the character are making, the morality and pressure behind it, and I like that. It’s something I hope from a comic book movie nowadays.
And for crying out loud, this is the FOURTH time Zod incarnation being killed by Superman. He’s already used to it, and we should too. And it’s not like he have any better options, that dude is more than willing to kill the whole planet and the Phantom Zone’s door is already closed, with no prison on Earth could contain him. What would you do?
One thing most people seems to forget, this is his first gig as superhero, he’s inexperienced and not yet have his full power. He just a boy from Kansas with superpower he’s not allowed to use and he have to fight an army of Kryptonian that was born and raised as warrior.
So yeah, the destruction and the recklessness is inevitable. And in the comic I mentioned before, the destruction caused by Superman’s fight with Doomsday is also big with a lot of people died too. And that was the experienced Superman.
And Superman isn’t the only hero here. Lois play a big part as a hero, not as a useless damsel in distress like she always did. Does she still need to be helped? Sure. Can Superman save the day without her help? I can say, without Lois, the Earth will get destroyed. That was the best part of Lois in this movie, she really live up to her background as a famous reporter and not just a pretty face. yes, she discover who Superman really is, but… how can an investigative reporter fail to see who’s the man behind the glasses? I prefer this version of Lois more than any previous versions.
There are many things people nitpick in this movie, and for every nitpick there’s always the answer in the movie (aside from the suit in the ship, that was weird). For me, this is a good movie, an enjoyable one with great action scenes and good story.
Will I show this movie to my children in the future? Surely I will, and I will tell them that a hero doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to be super, and doesn’t have to make all the right choice. They only need to do the best they can do for what they believe in.
p.s: can I have a threesome with Faora and Lara? These Kryptonian women are so hot they should be illegal to enter this planet.
p.p.s: am I the only one expecting Pa’ Kent to end up in Oz?
(Originally posted on