Sound and Fury . . .



This movies spoils the Superman Myth – actually, it anally rapes it then tosses it aside.

We went to see “Man of Steel” today.

It was horrible.

I genuinely don’t know where to start.

In a moment of charity, I’ll start with what was good.  This won’t take long.

Henry Cavill was perfect as Superman.  Surprisingly, Russell Crowe was very good indeed as Jor-El and Michael Shannon was absolutely splendid as Zod.  Kevin Costner put in a nicely understated performance as Pa Kent.   Everyone else was a bit…well… pretty much anyone could have played those parts, really.

Sadly, that’s about it for positivity.

Okay, no, that’s not fair.  There were some great moments and some neat ideas, for example, the appearance of Superman and giving himself up to the authorities as a leap of faith was marvellous as were the young Clark’s first unintentional uses of his powers.  Some cool cinematography also helped.

But. . .

Oh god, it was so overblown and self-important.  And joyless and humourless and grim.

The prologue was simply awful and had more in common with The Chronicles of Riddick than Superman.  There were so many ideas casually tossed into the mix that it became incoherent and frankly laughable within the first few minutes.  My hackles had well and truly risen by the end of the Krypton sequence.  So much so I cheered when it ended.

Once we were introduced to Clark Kent, things became a little more interesting.  THe backstory was handled pretty well, all things considered, only coming to a bit of a sticky patch when the Kryptonian Space Ship was discovered.

Once the submission to the military sequence had ended it quickly became very silly, although several things had already happened by that time that had made me wince a bit and get angry.

it’s well established that there are parallels with the Superman and Jesus myths, but to have it rammed down your throat was extremely distasteful and smacked of schoolboys thinking they were being clever and a bit, y’know, naughty; we had a resurrection, a revelation (in a church, no less with a stained glass jesus over his shoulder “blessing” him, he was 33 and held the crucifix pose a number of times.   Yes, we get it.  Superman is our saviour.  Could you do something a little less lazy and less obvious, please?

And why were Superman and Lois transported to the Kryptonian ship in giant penises?  I took that to be a metaphor.   This film is a fuck up.

For once, though, we were given a General Zod with a feasible – well, I say feasible – motive, that made him more than just a scenery chewing, camp idiot although after a lot of build up, that integrity was simply thrown away in favour of becoming the lunatic/madman bent on hitting things.

Such a shame as the logical ending would have made a blistering piece of pathos pay off, leave Superman in a moral quandary and be far more satisfying an ending….instead, at the point of making this logic work, Zod went of a city rupturing rampage.  This would have been more impressive had there not already been a city rupturing rampage mere seconds before.

Wouldn’t it have been a more impressive movie if, after realising that he no longer has a point, that Zod killed himself instead of leading into another tedious rampage?  What effect would that have had on Superman?

What we actually got was three apocalyptic endings where one would have done.   The last hour seemed to be nothing but various Kryptonians battering the shit out of each other and taking down Metropolis as a consequence.  Once was exhilarating, twice was a bit much…three times smacked of running out of ideas but not FX budget.   Just finish the goddamned fight already!

I read, with interest, Mark Waid’s comments on the movie;  Mark Waid has written a number of high profile and
very well received Superman books; he wrote that “that loud sound of thunder you heard was the sound of my heart breaking”.  I get that.  I probably don’t feel it as much as Mark and his book “Birthright” is, for all intents and purposes, the book that “Man of Steel” is based on and yet he doesn’t even receive a cursory nod in the credits.  Seeing his story treated so badly and mishandled to such epic proportions must have been devastating.  He uses the best phrase imaginable for the endless ‘climaxes’, one that sums up the movie beautifully: “disaster porn”.

Superman has a moral heart, yes its often a bit cheesy and “Moms Apple Pie”, but however boy scout Superman is, it has heart. And Superman never kills.  Ever.

Not only does he kill in this movie, but he seems to not really give a fuck about the City full of people he and his fellow Kryptonians have just levelled.

That is unforgivable.  At the time of seeing it, I simply didn’t care, this was so far away from Superman that it didn’t matter.  But it does matter. Superman killed.  Deliberately and with malice.

This is NOT superman.  This is not the Man of Steel I grew up with and as a movie, it is utterly unworthy of the name and utterly unworthy of being associated with the myth.

We can lay the blame purely at one persons door.  Christopher Nolan.  He butchered Batman and he’s done pretty much the same to Superman.  The man shouldn’t be let near movies again; especially not superhero movies. He basically writes superhero movies for people who don’t like comics.

Yes I understand the importance of making superheroes relevant to modern audiences and the recent slew of Superhero movies have pretty much done that. I’ve loved the X-men movies, the lead in Avengers movies and Avengers Assemble, I even liked the flawed Green Lantern movie.

But giving ‘real world’ credence to an inherently fantastical genre defeats the object of the fantasy and diminishes the stories and raison d’être.

All this before we get to nonsense like when a kryptonian hits a human, the human is knocked to the other side of the street…when a kryptonian hits a kryptonian, they are not only flung several hundred metres, but often through several city blocks, a tanker, two helicopters and a diesel  engine.  I’m sure that should have been the other way round)

AS with most Nolan movies, its bloated out of all proportion and seriously needs editing.  We could have lost 90% of the sequence on Krypton and two of the ‘climaxes’ and it would have been a perfectly serviceable movie.  He needs to learn that more isn’t necessarily better (actually a lot of people need to learn that – I’m looking at you, Peter Jackson!).

The most annoying thing about this movie is that Nolan didn’t even direct it and yet his stink is all over it.  This is supposedly a Zak Snyder movie and yet I can barely detect his input.  There are none of his directorial quirks here, none of his skewed visions and certainly none of his humour.  He is completely swamped and emasculated by the omnipresent spectre of Nolan.

It’s all noise and bluster,  lazily written and ultimately worthless.

Cavill, Snyder Waid and mostly Superman deserve so much better.

I haven’t been this angry with a movie since Prometheus.



6 thoughts on “Sound and Fury . . .

  1. I found myself agreeing with virtually every word (apart from any positive references to Crowe) and your post title even rattled through my own mind last night… though I was focusing more on the later bit about it being “a tale told by an idiot”. I’d actually managed to forget that scene with the vicar… but, god, that had to be the worst moment in the movie.

    • I’m normally with you as far as Crowe is concerned. This time I think I warned a little simply because I didn’t want to kill him immediately he hit the screen. For me, that’s a good Crowe performance.

  2. Also, Lois Lane existed solely to have exposition given to her. And there wasn’t even a good Meet Cute with her and Superman. There was NO REASON for Superman to give two craps about her except that he’s Superman and she’s Lois Lane.

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