Thursday, August 15, 2013

Man of Steel: At Least There Wasn't A Giant Mountain of Kryptonite This Time

Warner Bros. takes their copyrights pretty seriously, so here's this  watermarked image of a different man of steel.

So they rebooted Superman. We all knew it was going to happen and, given the success of the current Marvel franchises, we all knew it was going to be a litmus test to see if the DC Universe could sustain the same type of interconnected storyline(s). I originally wasn't going to write this post, but an ongoing argument over the quality of the film with Mrs. AR, and seeing @Hokuboku live tweet the first Donner movie rekindled my desire to talk about the film and, truth be told, I really need to vent.

*WARNING* This entry is full of spoilers for the film. After the jump you will see plot point after plot point being written about in a very snarky and pissy manner. Anyone that complains about spoiling the movie gets a box of angry bees sent to their house.
First of all, let me get one thing out of the way: I did not expressly dislike this movie, but I didn't like it either. If they had addressed even as little as 25% of the points I bring up below I'd have given it at least a three out of five. My wife hated it. She took the Roger Ebert on North route in her review of the film. She used words like 'boring', 'slow', 'gray', and 'teenage level explosion porn'. I did not have such a harsh opinion of the film. It was not, nor could it have been, as good as Superman II (Donner Edition, if you please) but it was a darker, more adult take on the man with the big S on his chest and I appreciated that. As I mentioned earlier, DC is trying to mirror Marvel's success and with the last Batman trilogy being A.) A massive worldwide success and B.) Over, the owner of these franchises are trying to get things in motion as soon as they can in order to sate the still ravenous appetite of fanboys the world over to see their favorite super powered players on the big screen.

I get it. I do.


There were several things that took me out of the film while I was watching. Several things that snapped my head back and made me realize, "Wait. This is dumb. I'm watching a movie, not living an experience." While Man of Steel is certainly better than the last, say, four live action iterations of the character, there were too many of these glaring thematic mistakes for me to fully appreciate it. I'll list them below in as close to their progressive order as I can:

On Krypton
  • So, wait, Kryptonians can have babies, they just choose not too? Or is it against the law or something? What's that about?
  • Do you honestly expect me to believe that a society advanced enough for FTL travel can't develop touchscreens or full color monitors? They have to rely on some kind of 3D Magna Doodle?
  • Why is there only one reputable scientist on Krypton, and why does no one listen to him? This isn't the film's fault, as this has been a piece of Superman canon from the beginning. Still bothers me.
  • Planet dying. Zod knows it. Accepts it. Wastes time staging a military coup instead of making off with a bunch of babies and finding a new planet to start over on.
  • Why the fuck doesn't Jor-El have a car or something? 
  • Follow up to last point: How the fuck did that flying dragon thing from Avatar get to Krypton?
  • "No, don't worry, we'll just keep all of our unborn children in these giant bottles of water. We don't need a security system or anything to protect the future of our race; who's going to go swimming in a pond like this?" - Kryptonian Scientists
  • Please, for the love of all that is holy in the world, stop trying to scientifically explain why Kal-El is going to be super powered on Earth. For fuck's sake, Matchbox 20 does a better job of explaining it succinctly! 
  • I'm sorry, isn't that the jaw bone from 2001: A Space Odyssey?
  • Have FTL capabilities and cool space ships that can apparently achieve escape velocity with ease. Literally no one leaves the planet as it's... imploding? Exploding? Fuck it, no one leaves when the shit hits the fan.
  • Another one that bothers me about the general premise: In the middle of Bumfuck, Kansas where there is no such thing as air, light, or noise pollution no one else saw the giant flaming spaceship crash into the middle of a fucking field? Further, no one else saw it as Johnathan Kent had to wait for it to cool down long enough to hitch it to his tractor?
  • Have you been to Kansas? No way two farmers from Kansas would have reacted so calmly. One of two things would have happened: They either call the military immediately to get some alien bug hunters on the scene or they hide all evidence that he's an alien and try to get the world to believe that Jesus made their kid super strong to make way for a new world where science is outlawed.
  • It seems as if approximately 1,384 people have looked Clark Kent/Superman straight in his eyes as he does some super powered super shit. But an enterprising young reporter from a city thousands of miles away is the one that finally "cracks the case". Because no one else in his life is intelligent enough to figure it out? 
  • Also, in this film, Supes is portrayed to be in the same age range as I am: 25-34. How is he changing his identity so much? Is he a hacker?
  • So... Lois Lane gets to just show up at sensitive military outposts whenever she wants? How'd she get the helicopter pilot to take off a day early?
  • Super sensitive military equipment detects minute shifts in tectonic activity. Doesn't notice a goddamn LASER BEAM DRILLING A FUCKING HOLE THROUGH THE ICE TALL ENOUGH TO DRIVE A TANK IN.
  • Supes notices a couple of life pods with dead folk inside. One is empty. I swear to whatever god you'd like that I will set fire to your car write a nasty blog post, Zack Snyder, if you make a shitty Supergirl movie like this one.
  • Satellites in outer freaking space with imaging tools powerful enough to see if a dime is on heads or tails on a crowded city street. Can't find where this 777 sized space ship went in the arctic.
  • Takes Kal-El several tries to learn how to fly. Ursa and Non Faora-Ul and unnamed Kryptonian soldier get it down pat after a few seconds of heated battle. Because they weren't distracted by anything else, I guess.
  • Fuck you, Sears.
  • You know, Johnathan, if you had seen to your wife and let Clark worry about the family dog everyone could have made it.
  • Further, everyone born and raised in Kansas knows that an underpass will do about jack shit to protect you from a tornado like that.
  • I know you're trying to show her as a hard boiled bad ass reporter, but no one that actually appreciates scotch drinks it like that. Additionally, no one can drink that much scotch in one gulp without wincing.
  • Remember, Superman gets his powers from the sun. The sun. As in, its energy. It has nothing to do with the atmosphere. You even said that in the beginning of the movie.
  • Hologram Jor-El is so cool that he can take over the enemy ship and direct Lois all around and warn her when she's about to get shot. Opens and closes doors. Demonstrates complete control of the vessel. Why not just lock the doors with everyone inside and fly the fucking thing straight into the sun? Or just activate the hyperdrive thingy and go somewhere else, then wipe all the astronomical charts from the computer memory?
  • Earlier in the film it is established that Clark doesn't start seeing a serious manifestation of his powers (x-ray vision, super hearing, heat vision, etc.) until he is around 8 or 9. Presumably because it took this much time for him to absorb enough energy for these powers to show themselves. Just ignore that fact because about 1.3 seconds after Zod takes off the weird helmet thing he's got the same powers and abilities.
  • Hologram Jor-El says 'mainframe'. Seriously guys? Mainframe? I give the fuck up.
  • Faora-Ul doesn't just destroy the plane, let it crash, the collect the kryptonian tech she's trying to get to.
  • Okay, once more, Clark Kent is not a super bad ass because of Earth's atmosphere. It's because of the yellow sun. That little world engine thing would do nothing to diminish his strength.
  • What's with Doc Ock's tentacles?
  • Two singularities will cancel each other out and solve the problem? Are you sure about that? I'd have forgiven you if it weren't for all the above shit and the thing I'm about to write.
  • You've shown several pieces of military equipment being sucked into the singularity. Huge chunks of industrial grade shit being pulled in as well. Lois Lane must made of some super dense material because you've got her falling past a giant slab of concrete. 
  • Was that chick that got trapped under the rubble supposed to be Jimmy Olsen? I don't care if you switched the gender at all, the problem is that you didn't call her out by name so we don't know who she is.
  • Zod takes off his armor to fly. He can fly, so gravity isn't an issue. He's also super strong. Was it weighing him down? The fuck?
  • Zod doesn't just kill Superman when he's down, but instead goes on a tirade about how his entire life has been spent in the military perfecting his warrior skills then mocks Clark for being raised on a farm.
  • Farmboy with no previous fight training or inherent skill defeats a guy who has spent his entire life in the military perfecting his warrior skills.
  • Still can't find out where Superman is hiding, despite billions of dollars of high tech surveillance that can detect heat signatures, seismic activity, and radioactive isotopes.
  • "Hi. I'd like this job at what is probably the last prestigious newspaper publication on Earth. I didn't go to college and I know nothing about journalism. I used to work on a crab boat though." - Clark Kent "You're hired!" - Perry White 
  • UPDATE: My friend Jeff pointed this out, and I remember actually saying it to Mrs. AR as we walked out of the theater. How in the name of Zeus' Butthole did they rebuild Metropolis so fast after a weird gravity machine, two singularities, and a bunch of super powered jerks destroyed about 75% of every standing building?
Fan Reaction
  • You whiny bitches are bothered that he killed Zod? You don't care about that wholesome, human family of four that was about to get incinerated? Fuck you, pussies. Go hug a tree. Besides, Superman executes Zod in the comics.
Okay, that's all I think. I'm not trying to steal your bit, Cinema Sins. I think you guys are great. I'm just trying to explain why I didn't enjoy a movie I really, really, really wanted to enjoy. I so wanted Jack to be wrong. He wasn't. 

I rate this film with 2 Snarky Looks out of 5.

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