2013
06.30

Man of Steel

I’ve waited a few days to calm down before writing this amateur review. Disclaimer, yes, it contains spoilers, so stop reading if you’re considering watching the movie on theaters.

Ok, let’s go to the point: Man of Steel has been a disappointment. It’s not the film you figured out in the trailer which, in fact, is much better, than the movie:

It’s not about whether this is a good movie or not (yes, it’s a good one). The downside is that, as a child who grew up reading comics of his favorite superhero, this movie is not only disappointing: it hurts.

If, like the scripters, you happen not to know who the hell Superman is, just Google for it or look it up in Wikipedia. And thats one of the most shocking things to me; one can understand they wanted make some changes in this movie for innovation’s sake, but not unnecessary ones. Because a superhero is defined by its basic attributes, and among them, the most important are his/her powers and abilities (rather than his/her face). If you change them, you’re basically describing another hero. E.g. The Human Torch is always on fire (literally). If you remove the flames and equip him with a shield, then you no longer see the the Human Torch, but Captain America:

De Antorcha Humana a Capitán América

Chris Evans has played two superheroes

It seems that, from the list of powers Superman possesses, this movie obsessively focuses almost entirely on his superstrength and flying capabilities (there are a few moments in the movie other abilities are referenced or slightly used, and with little relevance for the plot anyway).

Well, let’s go directly to the rant (remember the spoiler!):

Worst

Krypton is Avatar-like

Certainly one can have his own taste regarding concept art. But I’m not alone when I say Krypton looks very similar to Pandora, the scenery where Avatar story took place. The Krypton we saw in the movie from 1978 does much with less. It resembles an advanced, cold and emotionless civilization and mostly non-violent which contrasts with the one shown in the film whose inhabitants stills fly over dragon-like creatures, uses armors and fight and punch each others whilst, paradoxically,  almost don’t use ubiquitous computer technology. A civilization able to terraform and colonize other planets, which still needs pharaoh crowns as a signal of authority for its leaders, and which still suffer from conflicts we have had in our XX century seems, however, to lack of any superior Artificial Intelligence entity to solve such conflicts for evolution’s sake.

Neverending action takes

It looks like New York Metropolis is likely to be flammable. Don’t misunderstand me: Man of Steel is an action movie, and I love action movies. But watching a half an hour long scene of skyscrapers collapsing here and there like they did in Transformers, Independence Day, Avengers, etc… is boring. Even more when, punch after punch, both good and bad guys continuously do the same actions with identical results. Very monotonous and not very smart, considering they are invulnerable (more on this later).

When this Goku-like (or Matrix III-like, another fiasco) fightings conforms almost half the movie, one asks himself if two and a half hours were worth the hassle or just the standard 90 minutes should suffice for this movie.

A love story colder than the Antarctica

No way, a love story between Elton John and Loise Lane would be more credible than the one in the movie. In its pretentious try for not resulting neither sappy nor soulful, the love story between Loise and Clark is castrated and almost inexistent, to the point that any kiss or affection between them looks completely ridiculous and not credible. There is no passion at all and, and it seems Clark has more affection to his mother, Martha, than to any other woman in the movie; he’s more like a modern Oedipus.

On the other hand, Loise Lane is to smart that, not only she already got the Pullizter, but also manages to discover the real identity of Superman even before Clark becomes a superhero. This way, one of the classical plots in which Loise Lane discovers the identity of the man she loves dos not exists.

Implausible ending

This is, in my modest opinion, the worst aspect of the movie. The imagination is what the script lack most: superman has several abilities, but it seems scriptwriters only take flying and superstrength into account, leave the later restricted only to a single thing: punch everything.

Notwithstanding, Superman’s main power is invulnerability Superman is, at all means, invulnerable, and practically immortal. His only weakness is kryptonite. But, again, in a show of originality, they decided there will not be kryptonite at all (it’s even not mentioned) in the movie, because it’s not needed for a good plot. I find this so ironical… :D

However, when Superman enters the kryptonian spaceship, he suffocates, felt weak and becomes almost human with no powers. This balances the conflict inside the spaceship and gives some advantage to villains. But you know what? this is kryptonite. And the worst thing comes at the end: Clark defeats Zod, another kryptonian with the same superpowers by breaking his neck? Is this plausible? Wasn’t Zod invulnerable either?

If breaking Zod’s neck is feasible means kryptonians, while on Earth, are invulnerable to everything except other kryptonians. Then, why not do this from the first moment? Why those interminable skyscraper-collapsing fights? Why other punches and hits between kryptonians didn’t seriously harm any of them except at the very end? Where all this two hours of film necessary to ending up doing something that could be done from the fist time? Kryptonite was introduced as an element of balance precisely to solve this kind of things.

The best: the Cast

The cast crew is really good. Russel Crowe appears so imposing as Jor-El since the beginning that almost overshadows the main character (fortunately is dead, so this does not happens). I think Henry Cavill portraits superman really well! He “is” superman in many aspects. Kevin Costner (as Jonathan Kent), a southern farmer with wrinkles and tanned face, is a bit constrained by its role. The problem is another.

There are anodyne scenes which are so pretentious that ended up resulting ridiculous. It’s precisely the coldness of the director for not falling into sappiness that castrates any touching moment in the film, which by the way, you can feel in the trailer.

Because this is what you breath in this movie: pretentiousness. It does not matter if you call it “Man of Steel”, it keeps being Superman. A different shot, a good music (yes, very good, even though I still prefer John Williams’ OST. You’re welcome ;) ), hardly will make a scene to stop being a bad one.

It’s pretentious not using kryptonite to end up writing a not very plausible plot; the same way it’s pretentious not to introduce Loise as Clark’s love, but a dispensable companion, knowing she’s one of the fundamental pillars of superman character; other ones also lack a more developed background with Clark being an exception.

If this was the Superman film which were to bury the late Christopher Reeve, I am sorry, but in my humble opinion Superman deserves a more dignified funeral.

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  1. Una película entretenida, pero para nada lo que me esperaba, es más bien de pasar el rato, no de dejarte con la boca abierta.

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