Man of Steel (2013)

Our review of the much-awaited, much-hyped, and now much-maligned live action reboot of Superman. From the team responsible for movies that have inspired nothing but rational thought and calm discussion. Like The Dark Knight. Or The Dark Knight Rises. Or Blade. Or Blade Trinity. Or 300. Great Rao help us all, we wound up coming down just this side of the middle: it ain’t that great, but it ain’t that bad, either.


23 thoughts on “Man of Steel (2013)”

  1. Excellent video. Consider this one viewer who DOES like seeing you happy.

    I’ll prepare to send my condolences to Superman: Doomsday’s parents.

    1. Thanks, Jack. I kinda like seeing it, myself.

      And I know you mean metaphorical parents, but, all things considered, Superman Doomsday‘s parents are doin’ pretty well. Sure ’nuff, Lauren Montgomery has gone on to direct much better stuff (the only good Green Lantern movie to date, that Catwoman short they packaged with Batman: Year One, the only Wonder Woman movie that isn’t also a TV pilot…) and Bruce Timm’s had more hits than misses over the course of his long career. His co-writer, Duane Capizzi, is currently working on Transformers Prime, which I don’t watch, so I can only hope they’re doing well enough to create a new generation of fans. And Brandon Vietti directed Batman: Under the Red Hood, which people who aren’t me love, so there’s that. Most of the storyboard artists went on to become directors themselves, either elsewhere in the DC Direct To Video line, or on TV. See also: the dearly departed Young Justice.

  2. You know, even though the ending pisses me off to no end*, I’m strangely glad I saw this film and I’ll probably go see it again, despite the fact that I thought it was flawed. I still hope that we get a less somber tone for the already in-production Man Of Steel 2. Also that Cavill will actually have something more to work with than what he was given in this film and for the dialogue not to feel like it’s patiently holding my hand like it’s a kindergarten field trip.

    *Yes, I am going to be that guy. There really should have been another way to resolve it that didn’t make me want to wish Goyer harm. Like a great man once said “there’s always a way”.

    P.S. Holy hell, Trigun background music! I approve, my friend. I approve.

    1. Glad you approve. I figured I can’t use the Ghost Dog theme every time. Especially since I haven’t reviewed Ghost Dog yet.

  3. I am sorry but I didn’t like this movie at all. Not a bit. I’ll give Cavill his due for the few times he wasn’t brooding and the george meiles inspired moving illustration of Krypton’s history but that’s it. First off, Jor El’s plan to resurrect the dead kryptonians was about as dumb as anything in Superman IV. The action sequences were horrifically made; motion blurring, shaky cam, and being unable to distinguish anything often to do the debris flying around. The fight sequences in Smallville and Metropolis were something out of a video game. Lois Lane and Clark have absolutely no chemistry, Lane just stumbles into this film. The overall tone of the film is just depressing with a Clark constantly moping about and the unnecessary flash backs which was the same thing over and over; Clark bitches and Pa Kent pats him on the head and tells him he’s here for a purpose. The Donner film, the first one, is just infinitely superior.

        1. Now THAT I agree with completely. That’s been true since before the turn of the millennium, and it’s true all the way up the chain. Superman isn’t someone’s job anymore – not the way he was Mort Weisinger’s, for example – he’s a stepping stone better jobs or (if you’re Grant Morrison) another piece of the big Chaos Magic spell you’ve been working on since Animal Man. Hopefully, whatever re-write Morrison has planned for reality will include better Super-group editors and/or the removal of Dan DiDio to…well, I don’t care where you put him, so long as it’s far enough to prevent him working out his personal issues on the Titans (be they New, Teen or Adjective-less).

    1. What about it? If you guys want to have the same conversation every other website’s had about it in this space, go right ahead. I’ll approve the comments, but don’t expect much participation on my part. I’ve had the Conversation (and it is always the same insoluble Conversation) in real life too many times already and we’re only two months out from the theatrical release.

  4. Great review! Man of Steel is my favorite film of 2013 so far. Love it flaws and all. Hope you revisit the movie now that it’s out on dvd.

    1. Considering that I am the cheese that stands alone among my peer group, in that I’m actually willing to give Man of Steel the time of day, you might be the only one who hopes so…apart from me, of course.

  5. I prefer this film over the FATALLY flawed “Superman Returns”,for O so many reasons. And i’ve grown tired of people complaining that the destruction and death go unmentioned by the film.It is based on graphic art,comic book art,to over-simplify. 9/11 was real,and we all managed to live through it(and its endless repercussions).I think we can handle fantasy destruction.

    1. Based on a good number of reactions I’ve read, apparently, no – we can’t handle it. And those reactions would be entirely understandable if they’d happened, say, twelve years ago. Or even a month prior. But it seems we can’t put brick dust in a movie anymore without first releasing a flurry of Trigger Warnings.

      If you want some rank speculation, I think audiences were primed for this reading by Star Trek: Into Dumbness – which totally was a naked recasting of 9/11 as a sci-fi movie. Because someone, at some point, told Robert Orcii that Star Trek should discuss contemporary issues in a far-out, future setting…which he took to mean, “I should write the Star Trek movie only Alex Jones can love!” Hence: the bombing of Starfleet was an inside job! And now Section 31’s hanging in the background of Captain Kirk’s adventures, ready to be an all-purpose Illuminati stand-in…

      All of which passed by, largely unnoticed (a) because it’s incredibly dumb and (b) because everyone was too busy marveling at the filmmaker’s gall. They were dumb enough to do a half-assed remake of Wrath of Kahn but smart enough to play coy about it until well after the film came out…so here comes Man of Steel, where the 9/11 “parallels” are entirely visual. You don’t have to know, or explain, the Counter-History of the Sheeple and/or David Icke’s Anti-Reptile Brigade in order to complain about them. You can just look, with your face. Look! People running in the streets! Cops directing foot-traffic! Out-of-control planes, flying into buildings! Brick dust! Obviously, Zack Snyder did that to save the time it would take for him to visit all three thousand 9/11 victim’s graves and take a personal piss on each of them.

      Or so I gather, from reading other people’s reactions. We’ve got a Godzilla film coming out in six months and the old gods only know what fresh Hell that will dredge up out of the popular psyche. We’ll see…but I’m already getting The Fear.

    1. Aww, really? Christ – that’s two. Looks like I have to do it now. No choice. The People…my people…have demanded it. And every action I take, no matter how non-violent or peaceful, is for the greater good of my people…

      Hmmm…doesn’t have quite the same ring.

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