Man of Steel, a review…sort of

This isn’t so much a review as it is random thoughts about the movie, which I guess is technically a review. Be warned. Spoilers abound, also watch out for my rant on whether Clark or Superman is/supposed to be the mask.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, though I think they tried to cram too much into it. A Superman origin story is very nearly a complete story in itself. It needs a little to add conflict to it, but it doesn’t need a villain like Zod. There’s almost more to Zod than can be dealt with in a single story. I think mixing the two was a mistake, and as a result, certain parts felt rushed. Then there was Zod demanding that Lois be brought on board…for no reason. She was just there as a plot device to help Superman get free. While we’re on the subject of Lois, what’s the deal with Lois knowing Clark is Superman? To me, a big part of the Superman storyline has been how Lois falls in love with Superman and Clark falls in love with Lois. Of course, unlike Batman who wears the mask of Bruce Wayne, with Clark/Superman, Clark is the real person and Superman is the mask, so while Lois starts off loving Superman, Clark is NOT Superman. Lois then falls in love with Clark, after which she learns of his secret identity. So there’s my soapbox.

There are a few things about the character of Superman that initially bothered me, but thinking about it, the started to make sense. See, I didn’t like what they were doing to the character, because he felt unsupermany (I’m a writer. I can make up words). It was like they were trying to make him more human, but you can’t do that with Superman. There’s a reason he’s called the boy scout. So in the beginning, when he steals clothes, it really rubbed me the wrong way. On looking back, though, I realized something. They weren’t humanize Superman. They were humanizing Jonathan Kent. The scene comes to mind when young Clark asks his father if he should’ve left the kids on the bus to die, to which Jonathan replies “Maybe.” The Clark that stole clothes was a Clark raised by Jonathan, a very human character with all the shortcomings that humanity entails. Something had to happen to Superman to turn him into the hero who would never make morally questionable decisions because they were necessary. He had to reach the bottom first. In this case, the bottom was the death of Zod. Superman does not kill. That is an essential part of his character, but having him kill at the beginning of his career could serve as a catalyst to turn him away and make him the person who never crosses the line, indeed he never even goes near the line. Or maybe that’s just me really wanting to find a justification for that. Time will tell, I suppose.

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