This was it, my most anticipated movie of the summer blockbuster bunch for 2013. It was to be the perfect storm of what I considered a virtual blowjob at the movie theater. Not only did I like the ‘dark’ and brutal approach of DC’s Dark Knight Trilogy over the seemingly light hearted Marvel movies, but I also thought Snyder’s directing would make for an interesting twist on a Superhero, and maybe-- just maybe-- I would get to see Superman kick a villain down an endless pit of darkness somewhere in the thick of the film. . .wait, what am I saying, Superman never kills people! Also, considering I’d let Hans Zimmer drill me in the ass with a metaphorical nuclear misile and still be excited over it, I was looking forward to hear his score and infamous over-the-top percussive lines during the film. I entered the large IMAX room with a grin on my face, donned my 3d glasses with the soul of a champion, and began to pull my pants down for that blow job when the movie theater turned dark.
The following contains paraphrasing and commentary from specific scenes of the movie. For those who wish to remain unsullied, I’ll give the usual big-fat red spoilers indicator, but if you have half a lick of common sense in yourself, you already know that there’s really nothing to spoil in Snyder’s Man of Steel. A multi-faceted and engaging origin story has been tossed aside for ACTION, ACTION, EXPLOSIONS, and. . .ACTION—so there is little in this review to ruin your experience with this action flick.
I entered the movie knowing that critics blasted it—mostly over an apparent lack of strong character development and their stubborness to accept a serious Superman over Chris Reeve. However there was one reoccuring theme: nearly all critics commented on Man of Steel’s action sequences and were mostly entertained. Knowing full well what to expect, I entered the movie’s first scene.
I’m already half-opening my mouth and rolling my eyes back into my skull out of pleasure—and it’s only 5 minutes into the movie. Oh Snyder, slow down! I need to endure for the other 145m of this movie! The opening scenes of the movie depict a Krypton of scifi grandeur. Superman’s father confronts a gorverning console over the planet’s demise but is interrupted by our main antagonist of the movie—General Zod, who’s none too happy about his planet’s ruling authority. What insues is a sequence of explosions, combat, 3d eyecandy, gunfire, and explosions, complete with avatar birds. . . because hey! avatar birds! I don’t know what the **** is going on in the slightest and why Superman’s father has to swim down into an abyss, but it looks ******* cool so I don’t give a damn about plot elements at this point. After a good 10 minutes of action, we get to see our little hero embark on his journey to earth.
All right! Now we get to see our hero grow up before our eyes and grow with him as a character!. . . Wait, what? He’s already 30ish and saving people from exploding oilrigs out in the ocean? That’s cool I guess, on second thought I actually appreciate an immediate call to action. What follows in the film is about an hour of current events intermingled with frequent flashbacks to Clark’s time as a kid and his struggles with society as he’s rescuing drowning buses and burning teachers’ hands off. I much rather have an approach to Superman’s backstory like this than actually spending a tedious 30 minutes watching him grow up involved with a story that all of us are already well acquainted with.
During this course of events, a fully-grown Clark Kent is trying to find his place in the world, and doing so by conveniently finding a Krypton ship buried deep within an ice shelf in the north. It’s during this scene which Clark Kent meets the (completely idiotic) Lois Lane. Seemingly infatuated by Clark and following him up a narrow cliff into a perfectly bored-out deep tunnel through the ice shelf without asking for assistance, she ventures into the Kryptonian ship and nearly kills herself by one of its robotic guardians, only to be rescued by our Man of Steel. Later on in the film, when she meets Clark Kent for the second time, she’s on the verge of dropping her panties at a moment’s whim for our hero. . .it has to be Clark’s perfectly sculpted body and the fascination over extra-terestial dick, I’m sure of it.
Somewhere embedded in this hour of backstory and personal exploration, Snyder decides to give more meaning to Clark’s earth parents by crafting his own Spiderman scene—Kansas version. A younger Clark Kent in his 20s is shown in the passenger seat of his dad’s car, seemingly frustrated with his life and his father. After a brief insult to his dad, a huge tornado miraculously appears out in front of them on the farmside. Clark’s father urges his son to take his mom and seek shelter under a local overpass, while he goes to save as many people who didn’t know that running from a tornado was a decent idea as he could. After getting his foot lodged into his car and some metaphorical ‘with great power comes great responsibiltiy’ hand gesture-implied phrases later, Clark’s father gets swept away by the massive twister. At this point I’ve grown a little tired of the movie and its story-related antics, and just want to see General Zod land on the planet as soon as he can.
After the whole bit about Superman finding out the truth of his origins and purpose in the world and rescuing our dumb damsel in distress Lois Lane from alien technology, General Zod finally makes his appearance on earth by conveniently televising different languages of his requests for superman’s surrender to their respective cultures on televesions and computers throughout the entire globe. The audio and visual text are perfectly rendered while the background remains a mess of white noise. How Zod had the compentency to intercept every video link in the world and break them down by culture with perfect translation, but couldn’t find a way to facetime hiself I don’t know. I’ll let it pass of course, because, Superman! Also given that Jor-El managed to make an AI of himself that might as well be Jor-El in the living flesh (which was completely ridiculous and dumb in the first place), I’ll assume that Zod worked some kind of Kyrptonian voodoo to translate all the languages and hack every video feed as he was orbiting the earth’s moon. Kryptonians seriously need to consider some cameras though.
Shifting our attention to our hero, using the blue and red suit he found on the kyrptonian ship, Superman makes his first official appearance out in a desolate desert for the US military to see, announcing his surrender. What follows you’ve already seen in the trailers, but what follows that is what makes this movie so ******* fun. There’s about 90 minutes left of the flim by now, and you’ll hardly ever get a break from the action. You’ve semi-struggled a long and hard venture through the first parts of the flim to finally arrive at your destination.
The action sequences and special effects in Man of Steel are otherworldly, they make any Marvel movie look flaccid in comparison, and have been given a touch of Michael Bay with needless explosions every which way you look. I’m pretty sure that car that was just flung into that building shouldn’t explode that easily and that forcefully, but hey! Who gives a ****? Michael Bay looks like a wee toddler struggling to take his very first steps compared to Snyder and his Man of Steel. The ridiculous 250m budget shows too, most of the special affects are believable, and the abundance of computer generated desctruciton is the first time a movie has been able to give justice to revealing how grand of a scale a fight between gods would look like.
Zod’s best crewmate, Faora Ul (who looks like Catwoman from Arkham City for me, so I’ll just call her Catwoman from here on out) was a pleasant surprise in Man of Steel. Not only did she provide a smidget of sex appeal to the movie (seriously **** Lois Lane), but also the action sequences around her were brutal and sleek. Besides trolling hordes of unsuspecting soldiers, complete with Bleach-like flash stepping and Superman bulletproof antics, Catwoman also had her own moments at Superman herself.
As for the battles themselves, you get a healthy helping of one one one bouts with animations and action sequences that have been given the Dragon Ball Z treatment. Every 30 seconds you’ll see either Superman or one of Zod’s zealots get punched through multiple layers of buildings at mach speeds. At oine point I was expecting the classic DBZ juggle-catch sequence in the air. How Superman gives so much attention to saving individual lives at certain points in the latter part of the movie while seemingly not giving a care in the world that he probably just vaporized 100 families when he plowed Zod through an entire street of apartments is over my head—but who cares right? People just got slammed halfway across Manhattan in half a second— I’m bursting at the seams! Watching the gargantuan machines of global destruction employed by Zod’s crew to terraform the Earth into an entirely new planet was a pleasure to watch, and oh so fun to listen to their bass heavy pulses pound into the ground and toss entire city blocks into the air while punching your chest cavity at the same time in the theater. . .what sheer joy. There is also an element of human perserverance and bittersweet bliss when one of the commanding officers sacrifices himself by plowing his craft into one of the two terraforming machines, killing himself along with Catwoman. It was another great touch to the movie, although a bit cliché in certain aspects.
This is what you came for, the last hour or so of this movie. I usually found myself lucid and aware of my environment throughout the former half of the movie, but I found myself completely engulfed in the latter half, realizing that I had not moved my legs or arms one inch during it. At times it’s ridiculously over the top, but it’s ridiculously fun as well. The acting wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be given the ratings. The cast is grade-a matieral, with the likes of Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, the acting was solid, and the screenplay never distracting, although very reserved. There were elements in the middle chunk of the movie that could have been tweaked to make a better flowing movie, but it honestly might have created a movie entirely too long, and I would never want to sacrifice the roller coaster 1 hour finale if it meant making other aspects of the movie stronger.
Hans Zimmer’s score for the movie was what I’ve come to expect out of Hans Zimmer: loud, dramatically imposing, and passionately delicate when it needed to be. The grand orchestral buildups and overbearing percussion lines helped compliment the myriad of action during the movie, however I could have done with a bit more diversity. I’m all for leitmotifs for a superhero, but it seemed as though I was listening to the same song over and over again at times.
Even though the literally non-existant character development, Spiderman scene and some clumsy scenarios played out during the middle parts of the movie, I found myself more than won over by the end of it, overjoyed with perpetual orgasms for the last hour. This movie is truly a delight to experience, and slaps a big F-U on Marvel’s forehead, telling them to step up their action game.
Edited by TMRaven - 6/16/13 at 4:58pm