Man of Steel Review and Analysis

Man of Steel Review and Analysis
By: Jay
I’m a HUGE Superman fan. I have been all my life. My family and
friends joke and call me Clark Kent,
Superman, etc. I have even been called Clark, Mr. Kent
and C.K. at work. So when news of a new Superman movie was being made I was,
well Super excited. Especially when it was a reboot, so we would be getting a
new origin instead of a fanboy film like Superman Returns. I saw this
movie a few times, because I wanted to really get the movie on a level beyond
the major Superman Fan viewpoint. This isn’t a casual review. This is going to
delve into my thoughts on the movie, on the characters and I will be detailing
things as if the reader has already seen the movie, so if you haven’t seen it,
and do not wish to be MAJORLY SPOILED, please do NOT read past
the Spoiler Warning image.

The movie starts off on Krypton, which is a mixture between
the John Byrnes’ post-Crisis Man of Steel, Superman: The Animated
, and Avatar. I have seen reviews and the most common complaint
is that this part dragged on. I didn’t mind the Krypton scenes for the most
part though. Russell Crowe as Jor-El was more active and more passionate than
we are used to seeing Jor-El, but he reminded me of the animated Jor-El,
especially when he is being chased.
My problem with Krypton came from the destruction of the
planet. One of the key factors of Superman’s origins is that he was sent from
his planet moments before its destruction. In this movie, he is sent away some
time before. Another big change is Jor-El’s death. It has always been by Lara’s
side as they watch their son leave just as their planet explodes. But with Man
of Steel
Jor-El’s fate is met when Zod stabs him just as Kal-El’s ship
takes off a good time before the destruction of the planet. I prefer the
traditional death, because Jor-El and Lara stand together and make peace with
their deaths, because they know their son will live on.
One of the early trailers for Man of Steel had Clark
and Jonathan talking and Clark asks if he should have
let a boy die, and he replies “Maybe.” When I first saw that trailer I felt
like Peter Parker with my Spider-Senses going off that this isn’t going to be
something I will really enjoy as a true blue diehard Superman fan. But I
remained optimistic and decided to wait until I see the movie, because it might
have been out of context, or he could have followed that up by saying “No, you
did the right thing son.” Neither happened though, Jonathan Kent, the father
who raised a Superman, who is responsible for his morale compass made Clark
think he maybe should have let someone die.
Kevin Costner really looks like he could be a Kansas
farmer. Something about his demeanor let’s you believe he can be that guy, but
that is about as close to Jonathan Kent as he gets. This Jonathan Kent isn’t Pa
Kent. He isn’t even the Smallvile Jonathan Kent. His death scene ripped
my heart out. As a Superman fan, and son who lost his father this scene just
ripped out my heart. Not because it was so touching, but because it was
just wrong. The lead in scene has a 17-18 year old Clark
Kent wanting to
go out into the world to discover who he is, which is good, a lot of kids do at
that age. Jonathan tries to sell him on farming and tells him that his family
has been farming for generations to which Clark retorts,
“Your family. Not mine.” That was hard to hear, but then they twist the knife
in deeper by having him continue with, “You’re not my dad. You’re just some guy that
found me in the corn field.” Yes this is something that happens with parents
and the children they have adopted, but the bond between Clark
and the Kents
have never been like that in any story. But it doesn’t end there, because those
would be his last words to his father.
After that scene a tornado appears out of nowhere and
Jonathan sends everyone to the overpass, for protection. The overpass wouldn’t protect
anyone since it would actually create a wind tunnel (which is talked about more
in Comic Uno’s Man of Steel Roundtable Movie Review), but I digress. Jonathan goes
into hero mode and helps people to safety while Clark for
the most part just stands by and watches. After a few moments Clark
goes to help but is handed a child and sent back. While trying to save the family
dog Jonathan injures his ankle and can not move to get out of the way of the
now moving tornado. Clark watches as Jonathan surrenders
to his fate, and gives a hint that he is going to save him, but Jonathan holds
up a hand stopping Clark and is swept away by the
tornado. Clark’s last words to his father were, “You’re not
my dad. You’re just some guy that found me in a corn field.”  That is what truly ripped my heart out. Jonathan’s
death always taught Clark a lesson because it was a
human death, a heart attack. Clark realizes that even
with all his powers, he can’t save everyone, even someone he loves. But this
new death was done to teach Clark a lesson also: Don’t use
your powers to save people because you can be discovered. Did he learn his
lesson? No. Clark goes all over the world using his
powers to save people which leads Lois Lane
to find out who he is.

That is another issue I had with the movie. Yes I get it Lois
Lane is a reporter and she is smart. Well guess
what so are other people, which I will get to later on but for now I am
focusing on Lois. A key element to the Lois and Clark relationship for 75 years
has been the duality of Clark and Lois’ feelings for
Superman and Clark. Lois falls in lust with Superman, because he is this guy
who can fly and do amazing things. He is a god who notices her and represents
all the potential of humanity. But then there is Clark Kent, who is just the
guy next door admiring her from afar and is in “The Friend Zone,” who she
eventually begins to fall in love with not because of the Super, but for the
Man. Even in Smallville they knew that relationship was a key factor to
their story and had Clark become the Blur. Another key
aspect of their story is stolen in a throw-away moment when someone mentions
that they are calling him Superman, yeah Lois doesn’t give him the name just a
nameless “they” are credited as naming him. With that said, I think Lois was
handled the best. She was a bold, daring and in your face reporter who when she
got a story was like a dog with a bone. Amy Adams did a great job bringing
strength to one of my all time favorite female characters ever.
My major problem with this movie though is Clark
Kent, or the
lack thereof. This movie plays on Kal-El being the alien on Earth, and then
Superman. Years ago I did a psych paper on Bruce Wayne’s psyche. In it I
explain how he could have Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) reasons why
he needs a Robin in his life, and I compare his dual identity to the Clark
Kent/Superman one. Batman is the main identity and Bruce Wayne is the mask,
while Clark Kent
is the true persona and Superman is the mask. Superman is Clark
using his powers for good. At his core, Superman is just a country boy with old
fashion values who sees the world for its potential for goodness. This movie
however does something different. They make the Kal-El/Superman persona the
true man and Clark Kent
the mask. There really isn’t a Clark he is moody, and
brooding through out the whole movie to the point where he almost hates himself
because of who he is. The only moment I saw the Clark I
knew was during the first flight when he smiles.
The most controversial moment in the movie for fans comes at
the end when Superman kills Zod by snapping his neck. Zod and Superman are in
an epic battle. They smash up the town of Smallville
and the city of Metropolis without
Superman worrying about all the innocents dying in the buildings they are
smashing through. Superman never tries to move the fight to a field or another
unpopulated area they just smash through another populated area. Superman has
Zod in a headlock who is threatening to kill innocents using his heat vision.
Superman finally says no, and in a blink of an eye snaps his neck. Now I have
read the introduction of the Matrix Supergirl where Superman kills the three
Kryptonians in a pocket universe, so I know it has been done before. But there
was a difference. In that story Superman has no other choice, he tried to just
take away their powers and gave thought to other options and finally used the
Kryptonite on them as his last remaining option. This was too easy for him. Superman
didn’t try to stop Zod from using his heat vision by jamming him in the eyes or
smashing his face into the ground, no he just snaps his neck. Then afterwards,
there was no reflection, no doubt just a primal scream and he was back to
normal. But at least he showed some emotion, the emotion that was lacking after
his dad dies due to him not doing anything.
As for the rest of the cast, they were ok. Diane
Lane did a great job as Martha, but her role was
so minute that I was left wondering did they need a big name actress and the
salary that comes with it for this role? I have to say no. It was a waste of
money and star power. Lawrence Fishburne is a geat actor, but I think he
suffered from two things: One he is too known. He is a big name actor who brings
his persona to the screen, so the whole time I am thinking this is Lawrence
Fishbourne as Perry White. The second thing is they didn’t give him any Perry
White moments. He was a generic newspaper editor he didn’t stand out as Perry
White. There was also a character named Jenny, who many believed to be a gender
swap of Jimmy Olsen who was ineffective. The character could be removed from
the film and no one would notice. Where was the hard nose editor that is Perry
White, and the “Man of Action” Jimmy Olsen?
Remember when I mentioned Lois Lane
being smart enough to figure out who Clark was? Ok, here
is why I have a problem with that. Growing up, a lot of people saw Clark
do amazing things like saving a bus full of students, etc.  Lois tracks down these stories working
backwards interviewing people and figures it out with ease. Zod finds out
because he goes into her head. At this point the Government and the world as a
whole know there is an alien that has been living amongst us for years. Zod’s
ship literally lands on the Kent’s
front lawn. The battle starts in Smallville. Superman mentions that he has been
here for 33 years. He also says he’s from Kansas.
Yet no one but Lois puts the pieces together and concludes that he is Clark
Kent? That is
why I don’t think Lois should have been able to figure it out, yes it does show
how smart she is, but it makes everyone else including the U.S. Military look
really dumb. It also makes me ask: Why have a Clark Kent in this universe?

Overall this is really strong solid action and sci-fi movie.
If you want a movie that delivers on action and great fight scenes, this is the
movie for you. If you’re a comic book fan but not too much into Superman before
the New-52, then again this is the movie for you. But if you’re like me and you
love Superman for how he was for 95% of his 75 years, then this is not the
movie you have been waiting for. I would say this was a better movie than
Superman Returns, but it is not as great as Superman: The Movie. This movie
doesn’t make anyone believe anything except big fights and flashy scenes sells
tickets. I initially saw this as a failure because I am a diehard Superman fan,
but that is why I agreed to see it again. I know that not everyone is a purist
when it comes to Superman. I knew that when the New 52 Action Comics #1
came out and people loved it. So while this isn’t my dream come true Superman
movie, I am glad that it is a strong movie that has enough content to be a good
movie on its own and could bring people into the theater and support a Superman
movie, which is a good thing.

As A Movie On Its Own
As A Superman Movie

I say this is a movie you should see, but not one you must
see. But as always these are just my thoughts on this movie. Let us know in the
comments what you think about Man of Steel. Don’t
forget to follow us on Twitter to
know whenever we post more previews, reviews, news and interviews on Comic

Related posts

Leave a Comment