Hosted by Remi Lavictoire and Jonathan Colbon
This week on The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast, Jonathan and Rem dig deeper into Man of Steel from 2013 and directed by Zack Snyder.
I’m not a Superman fan so didn’t have problems or expectations that fans did. I was fine with SM killing when he was given no other choice. Maybe this is the genesis of his no killing ever rule. It felt physical. It had impact. I enjoyed it. I know I’m in the minority.
I have very mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, I liked that Superman was perceived as an extraterrestrial, an unknowable quantity to be feared by the average citizen. On the other hand, though, Clark was a bit too brooding and the movie on the whole not as lighthearted as it could have or should have been. Brooding works for Batman, not so much the Man of Steel. Destroying Metropolis, killing Zod—these don’t dovetail very well with the idea of Superman as an ultimate force for good. I did like seeing a bit more of Krypton, but this part of the story felt like it belonged in an entirely different movie. Man of Steel is not essentially viewing in my opinion. Glad you’re covering it, though, and curious to hear your thoughts.
I enjoyed it as a generic superhero movie but, for me, that superhero wasn’t Superman. Hope-man maybe?
The further I get away from this movie the more I dislike it. That said, they had to redefine Superman here, because the Superman we all grew up with doesn’t hold up in today. So while I didn’t like it I thought it did a good job setting up the next movie…unfortunately I’m not confident that the next one is going to be any good.
I guess I’ve always had a problem with the Superman character, after all he’s the superhero to end all superheroes with a larger selection of powers than Batman’s utility belt. That being said, while I found this movie a little difficult to engage with emotionally, I DID like a few of the updates to the story. Here are some of my Likes and Dislikes:
Liked: Positioning Clark Kent as an alien threat. I found that to be a more believable reaction from the government than in the past.
Liked: Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Superman. A little more serious, but this movie has a serious threat, not a comical Gene Hackman or Richard Pryor. I can’t blame Cavill for that.
Liked: The villains. The Kryptonian villains did a great job representing an understandable threat and their motivation was clear.
Liked: The special effects. Zac Snyder knows his stuff.
Didn’t Like: The script. The story just kind of failed to engage on many levels.
Didn’t Like: Jonathan Clark waving off into a tornado. Seriously? Let your dad die on the off chance that someone might see some heroic shenanigans?
Didn’t Like: The massive amounts of destruction. Yeah, weird, but you basically disintegrate the Earth’s core and that’s it. Game over. There was no coming back for mankind. Plus, I kept yelling at the screen “GET OUT OF THE CITY, YOU MORON!”.
Didn’t Like: The glasses-on/glasses-off master-disguise of Clark Kent, but I never do.
I could have easily watched a film based around Russell Crowe playing Superman’s father. To me, the first 20 minutes of this movie were the most interesting as I enjoyed this new take on the Superman mythos. As for the rest of the movie, this darker take on the character takes out the innocence of the character that I enjoyed in the previous incarnations. The question of “was the neck snap at the end necessary” will be carried around as much as “who shot first”? Was it needed for the tortured soul aspect of Superman that they were trying to accomplish in this movie – yes. Is it a good reflection of the innocence of the character that I liked in the other Superman films – no. I would have also liked to have seen another solo Superman effort before the release of Dawn of Justice.
Ton de Witte
I enjoyed it, good production and well acted. What I didn’t like was that it had the origin of superman. You would think that after the previous films and TV series it was a known story. I also didn’t like the rehash of Zod from superman II it looked like a whole chunk of that movie was pasted into this one. Also the movie went on to long the whole last fight was unnecessary. All in all entertaining movie but could have been much more.
For me, the main thing I felt this film lacked was a sense of wonder. The 1978 film had a tagline of “You’ll believe a man can fly.” Watching THAT film today, with its antiquated visual effects, still leaves the viewer with a sense of wonder! AND a big smile on your face! Also, a major contributor to that sense is the music of John Williams!! Almost 40 years later, you can still hum the theme. Now, only three years later, can you hum Hans Zimmer’s theme? I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that. Great show, by the way.
I agree with Brian and Ton’s comments overall. There were good parts, Henry Cavill playing a big, muscular and serious Superman that was seen as an alien threat by the government was nice. But rehashing the origins was tiresome, and unnecessary; I’m not a huge Superman fan but even I know all about his origins. Seems like they can’t quite nail down the Superman character in the new reboots, hoping that Supes v Bats is better but I’m not really holding my breath; really looking forward to Suicide Squad which is new territory not just retreading old material.
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