The Man of Metropolis Stole My Heart

Once upon a time there was a superhero who stole my heart. Ten years ago to be precise, a young Emily laid eyes on one Tom Welling from a CW teen drama (or so I thought, but still happened to be...sort of) called Smallville.  I then immersed myself in all things, Superman, as I realized the true premise of the show and very quickly I found a love for the character in nearly every incarnation. Christopher Reeve, of course, was classic, but I really enjoyed how much TV shows were able to delve into the character and his relationships with those around him (sometimes for better or for worse...) As such, I've grown to have many feelings on how Superman should be handled...and not just the man, but his whole universe as well. So how did Man of Steel fare against such hopes? Mostly quite well, though a few things I'm not sure hit the mark for me.

Let's start off with what I loved. I really enjoyed how fresh this take felt compared to Superman Returns in 2006 which was more of an homage to things that had been done before (by Richard Donner namely) than an actual film. Focusing on Zod was a great choice for Man of Steel because it allowed for some pretty spectacular action sequences. Why? Well for once Superman is finally up against someone that can actually rival him. Lex is a great villain and all and I'd love to see a different take on him in the future, but he doesn't give you the same physical presence. The action sequences were really incredible if a bit long...though it's hard to complain about. Truly much of the film is something to behold...and something that felt like new territory to me. It was a nice change to focus so much on his Kryptonian side while neglecting his reporter side which was completely absent though nicely set up for next time (please let there be a next time...) It was also an interesting change of pace [SPOILER highlight to read] to have Lois know from the get go that Clark = Superman. [/SPOILER.] Um also I really REALLY enjoyed (looking at) Henry Cavill. He is just an absolutely beautiful man...oh and he makes a good Clark and Superman too. But it was too distracting during his opening scenes when he was shirtless....I couldn't even concentrate. Sorry, I had to say it! Now I'll stop. But really, I felt he did the character justice even if the script kinda just grazed the surface. If I have a problem with anything it's that I could do with a little less action in exchange for some quiet character moments (which, unfortunately, were almost all shown during trailers.) I thought both sets of parents were finely cast and everyone added a lot to their roles.

But the fan girl in me had a few problems with some other stuff. I enjoy Amy Adams...but I'm not sure I'm sold on her Lois. OR her chemistry with Cavill and come ON lady how hard would that be to drum up?!?!? And at the VERY LEAST couldn't she have bothered to dye her hair brown??? I'm sorry, but Lois is no ginger. Gingers have MJ, we get Lois. The character of Lois and her relationship with Clark/Superman is one of my favorite things about this story, and I wish they would have developed something better between these two than the average run of the mill action movie romance. Like...I almost feel like Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox had more development in Transformers than Clark and Lois here! I feel like they are one of these power couples in all of pop culture...and while they had some nice moments there was just something missing.

I'm sorry Lois, I prefer brunettes.

The pacing of the film was kinda hit and miss with me. I loved the Smallville flashbacks and learning about how Clark discovers and masters his powers (I do feel like this was a great way of doing the origin story,) but midway and towards the end of the film, though thoroughly entertained I could feel myself getting a headache and thinking some of the sequences went on a bit long. And one more thing. What's with this female type character of Jimmy Olsen? Jenny Olsen? We're supposed to care about her?? Nah. Get rid of her now  and give us some Jimmy! But as a whole I think this is a worthy entry in the Superman universe and while I feel they only scratched the surface with some of the characters, once again I don't think it deserves the low rating it is currently at on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics are all sourpusses this summer I guess! Right now, I'd say I liked it on par with Gatsby and would give it a solid 8/10 though there is plenty of room for improvement in rewatches. 


Sarah said...

Well, I am definitely curious to see how this was pulled off. I can't wait to check it out!

Movies For Lunch Guys said...

This is the Superman movie I've always wanted to see. I loved it!! I'm gonna have to disagree about Lois Lane though. I admit that I have never seen an episode of Smallville, but anybody is better than Margot Kidder from the Christopher Reeve movies. She is awful!!! Kate Bosworth was pretty bland too. I didn't think anything about the color of her hair (although I seem to remember it being red (or highlighted red) in The Death of Superman comic book I read as a kid) but Amy Adams at least brought some decent acting chops to the character.

Great movie. The summer is off to a decent start with Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and now this.

Dan from Movies For Lunch

Emily said...

Hey I never said I was a Kidder fan. I don't care for her. Bosworth was bland too. Teri Hatcher and Erica Durance are how Lois should be....in my not so humble opinion.

Amelia said...

Yeah the fight scenes got a little long for me at the end, but overall I really enjoyed it :)

Joey said...

I don't think I can see it til it hits the small screen. But I'm curious to see if he's as hot as you say he is.

Sarah said...

Well, I finally saw this movie tonight (than you, Red Box). You know me. Nothing can beat the original Christopher Reeve movie. I agree with you that the take on it was very fresh. However, I disagree with you about the General Zod thing. I think he was brought in too early on. Who is Superman going to fight next time? Besides, I missed the wit that Lex Luthor brings to the story. Also, the thing I really disliked about this movie is that it didn't feel like Superman to me because it felt much more sci-fi/alien invasion than comic book/superhero. Also, it was too heavy on the CGI. When you are aware of the fact that it is CGI, it is too much. CGI should feel effortless, or be used to bring style to the film. At times, I felt it was just too much.

As for Henry Cavill...I wholeheartedly agree with you. He wasn't lacking in muscles, I will tell you that. Nice obligatory shirtless scenes, Henry. Good job on the workouts.

I also thought that Superman's Kryptonian and Earthly parents were well cast.

I much prefer the death scene of Jonathan Kent in the 70s version though. I hate it when they do something stupid like use a pet or a kid to manipulate a death like this...and in this case, they used both. Jonathan Kent should have headed for that overpass and let Clark save the dog, for crying out loud. Or, Martha Kent should have kept the door open so that the dog could save himself in the first place. That death scene would have been more at home in Sharknado (which I saw recently on Netflix and enjoyed thoroughly because of its ridiculousness...lot's of unintentional...or intentional...laughs in that one).

Sarah said...

Oh, and I also agree with you that it will be interesting to see how they deal with Lois knowing the identity of Clark Kent.

I also agree with you on the Jimmy Olsen versus Jenny Olsen thing. They shouldn't have changed that character into a girl. That was dumb...oh, and they made her character so doggone irritating!