Movie review: Man of Steel

26 06 2013

by AngryPanda

Let’s try some other format for once. Ten Thoughts works well most of the time but this one deserves a closer look. Not because its that interesting on its own but because its the only  DC movie that’s not of the Batman franchise that matters at all. Oh yeah, reviews of two-week old movies. This is gonna reel in those readers!

the good

  • This movie had more action in the first two minutes than Superman Returns had in over two hours. Yeah it’s not all about the action but I’m not seeing Superman for a character piece so that’s a good start.
  • After all these years it was nice to see another take on Krypton. By going away from the glaciers and crystal tech they clearly established this as a new start, getting some distance between themselves and the wet fart that was the last movie.
  • The actors were all great at what they did. This Superman seemed at the same time more raw and real than any before him while still being impossibly heroic and just plain old “good”.
  • They tried for a new theme that’s never been there before. Instead of some other threat fought by the last Kryptionian it was in fact the survivors of Krypton that were the danger to earth. With Superman having to decide between them and earth. Okay so they were clearly criminals and the bad guys but it’s not like the earth was presented as such a nice place.
  • The villains were great! This can not be stressed enough, a good villain will make or break a movie and far too many have been mediocre these days. General Zodd and his Kryptionians were amazing. They even managed the absolute gold standard of forgotten villain design by having his right hand be an immensely competent, dangerous and good-looking woman. You know that thing they knew since Master of the Universe.
  • The action was glorious. Superman and the other Kryptionians punching each other through skyscrapers was the sort of level they needed to beat Thor who was the other guy in a red cape who is way too popular right now. They took back the crown here, which is of course only to expected with that sort of budget.
  • Character design was pretty great. The new Superman suit looks slick and it works even better seeing how the suits of the other Kryptionians were pretty much the same design, even with the shield with their personal sign (instead of the S). They really sold that this might be some sort of Kryptonian uniform. The cape has been pimped to go over the shoulders (again like Thor) and the other Kryptionians wearing the same style in black really sold it.

the bad

  • While the movie had lots of action I rarely ever cared except if the main villains were involved. Which was thankfully all the time. Still combining the last two points from above I don’t exactly see a franchise in this. With the current villains gone there is nothing really left to care about.
  • Which would be because the rest of the world was just sort of bland and without charm. It was very much like Nolan’s Batman, I just don’t really see these people as anyone I particularly want to visit again. The people of the Daily Planet were just sort of there because they have to, I don’t think the producers wanted them in the movie for any other reason. Lois Lane was as asexual as any woman in a Nolan production. There was no chemistry between her and Clark. Since I already compared the action to Thor I’ll have to do it again. And Thor beats Man of Steel in every aspect here. Except for people punich each other it jsut had the more interesting stakes and more chemistry between the characters.
  • The story writers were so busy being full of themselves they didn’t notice that nothing made any sense. Again much like the Batman movies the thing looks okay and even a bit deep on first glance until you look at the motivations and actions of the protagonists, particularly the villains, then it promptly falls apart. If the Kryptionians could terraform planets, why did they just there and die? And why would Zod even want to change the earth and make his army lose their superpowers? The old Zod loved being all-powerful on earth, so yeah that means the new one was more stupid than the villain from Superman 2. Yay?
  • The humans in this movie were supremely unlikable. I think a bit of idealism would have its place in a Superman movie, in this case the only reason I was against the bad guys was because their plan really was needlessly wasteful and bad for themselves.
  • The soundtrack wasn’t very noteworthy. Superman has a legendary score to live up to and this one felt like it didn’t even try to compete, it was just sort of there.
  • Again just like the other Nolan movies this thing was clearly ashamed of what it was and that just kills it. The main issue here seemed to be Superman’s “shield” with the S on it. They pretty much solved that by having it clearly be a Kryptonian fashion thing but they still had to talk about it no less than three times. Even worse was their super serious attempt at explaining the powers. Earth’s sun ins younger than Krypton’s (okay I can go with that instead of colors) and earth’s gravity is lower. His muscles will be stronger and his skin be more dense. Right.. yeah. Directly after this explanation he practices flying. And he already has his heat vision. Look guys there is only so much gritty realism you can do with fucking Superman. It just doesn’t work. And being ashamed of what you’re making just let’s everyone feel there’s no love in this product.

and the ugly

  • What is it with big budgets and shaky cams and weird angles? None of the Marvel movies are like this but everything just seemed so odd. Is it some sort of new proof that you’re really into art if you refuse to just use basic camera techniques?
  • The colors were almost surreal. If stuff didn’t look faded out and grey it seemed out-of-place. Superman’s suit itself sometimes seemed to be the only real source of color in the entire movie.
  • While it was nice that they had a new design for Kryption it had one problem: It looked like crap. Krypton’s stuff just looked weird, and sort of evil but not as over the top as say Necromonger technology. It was just odd.
  • It may just be me but after a certain point of high rez the faces of these actors just look ugly. Maybe humans face shouldn’t be this detailed. Or maybe that was just because I remembered wearing my glasses for once.

It’s not my day and this whole entry is sort of mess with no heart. But so was Man of Steel so I guess that’s okay. It was a good movie but I came out with no particular desire to see it again or see more of it, which is something the Marvel movies absolutely pull off.

See what I mean about the colors?

See what I mean about the colors?



One response

28 06 2013
A few more thoughts on “Man of Steel” | This would be more awesome with lasers

[…] The following was written by a friend on facebook. I didn’t think of any of these things but I did not see the movie out of an “American” perspective. My own review/ramble about the movie is here. […]

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