Man of Steel

ManOfSteelAt first, when contemplating my review of Man of Steel (2013), I was going to quote the expression:

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

…then leave the rest of the page blank.  But that would be bad form.

So, I’ll carry on in a not-so-snotty mode.  This film didn’t work for me. At all.  On any level.  Yeesh.

The thing I kept thinking while watching it was that it seemed like one of those old, dumb Saturday matinee films – but with a very large budget.

Now perhaps that’s what the film makers were going for – as a means of making it feel somehow nostalgic?  (Maybe, but I’m sticking to my original thought.)

Now to be fair, and for the purpose of full disclosure:  I’m not a Superman guy; I’m a Batman guy.  Always have been.  And at least in spirit, always will be (of course, I had to stop buying the comic books when they turned the Batman into something far removed from Bob Kane’s original vision – thanks, DC.)

That said, I thought 1978’s Superman The Movie with Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder was charming and warm, without ever getting treacly.  I even liked the tv shows Smallville and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.  But this new version just didn’t do it for me; I guess it seemed too cold, too dark, too not-Supermanish – not to mention too Saturday-matinee-ish (man, that last description would never have passed muster in my grammar school English class).  I know others really enjoyed it, so don’t just take my word for it; however, I got to the point where I was just waiting for it to end.

Great Caesar’s ghost!

4 thoughts on “Man of Steel

  1. I actually liked this much better than I expected, but my expecations were very low. Like many recent action movies, there were too many action scenes, and the last one left me cold. But, in general, I found the approach fresh, the performances solid supported by excellent casting, and the story, including its twists on the original, compelling. A good but not great movie, but not at the level of the first two with Christopher Reeve.

    • You’re definitely not the only one who feels that way. I looked on IMDB and found that a lot of people thought the approach taken in this film was very well done. For me, though, it just didn’t work. Interestingly, unlike you I had high expectations for this movie, which might have contributed to my disliking it.

  2. I didn’t care for this one at all, but unlike you I think this one is the complete antithesis of a Saturday matinee film. Those are fun films, with lots of action, comedy and romance. This one is increasingly dour, ugly to look at (Director Zach Snyder’s films are some of the most industrial-looking I’ve ever seen) and goes on far too long.

    There were some minor things I liked (the history of Krypton played out with those funky-looking holograms) and Lois Lane on the trail of stories, etc. But everything about it was so glum, and depressing. And the Christ analogies, which have been shown in the past, have never been more pronounced than here. Let’s see, he says he’s 33 before he announces himself to the world, there’s a scene where he is discussing his doubts with a priest, and what’s in the background but a stained glass window showing Christ in the Garden at Gethsemene. Jor-El sacrificing his son for the greater good of the world.

    I’ve long thought that movies, even popcorn fare, often reflect what is going on in society. So our current society gets a Superman movie we deserve, one devoid of humor, self-sacrifice and lots of navel-gazing. Screw the plot, have lots of plot holes and contrived situations, just as long as there’s lots of CGI and we get to see lots of mass destruction. Heck, I’d rater sit through this “Superman III” or “Superman IV” again. A more depressing time in the movies I haven’t had this year.

    • While I agree with your main thoughts on the film itself, I have to disagree about the its reflecting society. If we look at just last year, we had “The Avengers,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” The first two were a LOT of fun, and the Batman film ended up being downright heroic. (And “Iron Man 3” this year was quite well done.) So I’d say “The Man of Steel”, happily, is the exception rather than the norm.

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