So Man Of Steel comes out today, or last night at midnight if you’re totally hardcore and down to pound it late night with some comic book stylings. I personally prefer to be awake during the day and asleep at night, so I watched it earlier this week, circa daylight hours…and for all my attempts, had trouble keeping my eyes open anyway. Yeah guys, spoiler alert but not really, this movie is not the most engaging of your eyeholes if you didn’t already walk into the movie with a semi-chubby for Superman.
Even if you walk in at half-mast for Henry Cavill, like I did (or, if I’m being really honest, full-mast because hello jawline), there isn’t the most to engage you in terms of plot line, unless you’re super into the concept of a full extraneous hour of redundant, dialogue-less fight scenes at the cost of actual storyline development. That’s a little harsh, I guess, to say that an entire hour could’ve been shaved off. I guess I’d be more comfortable saying forty-five minutes, but let’s bear in mind that it’s currently sitting pretty at 143 minutes…aka just seven minutes shy of TWO AND A HALF HOURS. What is this, Oscar season? It’s a lot.
We start out with an opening sequence establishing Kal-El’s origin story starring Russell Crowe and some floating vagina robots that take orders and rearrange themselves into things that you want when you want them. I’m just getting attached to them and to this strange world of Krypton when suddenly it’s over and we never see any of it again except for Zod, the villain, played by Michael Shannon, who is so angry that his coup didn’t work that he decides to chase a baby through space and time. This is definitely one of those situations where I’m missing out by not caring about the comic books. Time to head to historically unidentifiable Earth, to watch Clark Kent grow up and try to keep his powers secret from everyone except Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, his parents.
Pretty soon, we get to meet Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and the movie does that incredibly annoying thing where they assume you remember what film you’re watching and just remind you of that instead of doing any work to establish a plausible relationship. They’re like — “Okay, Superman movie? Yes? You got that? And that’s (pointing) LOIS. LANE. Did you hear what I said? Lois. Lane. Clark Kent and Lois Lane.” So basically your brain goes, “From my extensive knowledge of living in the world, I know that Clark Kent and Lois Lane go together, so I will expect things to be going thusly when next we meet!” So in the next scene they’re making kissyfaces, and I’m like, excuse me but WHY? Sure, I know they’re supposed to end up together, but presumably neither of them has ever seen a Superman movie before, or even read the comic books, so wouldn’t it be fun if we could do a little more to establish that connection and not make it quite so businesslike? Cool, thanks.
And I won’t give away any more plot details, except to say that I felt the fight scenes got old really quickly. Superman and pretty much everyone he fights is invulnerable, so the drama leaches out of the scenes pretty early. All they do is keep crashing through walls and popping up unhurt; it gets pretty old. Add to that the fact that Superman ends up defeating each foe like three separate times in three separate ways, and I hope you can understand why I took a couple little breaks for snoozles against my will. TWO AND A HALF HOURS, people.
And finally, I bring you to the end of my uneducated, non-geek review of this movie: the plot holes. There were just a lot of things that didn’t make a whole lot of sense, where the movie’s creators weren’t playing to the top of their intelligence. Like, huh? Why is Lois Lane, a reporter, allowed to go on a military mission with absolutely no questions asked, just because she kinda likes Superman? Or why does Clark’s teacher decide to bring his entire class with her out into the hallway to try to talk him out of the janitor’s closet? Or why are there so few military commanders that Christopher Meloni can’t be relieved from duty for the day after his helicopter crashes, and has to go on an identical mission mere hours later? And why are human beings impervious to the energy pulses that are crushing cars into flat objects? It’s very convenient that they’re still able to walk around and make emotional connections with one another even as the air around them is being turned into some kind of vacuum uninhabitable for automobiles. And perhaps most importantly, WHY AREN’T WE WAITING TO FIND OUT WHAT THINGS ARE BEFORE WE START SHOOTING AT THEM. You need to pull it together, armed forces, because you are causing problems.
Bottom line, I suspect this is a movie you will really enjoy if you follow and enjoy the franchise or like really elaborate and impressive CGI fight scenes. It’s a great way to suspend your disbelief and go on a movie adventure for two and a half hours (!!!), but I’m coming straight off of Christopher Nolan‘s much more successful attempts to humanize Batman, so my expectations are a little higher. Maybe this is a great movie for comic-book lovers, and they won’t mind the shortcuts that were taken, but I personally believe that a movie should stand on its own, and I felt that Man Of Steel missed the mark, in that regard. Now where can I pick up my float-y robot vagina? 2023? I’ll be there.