Saturday, November 30, 2013

Man of Steel (2013)

My idea of Superman is 1970s Superman comics.  I'm not a fan of the old Superman movies, but I'm not interested in any new Superman movies either. I guess I'm just not interested in Superman anymore.  So when my friends insisted on watching this, I wasn't thrilled. And when I saw that the movie clocks in at 2:20, I was not happy.  But it turns out that other than the stupid parts and that if you cut 45 minutes of fighting, it wouldn't make a difference on the plot and would still be a full length movie, it was pretty entertaining.  Actually even the stupid parts were entertaining, other than Kevin Costner's Pa Kent being a total dick.

It's the standard story where Jor-El shoots his baby into space because Krypton is disintegrating. The ship crashes on Earth and is  found in a field by Ma and Pa Kent who raise the little Supertyke as their own, while attempting to discourage him from displaying his powers so no one will figure out he's not from Earth. So the standard plot isn't much different up to here.

Once Clark becomes an adult, he bounces from job to job, always disappearing after some big event in which he rescues people from some disaster.  He keeps to himself and tries to stay under the radar... except for that disappearing after doing some super human feat thing, such as keeping an oil rig from falling into the ocean. Yeah, nothing suspicious about that.

Journalist Lois Lane tries to be a hard boiled reporter but her pretty little head can't seem to wrap itself around such things as common sense or safety, and she ends up being saved by Clark, who promptly disappears.  This sends Lois on a mission to discover who he is and somehow she manages to find all the reports of a mystery man who saves people and they lead right back to the Kents. I'm skeptical. Also if it was that easy, then Clark's been wasting his time hiding from intimacy for all these years.

Around this time, General Zod and his fellow mutineers arrive on Earth to track down the superbaby that escaped Krypton. Battles ensue, newspapers are read, and tons of buildings are destroyed.  Once the outcome is reached the logical conclusion is, couldn't you have done that before you destroyed every high rise in town, you Super jerk?

My biggest problem with the movie is Pa Kent, who encourages Clark to avoid any situations where his superhuman powers would be detected. Sounds fine on the surface, but Pa takes it to the extreme. For instance, when Clark's school bus plunges off a bridge and into the water, Clark saves everyone by pushing the bus to safety and goes back in the water to save a bully who's drowning.  Pa tells Clark he should have done nothing.  In other words, he should have let everyone die.  Hey Pa, how about urging Clark to be a little more discrete? After pushing the bus out of the water, he could duck down or move off to the side so no one sees him?  He could pretend he was thrown out of the bus, like the bully was. It doesn't need to be all or nothing. Thankfully Clark has more humanity than Pa and is determined not to watch people die when he can save them.

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