Originally Posted by EvansST
I'm glad most of you liked it. I didn't. I got a review from another board and it sums up most of my issues with the film.
*SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERSWarning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Here's my off the cuff morning after rant that everyone is gonna take issue with....
It all starts when we are thrown into the middle of a rather important conversation about the planet on the verge of destruction. And for whatever reason the council of elders doesn’t believe Jor-El, even though he is allegedly the planet’s leading scientist. I say allegedly because his quality as a scientist is never really displayed, yer just kinda told to go with that (which is a common problem in this film). But, before we’re even really allowed to come to terms with the plot of Krypton’s imminent destruction, Zod busts in with an agenda and plot of his own that consumes us for the next 10-15 action filled minutes, which seems more of a distraction from when we started with Krypton’s destruction. Zod comes off as a generic 2-D villain that we’ve seen a hundred times before. But once his Krypton arc is wrapped we are jarringly thrown back to Krypton’s destruction with great urgency. This movie often transitions from one idea to the next without concern for its audience or without regard for the ideas themselves. We weren’t even settled with Zod’s arc and Jor-El’s death and Kal-El’s departure when suddenly the planet starts blowing up leaving me to be like, “Oh! We’re doing that part now? Okay.” It just clumsily stumbles from one thing to the next.
As a personal taste, I didn’t like the portrayal of Krypton. I didn’t like this overly complicated neo-medieval depiction. It was clunky. And while Krypton had their advanced Etch-A-Sketch technology, they didn’t seem advanced as a society. They didn’t seem any better than humans on Earth, which I don’t like. And for no reason they’re all genetically engineered? It’s a casual idea that serves no purpose, other than to diminish a character like Jor-El. Because now instead of earning his place as a great scientist, he was merely genetically engineered to be that way. Are Zod’s actions really his fault? Not really, he was genetically engineered to do what he does. And it could have been interesting if Zod was made an example of genetic engineering gone wrong, but they never even bothered with a worthwhile idea like that. The whole Kryptonian society almost came off as fascist and cold. But I guess Kal-El will be extra super special because he wasn’t genetically engineered.
Russel Crowe did well enough. But there was no chemistry between him and Lara. Not that there’s any real chemistry between anyone in this movie.
This is where things really start to get real messy as a film. I’m fine with flashbacks and non-linear storytelling, but this here was a train wreck. The flashbacks came with no subtlety, the transitions were jarring, and it went on for way too long into the movie. It was like this movie was edited by a 5 year old who was treating their ADHD with crack. There is no movement to the story, it’s just all mashed together at once never really allowing any of it to settle in.
All the flashbacks of Clark being bullied were just poorly written clichés. Young Clark struggling with all these crazy sensations and powers was cool.
I dunno why present day Clark was on his journey, what he was looking for, or why he went where he went and did what he did. He was just aimlessly wandering hoping to find…I dunno. There wasn’t much of a bridge between the flashbacks of him as a kid to him as an adult to prompt his motivations.
I felt Jonathon Kent was a confusing character. He never really imparted his son with any great wisdom or guidance. Clark’s parents are supposed to be the source of his moral compass, but we never really see that being passed on. We see them concerned for his well being and urging him to be cautious of his abilities and to cope with his reality. But there is no great moral wisdom passed on. Clark’s moral compass is mentioned a few times in the film, but we are only told about it, it’s never really on display. Martha’s attempt at guiding her son through hard times was pretty cheesy and forced. Jonathon’s death was almost humorous. Trying to save a dog in the middle of a twister while refusing Clark’s help was pretty anti-climactic and non-sensical. I never really felt much of a connection between the two characters anyways. And before we even get to recognize his death, we are hit with another flashback where he’s alive again, so it’s almost like he never really died, stripping away any emotion one may have been able to conjure over it.
But, Clark finds what he’s looking for. We know this because he tells his mom “I found what I was looking for!” to which her reply sounds like “Oh that’s just great son, we’ll have to put it on the fridge.” But Clark never really gets to discover anything, he just wanders around aimlessly until he inexplicably stumbles upon a…something….where inside a computer Jor-El just tells him everything with an Etch-A-Sketch animation. That’s not discovery. That’s being told. We later find out that the “something” is a Kryptonian scout ship that apparently came to Earth thousands of years ago. The casual mention of this in a single sentence of dialogue introduces a big idea that really serves no purpose. This ship has nothing to do with anything happening in the movie, it’s just kind of there. More messy storytelling.
Lois tracking down her “mystery man” was kinda cool, but her actually discovering him was groan-inducing. Lois knowing who he is from the beginning is going to strip away so much of the fun chemistry that resulted in the traditional Clark/Lois/Superman love triangle. The scene with them at Jonathon’s grave made no sense. Clark has no reason to trust a NEWS REPORTER with everything he tells her. I don’t know what his reasoning was for that, because it made no sense to do so other than to forcefully push these characters along.
Oh, and then there’s the completely pointless scene of Clark talking to a priest. He just shows up to tell this priest the biggest secret in the world. In doing so, he asks the priest for advice but gets up and leaves before the priest even responds with advice. The priest actually has to stop him from leaving to give him the advice that he sought. It was pointless and didn’t make any sense. Why was he in a church in the first place? Was this just a pointless ham-fisted attempt to reference the Azzarello/Lee "For Tomorrow" comics?
There was almost a grand moment when he first dons the Superman suit. It was cool to see him fail at flying, but I wish that happened before he put the suit on. It was awkward seeing that happen in the suit. But once he got flying it was cool. The suit still looks dumb to me though, but I’m not gonna go on that rant again. Cavill does a good job with what he’s given. He’d make a really good Superman if he were working with film makers that actually understood Superman.
In the lead up to this movie Zack Snyder constantly made the point that he wanted to show how the real world would react to someone like Superman existing. Okay, that’s cool. But that never happened in the movie. At all. Superman’s arrival was grossly unceremonious. There was an opportunity at a grand entrance, but it doesn’t happen. He’s just suddenly there, standing in front of the military, then in handcuffs. That’s his reveal to the world. Hell, his arrival on Earth in general wasn’t even depicted. What a missed opportunity it was to not even show the Kent’s discovering Kal-El’s ship. And in the future there will be the missed opportunity of Clrak revealing himself to Lois, because in this movie she already knows, which was pretty underwhelming in comparison to what could have been.
This film is full of things that should be amazing and awe inspiring and full of wonder, but you never feel any of that. It just clunkily plods along at an awkward pace that never really lets you experience anything. Yer never immersed in anything. Yer just briskly told stuff and expected to go along with it. It’s like they expect you to rely on yer pre-conceived attachments to Superman to feel awe-inspired instead of actually making the effort to create that emotion in the film itself. Not once did I have a sense of amazement when watching this movie.
And in the lack of people’s reaction to Superman’s existence you realize that there is no connection between Superman and the people at all. The people that Superman is allegedly protecting and saving are so completely absent from this movie. Which really undercuts the importance of the Superman character. And worst of all, there is nothing hopeful or inspiring about this Superman. We’re told that the symbol he wears is a symbol of hope, and there is the All-Star Superman dialogue about him being an ideal for the people to strive towards to join him in the sun, and that’s all great stuff. Those ideas are what Superman is supposed to embody. But none of that is in the film. There’s nothing even inspiring about his eventual “victory” over Zod. Nothing you want to cheer for. If I were one of the people in this film, I would have been pissed at Superman. All he brought to their planet was destruction. I could understand if he had some pre-existing relationship with the people of Earth, where they had a better understanding of him. But no, Zod shows up looking for Superman. Superman reveals himself to the world. The two of them destroy everything and millions die. What about any of this can be seen as inspiring or hopeful? What has he given the people to strive towards?
Also, he was called Superman once in this movie. Once. And it was from some no-name generic military dude. “They’re calling him Superman now.” Who is calling him Superman? Where is that coming from? No one has called him Superman. The whole entire time they’re yelling Clark, Clark, Clark. Um, what about SUPERMAN?! It was dumb.
Oh my god, the action. The destruction. There was so much of it that it lost any impact. It just became rubble and noise. How many times do I need to see a build blown to bits before I get numb to the image of it? And how grossly reckless was Superman? He destroyed SO MUCH stuff without any regard for anything. It was insane. He made little to no attempt to avoid destroying everything in his path, in fact he purposely destroyed things. Even the action that would have been cool doesn’t get to be recognized because it’s surrounded by so much stupid action. Yes, it’s great to see Superman fight and punch and get physical. But this was so ridiculously over the top that it was just eye rolling and non-sensical.
So, apparently the codex was something super important to Zod and his motivations as a character. Although, despite it’s great importance, what the codex actually is was casually relegated to a single sentence of dialogue. And suddenly Zod is gonna terraform Earth, which is a pretty big idea that just kinda came out of nowhere at the end.
But he’s got this world engine over the Indian Ocean, and his ship over Metropolis. Oh, by the way, Metropolis is in this movie. Not that the great City of Tomorrow is given any sort of recognition, introduction, establishment, or scope. Anyways, the world engine is in the middle of nowhere, unprotected, and in itself not any sort of immediate danger to anyone. Unlike Zod’s ship which is protected by all his artillery and henchmen and killing hundreds of people by the minute. So what sense does it make that Superman goes after the world engine? Why not send the military to blow that up while Superman tends to Zod, his men, and all the people dying? The military has no chance against Zod in Metropolis and is completely incapable of stopping the destruction.
And we’re gonna solve this whole thing by smashing two phantom engines together to create a black hole and suck all the bad guys into nothingness, because apparently that’s what conveniently happens when you smash two phantom engines together. So much smashing in this movie! Oh, but let’s not worry about all the good people down below in Metropolis that might get caught up in the black hole. Phantom Holes only go after bad guys, so it’s cool.
I mean, lets not try anything a little more interesting and serviceable to the characters such as having Dr. Emil Hamilton team up with the Jor-El program and use the phantom engine in Kal-El’s ship to engineer a Phantom Zone projector which can be used to trap Zod and his men back into the Phantom Zone. Instead, lets show off Hamilton’s scientific importance by having him inexplicably realizing he should turn this one thing so he can push a button. How dramatic! And why the hell was Lois on that plane other than to allow her to fall off so Superman can catch her….again.
AND THEN! there is the final battle between Superman and Zod. What a cool video game that was. I love seeing rubbery CGI men wrestle and lay waste to everything in their path. At this point, we’ve already seen multiple cities destroyed. Seeing even more destruction and bombastic noise was nothing more than an annoyance that I couldn’t wait to be over with. Also, I love how Zod proclaims he’s genetically engineered to preserve all things krypton Krypton as his introduction to kill Superman, the last Kryptonian. That makes sense.
THEN SUPERMAN KILLS ZOD! WHAT…THE F***?! I literally sat there in the theater with my hands in the air, surrendered to confusion and disbelief. SUPERMAN DOES NOT KILL! At all. Ever. And the build up to it was so incredibly void of drama. Not to mention this was completely pointless! What does this do for the character other than demean everything he’s supposed to represent?! What does it do? What was the point of this? There is nothing “edgy” or “modern” about a Superman that can’t save the day without killing. NOTHING. There is no reason this couldn’t have been resolved without Superman killing Zod, and there is no reason to believe the film and characters would have been lesser for it. I still can’t believe they did this. This whole movie was nothing short of Snyder/Goyer/Nolan depicting their inability to understand Superman.
And then there is the introduction of Clark Kent at the Daily Planet. Who is literally Superman in glasses. They made no attempt to present any sort of reasonable disguise. And how does Clark get a job at the planet anyways? He has no training or education as a journalist. In none of the flashbacks has he shown any interest in writing at all. He just walks into one of the most prestigious papers and has a job.
And by the way, what the hell are all these people doing? Yer city was literally just destroyed. Completely annihilated. The World Trade Center was destroyed 12 years ago. It still has yet to complete its replacement. The city of Metropolis was just leveled by aliens….and we’re trying to pick up co-workers to go to a basketball game?
All the side characters were fine. They served their minimal purpose, but there was nothing special about them either. And I’m okay with that. This film wanted to focus on Clark/Superman, which they failed to get right. The film was void of emotion and wonder and fun. The chemistry between all the characters was pretty stale. Faora was cool, and served her purpose as the typical hench-woman.
The pacing of this movie was atrocious. And so much of the plotting was completely non-sensical and so many ideas served no purpose. The characters were horribly undeveloped and mis-portrayed. I honestly can’t believe the film was allowed to be made in the form it was. And that so much money was spent on it. And that it was so glaringly flawed on almost every level that no one along the way was like “WAIT A MINUTE!”. How does this happen?
What few good things I can say about the movie are pretty pointless in the face of everything wrong with it.
A Superman that isn’t inspiring and has to kill to save the day is nothing I’m interested in.
I ‘d give it a 2/10.