Saturday afternoon on a bizarre break from a two show day (1st call: 10:30am, 2nd call: 10:30pm WHAT IS MY LIFE) I went and saw MAN OF STEEL at my favorite local movie theater The Davis where everything from the chairs to the screen are slightly askew. I hated this movie so much. I know a lot of people hate it so much, so here’s why I hated it so much.
For starters, it’s the minimum amount of exposition for the maximum amount of battle sequences. Don’t get me wrong, the battle sequences are REALLY impressive - we have definitely come a long way in terms of CGI and all that kind of stuff - but it’s like, what is the point of this? To prove that the movie industry’s “still got it” over the video game industry? Well, I guess this is coming from 300 director Zack Snyder, so my criticism that “IT’S TOO LOUD!” is probably not super valid. I do love however that there’s a badass chick villain who is super crazy strong (and I’m sure will be a character you can play in all the video game tie-ins), and I will say there’s something cool about seeing people THROWN THROUGH BUILDINGS and like fighting INTO THE GROUND but…
Thematically is where I really hit some problems with this movie. To say that the parallels from Superman to Jesus are overt would be an understatement. Scenes revolving around him as a brooding savior down to actual shots of him in a church in front of a stained glass Jesus are just so obvious it’s hard to stomach. And fine, make a movie about Jesus, but don’t package it as a movie about Superman.
In addition to the heavy Christian themes this movie is super ‘MERICA. Lots of sequences take place to a backdrop of Sears and IHOP - Chris Cornell provides a very Middle West feeling patriotic kind of song, and the army and the FBI are treated as delicately lovable supporting characters. All of this, along with the overdone action, along with bizarre plots that span gazillions of years and planets in a movie that you want to just be about a superhero saving people is just REALLY heavy-handed.
The acting, I will say, is amazing. Henry Cavill IS a superman by his genetic makeup, so that’s good casting there. And he has the acting chops to back it up. Amy Adams is a personal favorite of mine in every role, bringing a sweetness and an earnestness to Lois Lane. Michael Shannon, forever typecast as the Hitler of any story, is FREAKING AMAZING. He is a little TOO GOOD here, making General Zod sympathizable in ways that I doubt the writers had even tried to intend. (When he says, “I EXIST FOR KRYPTON” or whatever, you’re like, oh nice try writers, to get EVERY CHARACTER to say their ONE DRIVING CHARACTER MOTIVATION out loud.) And Christopher Meloni as AMERICA is casting that of course cannot be reckoned with.
So I don’t know about this movie, you guys. Like, I don’t regret seeing it. I don’t wish I had those two and a half hours back or whatever. But I was really just more excited by the trailers I saw beforehand (you know that feeling? A really good trailer can set ANY movie up for failure). Speaking of, the Despicable Me: 2 trailer is SURPRISINGLY AWESOME. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s probably the best use of Eminem ever.