Looking back to the move 5 days after, I have to say I really loved the beginning. More time show on Krypton than I recall in any of the other movies. As far as Superman's mom not getting all crazy after seeing her husband killed, I believe that was on purpose. She had given hope of living and just wanted to keep it together so Cal had a chance of living in a new world.
The flashback scenes worked for me. Got to see how Superman got his mindset over the years. I go agree I thought it was odd in the school that all the kids were behind the teacher as she was trying to talk to Superman, but really it was not a huge distraction. It's a super hero movie and still way better than others I have seen.
The action scenes although long seem to fade more from my memory as days go by since I have seen the movie. So it obviously wasn't too bad where it would make me dislike the movie.
The biggest plus for me for the movie was the absence of Jimmy Olson. Hated that character in the show, the comics and other movies. Weak, annoying character that would take up space better occupied by someone else.
Partial and non-spoilery gripes with Man of Steel (also with crunchy compliment bits and real spoilers marked below):
By non-spoilery, I mean I don't divulge any specific plot elements, but I do mention theme, tone and other elements, such as how the characters are handled or how the story is told, so if you don't want to be spoiled at all, stop reading.
My primary complaint about Man of Steel is that it is all plot, no story. What I mean by this is that there is no theme to hold the picture together as a satisfying emotional whole. There are a whole lot of possible ideas whose threads are opened, but insufficient follow-up to cement those threads into ideas. I think Nolan is probably at least partially culpable in this department, if not wholly, because he has shown a proclivity to over-complicate things in the past. In favor of Nolan, he frequently makes it work; it doesn't here. Maybe these threads are addressed in Snyder's 3-hour cut. If so, I hope we get to see that.
My secondary complaint is that characters frequently say or act on things they could not possibly know. And suddenly I realize I need a spoiler section to expound on that. Well, suffice to say for now, that's the case, and those of you who've seen it may be able to recall a few examples.
My tertiary complaint is that the movie eventually compromises itself stylistically in terms of structure. This is an area where Nolan is usually solid, so Snyder must carry the blame here, unless, again, his director's cut shows the cut down for time is the culprit. Unlike Nasti, I really, really enjoyed the storytelling in the first part of the movie. Even moreso, I thought it was amazing that there could be so much action yet be so personal. If this turned out to be a 90-minute movie that was about this (or even a 180-minute movie that delivered like this), I would have been ecstatic. FWIW, one of my best friends and trusted movie resources felt exactly the opposite, preferring the second half of the movie to the first. A tale of two movies, perhaps? I think I noted before that I thought the first part of this movie was nearly perfect. Complete love.
WARNING: SPOILERY FOOTNOTES.
Possible forgotten and/or mishandled themes include: acceptance, freedom of choice, identity, morality. Curiously, acceptance and freedom of choice are ideas that are introduced and then dropped; identity is an idea that is never introduced or explored, only implied, but it is the closest thing to a theme this movie imparts, apart from morality, which is neither explored nor implied but expected to be introduced by the viewer. If only the choice made by Kal-El was more palpable by having been established more firmly, the film would have felt more whole. Acceptance is best explored in the beginning of the picture. Very well established. It almost entirely dies in the second half of the movie. Perry White asks if we can imagine what would happen if the world found out about alien life being on Earth? Actually, Perry, as a movie viewer, I'd rather see and, therefore, experience it.
When relaying the history of Krypton to Kal-El, the virtual Jor-El relays information about General Zod that happened after Jor-El's death. What? And we can surmise the kind of impetuousness that causes Lois to venture out into sub-negative-40-degree weather inappropriately dressed, but why instantly zoom into a tiny corner on a picture?
Additional complaint: Superman has two moments of questionable moral tactics. I don't have a problem with either of these happening, but I do have a huge problem with how the movie presents them without any context as well as the weak way in which the climactic event is presented. These events only become important in the movie via the viewer's preconception of Superman. Honestly, this is possibly a large portion of the audience, but, I think, less of the general audience than we might initially suppose. Even with those preconceptions, there need to be more signposts along this road, and, even with only two, the first signpost — stealing — is the wrong message. Supes clearly doesn't need clothes to feel warm, more to blend in then. What if he has to think twice about stealing then? Or what if he chooses to look foolish rather than steal? At the very least, what if he goes out of his way to repay his debt? As it is, we are being told as an audience, especially with expectations of Supes, that this is not the same old Superman. That's well and fine, but the impact of the climactic moment is better served if we establish that Superman, in fact, does have an overly sensitive moral compass.
Real fine breakdowns by (almost) everyone. And I get it and think you raise a lot of valid points. LTI especially with the Lois Lane out in the 40 below weather (coughcough could that look more like a soundstage?) complaint. But when I read your 'reviews' and thats what they are, it feels like you were making notes during the actual movie. Now that's not a complaint. I find myself doing that more often than not and it's usually a sign that the movie has failed because I am out of the movie and in my head. So, I would think that is the experience you must have had. For once I went into a movie and just rode with it. Soaked it in and didn't let myself get distracted by flaws. And I truly enjoyed the experience. The true definition of a 'popcorn movie', which some folks think is a derogatory term. I haven't studied film. I'm not a cineaste. I am just a guy who likes to watch movies. Maybe I need to rewatch this with a more critical eye, who knows? But I still think it got more right than it got wrong and overall I think it was a solidly entertaining relaunch of a character that is pert near impossible to translate. More importantly I think that they established a firm footing to go forward with Superman and possibly other DC characters. Nasti in particular...was Batman Begins perfect? Or was it a solid starting point for what I will admit are two superior sequels? Maybe that's the case here? Maybe Snyder's 2nd and 3rd attempts will equal the heights Nolan reached(in your opinions, not mine) with Batman.
when they had opportunities to really have the characters connect and create some emotional impact with the audience, it fell flat.
mom losing her baby? didn't connect - my wife said it best - I really wanted to feel for her, but I felt nothing.
Superman meeting his real father after all this time being pushed to not be "different"? didn't connect
Superman and Lois? didn't connect
Superman and Costner? didn't connect
and the end to that boss fight? really? you guys are throwing each other through buildings and **** for hours and hours and that is how it ends?
oh, and how about that "surgery" on Lois' body? just cauterize that ****! nevermind that your intestines are now no longer functioning properly and there's probably poop all through your system haha.
Totally forgot to bring up the ending. The way Zod is killed. It was straight out of Austin Powers/James Bond. Just kill them. Why do you have to play the slow-lazer-moving-toward-them game?
Batman Begins had very little action and was filled with story and character development. Some people didn't like that, but I did. Yes, that was a good starting point. This movie wasn't like that.
Originally Posted by jerseydevil
And I'd probably still see the sequel to this. Partially because I'm hoping it's better and partially because I like Supes. But realistically, the next one has a greater chance at failing than succeeding simply because it's a sequel. We'll see.
SPOILERS --- SPOILERS --- SPOILERS
Agree with all the points. Some of them were questions in my mind as well. One of the biggest issues my wife had, and I admit it was a great point, was the practically all out destruction of Metropolis. In this post-9/11 days it is a very difficult task to ask audiences to just accept this. Add in that Supes main goal has been his moral compass and this is re-enforced by Jor when he tells him he can save them all. Additionally did the fight scenes go on too long? Absolutely - especially the one in Smallville (again the fuel station destruction and wasn't Supes worried about the innocent civilians?).
But overall, like jd, I loved this film. I don't get to many movies in the theater anymore so when I make the choice to go it has to be a good movie. This doesn't always happen for me but on some occasions I have great luck and see a movie I know nothing about that is off the charts good (The Descendents come to mind). But Man of Steel was a movie I knew about and wanted to go see and I am not a Supes guy. So I think (also like jd) I went into the theater to be entertained and that is absolutely what this movie did for me. I loved that JorEl was the moral compass of Krypton and he was fighting to save his planet but ultimately knew it was doomed. I loved that this part of the back story was developed to the extent that natural births were no longer allowed and that people were born for certain jobs in society. This is what made Superman truly unique from other Kryptonians - something I always wondered about. I loved the whole story of Earth's atmosphere being something he had to adjust to. I loved the Jonathon Kent story and how he tried to bring Clark up "as his son." I was in tears when he died in the tornado. But I loved the development of the back story that Clark is an outsider - an alien even! - and had to be helped along by his earthly parents. I loved all the nuance's of Superman's back story that I never got from the previous movies and didn't know since I didn't read the comic books. It also feels like there is set-up points for further story telling in the series down line. Last but not least I loved Henry Cavill in this role - he was a great Supes.
I just wanted to be entertained and in awe and I was by this movie.
Look... all the criticisms and complaints about this movie are WELL documented and oft repeated.
Originally Posted by jerseydevil
This is one of those films that comes down to the eternal question : Did you like it?
If you did... then great. Bully for you.
But this was hardly some deep introspective art film masquerading as a comic book movie.
It was a fine little summer popcorn flick. This movie elicited almost no strong emotion from me one way or the other and I really think that's about as telling a statement as I can make about it.
Even the utterly ridiculous scene in the church didn't make me gag as much as my brain told me it should.
This movie didn't "earn" any of it's little pay off moments but if they landed for you then I'm happy you watched a movie that you enjoyed.
My only real quibble is this.
When Superman kills Zod.... after the two of them have punched each other around a seemingly endless city that has no real sense of existing in a meaningful physical way..........
Lois Lane magically shows up, ON FOOT, to be there for Superman as he mourns.
That's just ****ing lazy. That's a movie that wants it's cake more than it wants to bake it.
So fine... it's nitpicky but it's a perfect little slice of that movie for me. That movie is just way more invested in having it's moments than it is in coming up with legitimate reasons for them to have happened in the first place.
Originally Posted by mitchrock
Oh and reversing the roles that Jonathan Kent and Jor El play in making Clark the man he is today might seem interesting or modern or whatever but it's really just stupid and actually totally undermines the thing that makes Clark Kent unique.
So yea. Lazy, stupid, CGI laden, splosion laden, product placement over loaded, loud......
And to be clear...
I don't hate this movie.
Man of Steel
Did I snap this thread's neck before it killed an innocent family?