“Man of Steel”

Right, here we go. Considered views on “Man of Steel”…

Acting: Actually, I didn’t think the acting was too bad, despite several big names being wasted on stuff like this. None of the characters was remotely believable, but I don’t put the fault for that at the feet of the actors who were all genuinely trying their best to polish a turd. Lawrance Fishburne is getting wider in the face than he is on the waistline these days, Henry Cavill has bulked up nicely from his Tudors role and is very do-able, and it’s nice to see West Wing’s Toby get to help save the world a bit more.

Plot: As coherent as Brownian Motion. All over the bloody shop. The multiple timelines were fine, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was the frequency with which they got to a rare meaningful plot point and rushed through it saying, in effect, “you’ll get this if you read the comics, tough if not”. It pandered far too much to the core audience, which when the core audience is teenage boys with a massive inferiority complex and incurable masturbation habit, is NOT a good thing. The nod to the fanboys in the shape of the small-dicked fat kid who becomes Superman’s “friend” was laugh-out loud funny. And laugh I did. Sadly, this one bit of unconscious parody does not make up for the rest. Ah, the rest. Basically, the rest was an incoherent mish-mash of CGI which could and should have been halved in length.

Audience: The film was totally made for comics readers. It didn’t work as a stand-alone sci-fi film by any means, as too much pre-knowledge was assumed. We were supposed to care about characters without knowing anything about them. Difficult to do. So while the hard-core tissue-users will be happy with it, the rest of us will be left wondering why they bothered making it.

Music: In any other film I would say the music was an overblown mess. But in this one, it was actually quite useful because it told us in the audience which bits we should care about, and which bits were meaningful, thoughtful ponderings on the human condition. Useful tips as I couldn’t have found any of either in this film without these musical clues.

Effects: There should be a new amendment to the American constitution banning CGI effects over a certain (very short) length of time in any movie. After a while they seemed so derivative that I wasn’t sure whether I was watching Prometheus, Avengers Assemble, Independence Day, Avatar or the Muppet Movie. The “big baddy slamming Superman around” was cut-for-cut so identical to the “big Hulk slamming Loki around” scene from Avengers that I expected the Kryptonian to say “puny God” at one point. Same old same old… Boring.

Subtexts: All the subtlety of a full-face sledgehammer hit. “Only you can save her” says Real-Dad-EL, so SuperJesus adopts the crucified pose, does a Javert-like back-fall (which was slightly confusing as it was Russell Crowe playing Dad-EL and watching rather than falling) and flies off to save Lois from the fiery flames of hell. The Vatican couldn’t have written it any better. I laughed so much at that bit that hubby looked over to make sure I was okay. Far too many religious references in the film for my liking, but then one is one too many for me.

Physics: A singularity within Earth’s atmosphere is not just going to go “pop” at the end because it’s eaten all the baddies and needs to disappear now as the film has only three minutes left to run. It’s going to grow until all physical matter nearby, including the whole of the Earth has gone into it. As a defence mechanism, it’s a good method of committing suicide.

Summary: Crap. Not even good crap, but bad crap. Terribly written, lazily directed, over-stuffed with effects and music and under-stuffed with plot. It was not fun to watch. It really wasn’t – it was as though someone somewhere confused the words portentous and pretentious. This was, sadly, two and a half hours of pretentious rubbish that should never have left the screenwriters’ wordprocessor. All in all, not sure I can recommend it…

About Paul Harper
These posts represent the collected thought of Paul Harper. Usually rants, occasionally lucid, always easily ignored. Read, don't read, your call!

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