The Moan of Steel Part 2

by , Monday August 14, 2017

Up Up and away, err... Again

 

My Moan of Steel blog has gotten something Man of Steel has yet to get, a sequel.

Yes I know about Batman v Superman, but that is a follow up not in my opinion a direct sequel, so I say my subtitle is true.

 

Anyway, yes hello and welcome or if you've already read part one, welcome back. If you haven't below is the link to it.

 

http://www.movellas.com/user/blogs/edit/userblog/201610020246501959

 

Well if you read part one I bet you were surprised to find it had a cliffhanger ending.

 

Well not quite as dramatic, but it certainly came as a surprise to me when I found myself typing To Be Continued...

 

The reason being I knew I had already written so much, yet I knew I was not finished so I thought I'd break it down like this to make it easier for anyone who does read these.

 

As I wrote near the top up, up and away, let me get back into this, again.

 

Anyway I had skipped ahead a bit at the end of part one, we're actually now at the point in the film where having got a job to get close to the ship, Clark sneaks out in the night and used his heat vision to a tunnel and a way into the craft.

 

Inside, finds a panel contains a hole matching the shape of the object found inside his pod.

 

Inserting the object the hole causes a person to appear nearby, who simply walks off without saying anything?

 

Clark attempts to catch up to this person, but he always seems several steps ahead of him.

 

It is nonsense why hologram Jor-El is doing this little disappearing act other than it cost them a lot of to cast Russell Crowe so they wanted their money’s worth.

 

Even if you buy the plot reason that he was leading him to a specific chamber on the ship to give him a quick plot recap.

 

He couldn't speak introduce himself and say hey follow me, but he doesn't do that for some reason.

 

After he's rescued Lois only to abandon her out on the ice he returns takes the ship and flies away piloting the ship to the Arctic.

 

When he reappears, it turns out the figure he was following is a hologram of Jor-El and explains the history of the planet Krypton

 

Thereby repeating what we learned at the beginning of the film and negating the point of having spent money and creating the new look Krypton if you're just going to exposition dump it on the audience all over again.

 

Jor-El does explain the ship they're on is a sentry ship sent out many years before, when Kryptonians did colonize other planets.

 

Making it a good job recent Krypton technology is backwards compatible with the tech from thousands of years ago otherwise the plot would have come unstuck.

 

Jor-El explains Earth's sun has made Clark stronger helping him manifest powers since childhood. 

 

Jor-El shows Clark a dark blue and red suit bearing the shielded "S". Jor-El explains it is the emblem of the House of El and a symbol of hope. Telling Clark the suit will symbolize his mission: to help the people of Earth and act as their guardian.

 

Stepping outside the ship, Clark begins to push his powers: first taking flying leaps, before eventually being able to fly at great speeds, breaking the sound barrier and flying great distances around the world.

 

Honestly if you're a Superman fan this scene is awesome, it begins with him leaping rather than flying, because that's what he did originally.

 

Why they used to say able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, the flying came some time later. That alone could make this cool, but the way he takes to the skies, the rare (possibly only) time Henry gets to smile just before he loses control and falls crashing down to earth.

 

Then the second part where he is zooming across different landscapes and then the sonic boom as he flys up into space and the nod to the original Superman movies with the pan and flying around almost as if he was doing it to deliberately pass the camera before re-entering Earth's atmosphere, this is the most Superman moment in the film.

Let's talk about the suit, you already know if you read part one I'm not a big fan of the suit, that's just based on the look. If I get in to how Superman gets the suit, it gives me more reason to dislike it.

 

See the iconic Superman outfit isn't so iconic in this version, no here it is simply given to him by hologram dad, and it's nothing special as it had been on the Kryptonian craft almost twenty thousand years.

 

Who then did it belong to, certainly not Clark, despite the fortunate fact it has the symbol of the House of El on meaning it must have belonged to an ancestor which means it must have been hanging up in a closet aboard the ship for all that time, so what does that mean were their other Kryptonians coming to Earth to be a figure of hope/saviour figure.

 

There's also the coincidence of some unnamed distant relative being on a ship which got stranded on Earth. The whole thing is another instance of coincidences piling up thanks to a messy script.

 

One other question this suit, why is this version of the iconic outfit red and blue. We know from our look at Krypton earlier in the film there was no hint those colours exist on Krypton so why is it blue and red other than to keep the colours it is traditionally

 

It makes absolutely no sense.

 

We’ll be back to this blog after this short break so you can admire this which I think is quite clever.

 

The head of George Reeves star of the 1950's Superman series  Photoshopped onto the body of Henry Cavill in the Man of Steel costume.

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Back into it and while serving her suspension Lois launched her investigation into Clark which eventually led her to Smallville to Pete and Martha and a visit to Jonathan's grave for her second encounter with Clark.

 

She tells him she wants to share his story, he doesn't want to, telling her he abides by his father's request not to reveal himself until the world is ready.

 

He tells her the story of how his father traumatised him into keeping quiet by throwing his life away in a fruitless manner to prove his point.

 

Ok that's more my opinion rather than what the scriptwriter seemingly wants you to believe or feel.

 

Let me get into one of the most controversial parts of this film.

 

The truth is its not original, likely inspired by Superman - The Movie where they had Jonathan die. In that he died from a heart attack in doing so showed a young Clark he cannot save everyone, that there will be situations when not even his super powers are enough to save the day.

 

A simple and effective way to show Clark there are limits to his abilities.

 

In MoS he dies for a different reason; one I don't feel works at all, though that may just be down to not being well executed.

 

Here they want to make some sort of issue about when it’s the right time for him to reveal himself to the world. Well get ready for some vagueness, because when exactly the writer let alone Jonathan thought the world was going to be ready is never fully made clear.

 

It is just some undetermined future date, even Jonathan probably isn't exactly sure of.

 

Clark and Jonathan are in the middle of an argument as the two of them plus Martha and the family dog are driving along the freeway, heading home heading out who knows.

 

It probably doesn't matter.

 

What does matter is this argument is like the writer hanging a sign around Jonathan's neck announcing he's going to be dead soon.

 

Clark is frustrated being forbidden to reveal his powers to anyone, descending into a cliché "you're not my father" line he will later regret but never get to take back, because we all know every superhero has to be guilt tripped into doing heroic stuff.

 

This happening right before a tornado suddenly appears threatening everyone on the road. This doesn't come as much of a surprise to the audience as it does the Kent's.

 

See this whole scene as it plays out is crap for a few reasons, first having Henry Cavill play a much younger Clark is strange they should've used Dylan Sprayberry the actor playing the teenage Clark.

 

There's the fact they get caught by surprise by the appearance of a tornado in what looked up until that moment like perfectly clear skies.

 

In the real world there are weather forecasts and warnings and if you live in places like Kansas in the US you'd be aware of when they are likely to strike.

 

It's unlikely you'd be out having a casual afternoon drive.

 

All the people on the road take cover under an overpass, which in real life would be out one of the worst places you could hide.

 

Jonathan decides to go back for the dog rather than risk a group of strangers seeing Clark or not seeing him as he is second only to the Flash in terms of running speed in the comics, which I guess the film wants to ignore.

 

Jonathan gets injured making him unable to make it back to the overpass and waving away Clark's offer to come get him.

 

Jonathan dies getting swept up in a tornado rather than let Clark save him because the world just isn't ready to know of an Alien living among them.

 

When would have been the right time, isn't even a discussion in the film. You'd think Jonathan might have thought through some scenarios where it would be appropriate.

 

Was Jonathan expecting some sign or waiting for the Alien invasion, what if Zod didn't come to Earth would he still be waiting for this right time.

 

No one knows, not the characters, audience nor does it seem script writer.

 

Lois decides to respect Clark's wish for privacy and not publish her story, but it's about to become moot anyway.

 

A fan made Man of Steel poster.

The military have picked up a ship in orbit and shortly after a message is broadcast by General Zod all over the world to demand the people of Earth hand over Kal-El within 24 hours or there will be consequences.

 

Conspiracy blogger Glen Woodburn reveals on TV Lois know Kal-El she is taken into custody by the FBI, then turned over to the US Army.

 

Because there hasn't been enough saviour symbolism or allusions to Christ, we have Clark going to a local pastor to confess he's the one the aliens want.

 

He admits being cautious about giving himself up as he doesn't trust Zod, but doesn't really trust Humanity either.

 

Not surprising given all we've seen of kids in Smallville being a55holes to him in every encounter and him rescuing people while other people he met where either idiots around him and growing up without any friends by the look of it.

 

His decision is made when the Pastor tells him one must sometimes take a leap of faith and the trust will come later.

 

Brilliant advice, no way it could be seen as overtly religious by some or vague nonsense by others.

 

Still aside from ramming home some more Superman / Jesus comparisons with a shot of Clark and Jesus on view in the background.

 

Coincidentally Clark at this point being 33 the same age as Jesus when he was crucified.

 

The church scene and most of, if not all the destruction porn finale could have been avoided if Clark had gone to have another chat with and seek the advice of hologram dad Jor-El.

 

Someone who knew Zod and might have an idea how to stop him, I guess that would have made too much sense.

 

Here's the video in question if you're interested.

 

Clark surrenders to the Army in his Kryptonian outfit letting the military handcuff him as a gesture of trust, yet he insists he will only talk to Lois.

                  

Clark and Lois have their conversation in which she asks him about the "S" on his chest to which he explains the whole it not being an S, it meant hope on Krypton.

 

Lois insisting it looks like an 'S' is about to name him Superman when she is cut off by feedback from the observers behind a 2-way mirror Clark shows he is easily able to see through it and identify the people.

 

The film does the about to call the superhero by his superhero name only to get amusingly interrupted thing. This combined with the look of mild embarrassment on the face of the first character who does say it suggests to me there was a bit of embarrassment on the part of the writer in calling him Superman, so they're just having fun with it.

 

Clark breaks his handcuffs, tells the military guy’s he'll allow them to turn him over to Zod and protect the planet from whatever danger he presents.

 

A black spacecraft appears to bring him to Zod's ship. Faora comes out to collect Clark then out of nowhere demands they want to take Lois with them as well.

 

Why is she needed other than for plot convenience, oh never mind at this point I guess I should just go with it?

 

Lois is given breathing equipment as the atmosphere on the ship is toxic for humans.

 

Clark slips Lois the key to the Kryptonian vessel, which is just as well because upon boarding Clark collapses and struggles to breathe. Lois worries, Zod tells her Clark will have to adjust to the Kryptonian atmosphere.

 

When Clark passes out he envisions himself in a nightmare version of the Kent's farm, Zod somehow appears in this skull filled nightmarish scenario to communicate with him.

 

First he reveals how they escaped the Phantom Zone and how they found him and how they travelled to Earth. Then unsurprisingly reveals himself as a villain and as a bad guy in another film says as a joke.

 

Zod actually does stupidly take the time to reveal his evil plan to turn Earth into New Krypton.

 

Without a hint of fear Clark might not want to go along with him. As it seemingly never occurs to him that having grown up on Earth raised by Humans Clark might not be eager to burn it and every single living thing on it to ashes.

 

Still even the script can't decide how Clark feels about Humanity so I guess I should forgive Zod for his confusion.

 

Awakening from the vision, Zod tells Clark, he will revive their civilization with or without his help.

 

Atmospherics on the ship leave Clark no stronger than a Human allowing one of them to obtain a blood sample.

 

Lois is put in a holding cell, where she luckily comes across a panel with a small hole the same shape as the key. Inserting it allows Jor-El to appear before her.

 

Having access to the ships computer allows Jor-El to alter its atmosphere making it suitable for Clark and giving Lois information about stopping Zod and leads her to an escape pod.

 

Which is damaged as it’s ejecting leaving her falling to Earth out of control and losing oxygen.

 

Clark's strength returns allowing him to break free and Jor-El appears to him, pointing out he needs to save Lois.

 

He does after smashing his way out of the ship assuming a Christ on the crucifix pose before flying to the rescue.

 

As the two of them land back on Earth Clark and Lois share a moment she thanks him and tells him how they used the mystery mind probe on her.

 

Although it’s still not clear why they would have any reason to take her, any clue that she means something to Clark or knew anything about him that would be useful to them.

 

The moment is brief as it is interrupted when his attention is drawn to his mother.

 

From the way Clark flies away in a rush it implies Lois had been the one who inadvertently gave up the whereabouts of the farm where he grew up.

 

Zod and Faora arrive at the Kent farm looking for the Codex. Faora finds the pod, but not the Codex.

 

Clark races to save his mom getting there as Zod is threatening her, hitting him with such force the two are sent up flying into the heart of downtown Smallville.

 

Superman is reckless sending the two of them flying through two things I don't know what they are but they explode then the flight fight takes them through a gas station which blows up, no idea how many collateral casualties result from this.

 

From Clark's disregard to then the seeming joy Superman takes in Zod's pain as his mask malfunctions and he struggles to adapt to the Earth’s environment.

 

The way he did as a child with the sudden bursts of X-Ray vision, and his hearing taking in everything overloading his senses.

 

Clark brags that he has honed his skills to control his senses, his over confidence bordering on arrogance makes him feel callous and unlike the character I've read about or seen across countless live action or animated movies and TV shows.

 

His arrogance is blown away when a ship shoots him disabling him as two of his army recover the stunned Zod, leaving behind two Kryptonians to take him out.

 

A battle erupts between them and Clark causing huge amounts of destruction to a lot of product placement such as ihop and Sears.

 

A two on one brawl ensues as Clark is continuously attacked by Faora and Nam-Ek and taking a hit fired by a military jet.

 

Still this fight includes Clark hurling Nam-Ek into a train yard which mysteriously explodes.

 

Seriously do things with engines blow up if you just violently throw stuff at them, who cares when it looks cool right?

 

Not Clark who gave no thought about whether it or the surrounding areas were free of civilians.

 

With Nam-Ek out of the way it's Faora versus Clark, aside from some CGI which doesn't look so good on a small screen and some jaw achingly bad dialogue delivered by the actress playing Faora.

 

Her whole thing where she rattles on about strength and weakness and evolution is a something a ten year old writes that they think is deep and meaningful only in reality is shallow nonsense.

 

Play and hopefully enjoy the sounds of this a piece of music called An Ideal of Hope, the original version of the one at the top of this blog. Listen to it if you want as you read the next part of this blog.

The Army approaches the alien smack down in Smallville with helicopters and planes. The Colonel telling his troops the aliens; Clark included are hostile.

 

Despite his having witnessed him fighting them, well I guess every character gets to have his or her moment of stupidity.

 

Anyway they engage and are over powered in every confrontation even causing Colonel's chopper to crash after they've thrown a product placement van at it.

 

Once again Faora is laden with clunky dialogue as she prepares to kill Colonel Hardy she says to him a good death is its own reward.

 

The Star Trek fan in me can't help think it wouldn't sound so bad if it were uttered by a Klingon. Because it's similar to Worf on a couple of Deep Space 9 episodes and in one of The Next Generation films saying "today is a good day to die," that kind of line fits the character and his culture, but here it's meaningless.

 

Yeah we get it, she's like Zod and the rest of his people warriors, and does that mean they're all looking forward to dying.

 

An unconscious Faora is picked up by Nam-Ek and carried aboard their ship which takes off and leaves.

 

Clark steps out from some wreckage and only now persuades Hardy to tell his troops "he is not our enemy," having saved him and that one other soldier.

 

Not as I said when he is clearly fighting the other Kryptonians, which just makes the US army man look stupid.

 

Clark returns to his mother, where he finds her alive amid the debris of her home where he tells her about the Codex, how it might be able to bring his people back.

 

To which he utters one of the dumbest lines in the movie.

 

He tells Martha, he doesn't think they are interested in sharing the planet.

 

No they are not as Zod clearly told you a few scenes ago, so why do you only think they want the planet and not the population.

 

It makes Clark seem stupid.

 

I have no real reason to put this in except i think it looks quite cool.

 

Anyway Lois arrives and now serving in her function as a walking exposition machine, she explains to him what Jor-El told her on the ship.

 

Back on his ship Zod learns Jor-El infused the Codex into Clark's cells, making him the source to create new Kryptonian life. Also learning they don't need Clark alive to retrieve it.

 

Zod separates the World Engine from the Black Zero. The World Engine moves into place over the Indian Ocean and the Black Zero over Metropolis.

 

Zod activates both craft and a beam of energy begins boring through the Earth's core to terraform Earth into a new Krypton like planet.

 

Dr. Emil Hamilton works out that the machines will terrorform Earth for the Kryptonians which will spell the extinction of the Human race.

 

The effect start causing massive amounts of destruction, flattening cars and tearing skyscrapers to pieces and also causes objects and fleeing people to be pulled up into the air before violently slamming it all back down to Earth.

 

While the General is contemplating what to do, Clark comes to him with him a plan.

 

Here we get the first name drop and then the actor saying it looking like he's been instructed to say it sheepishly and justify it with an embarrassed, "oh the Alien, that's what they're calling him."

 

I have read people say they haven't really started calling him that because he hasn't earned it yet. Which kind of makes sense, I guess.

 

Still it might have been nice, to hear him called Superman a bit more often in this even if for me personally he still won't feel 100% Super at the end of the movie.

 

Clark uses the information Lois obtained, his pod once activated will start up its Phantom Drive and if his pod collides with the Black Zero while its drive is active it and its occupants should be sucked back into the Phantom zone.

 

Zod left his ship to go and take back the one Clark found which is filled with Kryptonian fetuses that he can imprint if he gets the Codex out of Clark.

 

Jor-El asks to Zod stop, but he refuses to listen to the words of a ghost as Jor-El tries to persuade him there is another way. Zod uses his command key to take control of the ship causing his hologram to disappear forever.

 

Colonel Hardy, Dr Hamilton and Lois for some undefined reason board a plane, after of course has had time to change from her civilian clothes and into a military flight suit. As they take the pod to Metropolis, while Superman goes to the Indian Ocean to stop the World Engine.

 

He is attacked by a defence mechanism attempting to fend him off. Basically a pair of giant metal tentacles which look like something left over from The Matrix visual effects.

 

The situation in Metropolis is dire and Perry, Jenny and Lombard watch as the destruction all around them continues relentlessly and then as the planes sent by the Air Force fail to get close to the Black Zero and crash on the street and into other buildings.

 

Perry gives the order to evacuate despite seeing they would be no safer on the streets than they are up in the Daily Planet building. As a matter of fact being as there seems it seems to have sustained no damage at the end of the film. I'm going to say staying inside might have been the better safer option. Though that's only because we have no idea how much time is meant to have passed between the climax name the fringe of the film, so I could be wrong about that.

 

Zod's ship and the World Engine having created a gravity well stopping them launching Clark's pod.

 

Clark has been unsuccessful in defeating the tentacles, until he too defies gravity, almost choked to death he falls to the ground underneath the World Engine as everything around him including the water is being pulled upwards.

 

That's when he flies up and punching his way in and out of it, severing the connection and causing the world engine to explode.

 

With the gravitational disruption gone, Hardy flies the transport closer to Zod's ship only to face a last ditch interception from Faora, attempting to stop them.

 

Clark arrives in Metropolis just in time to stop Zod destroying the Air Force plane, crashes into the ship, Clark arrives in Metropolis just in time to stop Zod destroying the Air Force plane, crashing into the ship and using his heat-vision to tear apart, causing it to crash and the gestation chamber to break wide open.

 

Faora's attempt failed as well when Hardy steers the plane into the ship. Lois in the rear of the plane is almost blown out during the attack and clings to the ramp. She gets to her feet just as Hardy's maneuver tilts it forward; she loses her balance and is pulled out of the plane and falling to Earth.

 

How is this possible I do not know, but it's not the last time Lois will defy gravity. Even as he is rescuing her Clark has to fight to stop himself being sucked into the Phantom Zone so how come Lois manages to avoid it and fall, plot that's why.

 

The plot needs Clark to save Lois again so they can be together for a romantic scene prior to the finale.

 

I'll get to that scene I just mentioned in a minute.

 

Meanwhile here's another picture to look at.

Henry Cavil's performance as Superman summed up in two pictures

Henry offscreen vs Henry onscreen

Right so the collision of the two Phantom Drives causes the military aircraft and the Black Zero along with Colonel Hardy and Emil Hamilton to get pulled into the Phantom Zone.

 

This was originally going to be Zod’s fate as well, until the writer David Goyer disagreeing with producer Christopher Nolan with whom he developed the story, Goyer didn't feel this was a strong enough ending, so he rewrote it, I'll get to the actual ending we got shortly.

 

Hardy gets to repeat back at Faora, the "a good death is its own reward line." Even though it still means nothing, it’s not deep it’s not something symbolic of their culture it is a meaningless line of dialogue Goyer thought sounded cool.

 

Now all the other Kryptonians are gone Clark is able to save Lois again and puts her safely on the ground.

 

What follows is that romantic scene I mentioned, to my mind perhaps one of the most inappropriate moments in this or any film.

 

Clark and Lois are on the ground conveniently landing near the only other surviving supporting characters, Perry along with Lombard and Jenny with some extras in the background to witness.

 

Clark and Lois having their romantic interlude, at least what is meant to be seen as a romantic moment even though it happens amid the crater that used to the middle of Metropolis all the while ash is raining down around them.

 

Now this isn't just the debris of the fallen buildings it is in all likelihood the remains of people. That's right in this situation the ash is the remains of formerly living breathing Human beings.

 

Even if you don't think that's true, given what we know can happen in real world situations where buildings fall down. This is still an absolutely horrendous time for Lois and Clark to have their first real kiss as they are still standing in a place where hundreds possibly thousands of people were recently killed.

 

Nothing about this situation feels like the right time for that moment to happen. My guess is that having written that moment neither Goyer nor anyone else realised how awful it looked because they didn't comprehend what it would look once the digital effects were added.

 

Prievious onscreen Supermen.

The Finale, I Promise

Zod and Clark get into a one on one fist fight stretching across Metropolis, smashing through buildings. Which luckily all seem empty?

 

Still I feel the film is ignoring the civilians who would still be trapped in the danger zones.

 

During the fight, Zod begins adapting to Earth's atmosphere, being able to develop heat vision and flight quicker than Clark did.

 

As the two fight each other even taking it into space at one point Zod is shown as the aggressor not giving Clark time to really do what he should do, what any other version of Superman would do, save innocent people caught in the middle of this mess.

 

Something that never occurred to me until recently I watched a YouTube clip from the movie and tv channel Collider where film reviewer John Campea a passionate Man of Steel fan saying how they need to show collateral damage, not just in this but in all superhero films to feature this sort of climatic showdowns.

 

I find I agree with that given how times have changed it is understandable this fight in the centre of Metropolis is more brutal than the fight between Superman and Zod and his Kryptonian crew in Superman 2.

 

We disagree about this film, on more than one occasion he has labelled it a masterpiece. Clearly I don't share that opinion, which you probably gathered that if you've read any of the blogs up to this point.

 

Where I would say the destruction in MoS differs to The Avengers which the video I mention talks about is in the hero's reaction to it.

 

Although not explicitly shown, people were killed in the battle of New York in the finale of the Avengers it has been mentioned first in episodes of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D tv show and more recently in Captain America Civil War which attempted to address the good guys responsibility.

 

Still The Avengers had several scenes of them rescuing ordinary citizens or talking about getting people to safety.

 

Yes I know I just broke a rule and did what I said I wasn't going to do which is mention or draw any comparisons to the MCU, I'm sorry I didn't intend doing it, but after seeing that collider video I don't think it could be avoided.

 

My point is there simply not enough of it in Man of Steel. Yes in the Smallville battle he tells the towns people to get inside, but as the fight has them crashing through walls it might not be as much protecting as he hoped he does also save a military man falling from a chopper, only the guy falls right in front of him meaning he doesn't have to put much effort into it.

 

Unless you are Lois Lane Superman will only rescue you if you are in danger within his direct eye line, otherwise you’re screwed.

 

It would have been nice and would have cast off a lot of the criticism it received if he were seen to try harder to save someone other than Lois particularly during the Metropolis destruction.

 

I have repeatedly read from fans of the film that it was his first day as Superman. A fairly valid claim, but for me it's too simple answer.

 

It's his first few days in the costume; the film has shown us it's not his first time rescuing people. You could say he'd been training for something like this his entire life because he was born to become a hero.

 

If he'd even been shown trying, yet failing to save civilians not only would it have shown some consistency with the film itself where the young Clark saves lives.

 

Maybe it could have negated some of the damage he did cause by it never occurring to him to move the fight away from such a huge populated area.

 

Again ardent fans say this is because he's new to this superhero role and Zod would have stayed and continued attacking civilians.

 

In my opinion that wouldn't have happened like that, this Zod would have chased after Clark as what he specifically wanted; the Codex, is inside his body.

 

Not only that, but before the train station scene he wasn't seen attacking individual civilians so there doesn't feel like much basis for this belief.

 

Given Zod had not long before tried to get Clark to join him in annihilating the entire species, it doesn't feel as if he yet realizes what the people of Earth mean to Clark, something the script hasn't figured out on Clarks behalf yet either.

 

Just a bit more thought and they could have avoided the appearance of this Superman not caring not being Superman enough to please fans of the comics.

 

Simply have Clark get the upper hand one time during the final fight, he sees some people in danger manages to knock Zod out of the fight long enough for him to go to the rescue.

 

Only it isn't long enough to stop Zod coming back and deliberately killing some of those people he's trying to save.

 

There you have Superman being more like the character fans love and it plays into the final scene where now Clark knows 100% Zod will kill the innocent civilians.

 

Alternatively you could as I believe is the case that Zod wanted to die with no more of his people left, no chance to rebuild Krypton.

 

He would rather die than live on with Clark the only other Kryptonian. Who he would say would be a constant reminder of his failure.

 

In my mind it would play out something like this; after he crashed Zod's ship, without having the awkward reunion with Lois and believing all the Kryptonians are dead Superman starts saving people trapped in the buildings and getting the injured to safety because emergency services can't get into the area.

 

He thinks Zod is dead, only for him to emerge enraged as before, but this time its clear from everything he says he wants to die, suicide could be against Kryptonian beliefs so he needs Clark to kill him.

 

Clark won't he is trying to reason with him, to get him to see what a force he could be on Earth.

 

Zod isn't interested, yet he admits even if was interested the Human race wouldn't accept him he almost wiped them out and still too many have died by his doing.

 

No he is set on a course of action and to force Clark he starts to kill more people, Clark stops most attacks, but not all of them.

 

To stop him once and for all Clark takes the fight to Zod and the punching takes them up into space and from there plays out as in the film. The battle ends at the train station, where Zod is prepared to use his heat vision against a family.

 

When Zod claims he will never stop, Clark believes him and in frustration and kills him. Now it's more apparent Clark had no choice as much as he didn't want to.

 

Anyway Zod's dead Clark killed him, I don't know what there is to say about it that hasn't been said.

 

Ok so if you've read this far you want my opinion on it; well here goes.

 

It's fine as a scene, it's a fine climax to this movie, I think the writer could have come up with a better end to the fight that fits better with Superman as a character.

 

Only as all attempts so far to make this a Superman movie have failed or felt at best half-hearted why should it start now.

 

The problem it has is they were trying to make him more grounded with a more realistic tone than other previous films.

 

I can see why he went with it for this version. I only wish he'd stayed a little truer to the majority of 75 years of Superman's comic history where he doesn't kill.

 

I know defenders of this film point to Superman 2 and say he killed Zod there too.

 

While it's true in the theatrical version, but there was a deleted scene where Zod crawls out of the hole Superman threw him in.

 

A hole some seem to think is a bottomless pit, despite the questions of why or how he would have something like that in the Fortress of Solitude.

 

That bit of woolly logic aside the truth is its a terrible argument, so what if they did do it in Superman II.

 

Yes you can take inspiration from other movies, but it isn't an argument for whether it fits with a pre-existing character, if Superman II got it wrong in deleting the scene showing Zod and his two cohorts alive and being arrested.

 

Then Man of Steel doubled down on that mistake in showing him deliberately killing Zod. Still like I said I think you can say it fits with this take on the character.

 

Even if its not as the ardent defenders of this film insist on telling everyone a well thought through plan for this take on the character.

 

As I wrote above it was a change from the ending originally planned, to my mind was no grand plan for what they would do in a sequel let alone how it would play out in a cinematic universe, it was the success of this Warner Brothers green lit what would become Batman v Superman and the starting point for the DC characters shared universe.

 

I disagree as well it was character building or established now he has more respect for life. Surely you don't have to kill to hold some value for life. It seems like that's just me though as plenty of the movies fans echo that sentiment.

 

Well now we know the writers didn't see it that way either as within moments of his first appearance in Batman v Superman he kills again, this time a Human a bad guy sure, but he flies at him at speed crashing him through two or three walls to save Lois.

 

You might not see a body after that moment, but we know the human body isn't meant to take high speed impact with solid objects.

 

Like I said about the bar scene, in my opinion its bad whether or not it's inspired by the diner scene in Superman II.

 

As is the Zod killing for me at least, some other people agree or I agree with them, but as I've said before these are all just my views, thoughts or opinions.

 

I keep saying this, but we are nearly there. I am nearly finished. I promise there isn't going to be a part 3.

 

Before we get to the end do you want to know a secret? Something about Man of Steel I haven't told anyone.

 

Well anyone except for the time I used my friends YouTube account to post it in the comment section of a some video about the film.

 

Anyway I'll tell you who I blame for Zod's death in the film. The family he is threatening to kill.

 

In my opinion the speed Zod's heat vision is moving as he takes aim at them and the height he's firing it, I believe they could have gotten away if they'd just tried and not stood there screaming in fear waiting for death.

 

If they'd bent down and crawled to safety, or bent down crawled to safety then got up and run away.

 

They had plenty of time to choose an escape route; well that's just my opinion.

 

Getting back to the film we skip ahead an undetermined amount of time to see General Swanwick and his aide whose name is Carrie Ferris.

 

In the comics there is a Carol Ferris who works at Ferris air where her Hal Jordan worked as a pilot before he becomes a Green Lantern.

 

Is this some kind of Easter egg, because as far as I'm aware Carol doesn't have a sister and Carrie would be too young to be her mother, so have they renamed her Carrie for some reason.

 

I'm not sure what the answer is, but she also appears in Batman v Superman as well with no more hint as to who she is or if her surname is just a cheap reference.

 

Anyway so Stanwick and Carrie find Superman as he destroys an Air Force drone.

 

Clark/Superman says he knows they're using it to find his home on Earth or "where he hangs his cape" as he says in the movie and he wants them to stop.

 

Saying it in an almost threatening manner which doesn't fit with Superman, at least not the one I'm a fan of.

 

All as he vows he'll continue to fight for what is right and the security of Earth.

 

The General rightfully questions Superman's commitment to which Clark replies he grew up in Kansas and is about as American can be trusted.

 

He destroys a multimillion dollar drone then proceeds to give them enough clues for them to track down him, his parents and where he went to school and from there probably uncover the likely fraudulent adoption papers. Jonathan and Martha had to have used.

 

This entire scene is stupid. It's supposed to show he's now embracing his new role as a superhero, but it has him come off as a jerk and declaring how he wants to act independently and needlessly pissing off the United States in such a weird way.

 

I'm independent so don't try to find me, oh and incidentally I grew up at 555 farm lane Smallville Kansas.

 

My mom still lives there and I went to school with all these people if you want to learn more about me. That's it is totally unnecessary.

 

As he flies away, the Carrie smiles and says he's hot, to this day I don't if it's meant to be funny or what the point of that comment is.

 

Clark returns to Smallville, where he and Martha visit Jonathan's grave.

 

Clark claims he wishes his father could have seen what he accomplished.

 

Martha Kent says he did, to which we flashback to a scene that makes no sense as Jonathan and Martha watch a young Clark using a red towel as a cape and playing at being a superhero, even adopting the hands on his hips pose.

 

Why is he doing this, where did this kid get the idea to don a red cape when there are no indications that other superheroes exist in this universe.

 

Even now we know Batman wasn't active yet, not that he was trying to emulate Batman, not that his parents would want him doing that.

 

The young Clark is playing as a thing that doesn't yet exist because he hasn't become it yet.

 

Now another scene that is a poorly thought through tacked on moment.

 

Martha asks Clark what job he's going to do, so now the writer has remembered Clark is a reporter in the comics we get him showing up Daily Planet building. See I told you it would have been safer to stay inside.

 

He's there as he told Martha to get a job where he keep an eye on what's happening and there won't be questions about him being in dangerous places and he'll be able to ask questions.

 

Let me get this straight Clark has no real journalistic skills nor real interest in being a reporter he's just using it as a look out for his Superman duties.

 

Has he never heard of Facebook or Twitter if all he wants it for is to monitor the news via social media and if he never adopts the reporter role he can just fly away as Superman.

 

The dumbest part of this is he is hired as a stringer to follow Lois to learn the ropes. Despite the fact he has no credentials or any educational background to suggest an interest or ability to become a journalist.

 

I'm sure in real life it isn't that easy to get into the industry even via nepotism to get you a job at a national newspaper. They would still expect you'd have some kind of interest in and knowledge of the job, maybe coupled with a little proven ability to become a journalist.

 

There is not even a shred of it anywhere in the film, because they spent so much time focusing on the journey to him becoming Superman they forgot to include Clark Kent in any hint of what he is out of the costume.

 

Perry introduces him to Lois Lane and he is sporting a pair of black-rimmed glasses, because they think that's all you have to put on to throw people off anyone who might think Clark is Superman.

 

Still my criticism of the set up, I do like the exchange between Lois and Clark that ends the film.

 

Lois: Welcome to the Planet.

Clark: Glad to be here.

 

The End, Fade to Black

Final Thoughts

It might not sound like it if you read all this or even if you skimmed it, but I can sit and watch this movie and I will do again. I have already sat through it at last count five times, the first time at the cinema and subsequently on DVD as I do own a copy.

 

I know that sounds strange given that I think there are no characters to care about not Clark he's barely present in the film, certainly not as the journalist he is in the comics.

 

This movie being all about becoming Superman, there was seemingly no room for the other side of his character other than shoe horned it as an afterthought.

 

Lois Lane feels like the story chasing reporter she is at the start only to become a fountain of exposition always conveniently in the right place at the right time after that purpose has been served.

 

That one scene in the alley with Jenny and Lombard aside Perry White is just his job description - a newspaper editor.

 

Already wrote about Jenny and Lombard and their non-existent or flimsy characterization so let’s get to two of the most important characters in the Superman mythos.

 

Jonathan and Martha Kent, they should be the ones who show Clark the difference between right and wrong. Give him the moral compass that will lead him to become Superman.

 

Sadly those characteristics are in short supply in this, like I said this Martha has one scene, and then mostly fades into the background.

 

Jonathan has a truly comic book moment after revealing to Clark his Alien origin the way he answers "you are my son" to a distressed younger Clark wanting to go back to being as close to a normal life as he's ever known.

 

That moment between Kevin Costner and Dylan Sprayberry as father and son is so small so simple and feels as if it could have come directly from the pages of a comic.

 

A shame other scenes involving Jonathan feels counter to this. Particularly the moment as he talks to Clark about saving the kids in the bus crash, I will give credit to Kevin Costner it's well acted the delivery his expression and the pause before he says maybe in response to Clark asking if he should have let them all die.

 

It just has no place coming out of the mouth of the character of Jonathan Kent, well acted or not it is just so opposite of every incarnation of the character since he was created, he might as well say it wearing a clown costume and juggling Geese because it still wouldn't lessen how out of place it is. I get they were going for the more realistic approach, but it just fails, stops the movie in its tracks as you're left thinking what the F***.

 

I wish I could remember who said it, but it was a film maker who described flashbacks as a lazy form of storytelling. Not sure I'd go so far as to call it that, but here it does just a feel like a pointless technique used for the sake of it.

 

Honestly what difference would it have made if it had been edited into a linear story?

 

I'm not opposed to flashbacks or just telling a story out of sequence, if it's done well, lots of films have done used both styles.

 

Sticking with the superhero genre, the film this most closely follows in story structure is Batman Begins which is one of my favourite comic book movies which you might find surprising as David Goyer wrote it, and that it uses the non linear story structure.

 

Goyer also wrote all three Blade movies which starred Wesley Snipes based on the Marvel comic character a Vampire Hunter and I like those movies.

 

I did enjoy the first season of DaVinci’s Demons which created and wrote, so you know I don't think he is; I was going to say a bad storyteller, I think he can do darker stories darker characters so I'll just say in my opinion he was the wrong writer, the wrong choice for a Superman movie. Goyer doesn't seem to have a handle on writing a heroic character, so what we ended up with this attempt at darkening a heroic character for no real reason and with no logic behind forcing a dark and gritty reboot on him.

 

Where the story telling style worked in Begins it doesn't work here, because the tone and content of some of the flashbacks aren't as well written in their attempts to show Clark becoming Superman as they were in showing Bruce's journey to become Batman.

 

X-Men Days of Future Past uses the cutting between its past and present to better effect and Deadpool used the flashback technique, in both stories they had a better handle on what the end product would be.

 

By which I mean in Begins and Deadpool they knew who the characters were going to turn into. They weren't trying to drastically overhaul Batman and Deadpool they were staying true to what they are in the comics.

 

I know Batman has been a lighter character some might even call him campy at times during his history, but in the comics and cartoons he has already been a more grounded character since the late 1980's when The Dark Knight Returns was published.

 

Batman Begins didn't reinvent him as the grounded in reality character he is now, Goyer and Chris Nolan took that version and put it on the big screen for the first time.

 

Making his story for movie audiences darker than it was in the 1989 Batman film and its 1992 sequel and certainly more realistic than the other two films in that series 1995's Batman Forever and the ridiculously over the top 1997 Batman and Robin which almost killed the idea of him as a film character.

 

Even Man of Steel in trying to reinvent Superman wasn't doing anything 100% new with the character. Here Goyer simply didn't do a good enough job at it.

 

Comic book material like Birthright updated him re-imagined his journey from young boy to Super Man for a modern audience.

 

Without burdening you or the character with unwanted brooding and an unnecessary dead parent.

 

The bottom line to me Man of Steel is a half decent if over long alien invasion movie with a somewhat bloated third act.

 

What it isn’t, to me anyway whatever other people feel about the film is a good Superman movie.

 

If anything it's a Superman movie for people who've never read a Superman comic.

 

To this day I hear fans of the film say Man of Steel humanizes him, makes him more relatable and it annoys me as much now as it did the first time I heard it.

 

I don't understand how anyone who has seen the film thinks can come to that conclusion.

 

For starters at the time of this film’s release Superman had been around for 75 years, think about that seven and a half decades, on an almost monthly basis since his comic book stories began you'd assume in all that time there must have been one or two stories about him people have found relatable.

 

Otherwise he wouldn't still exist for anyone to think of making this movie about him in 2013 so maybe its time to put that relatable line to sleep, it’s been trotted out too many times and it's just tired now.

 

For me this film does the opposite of making him relatable or Humanising him, it plays up, probably over plays the saviour figure aspect it has a ton of unsubtle Jesus analogies surely making it harder to see him as someone you can really in any way identify with who grew up relatively normal yet family yet has super powers and wants to use them to help people.

 

The biggest question to answer is what I think of Henry Cavill as Superman, I don't know besides the flying scene he genuinely doesn't feel anything like Superman to me.

 

I don't think it's entirely his fault I mean I don't think he's a particularly brilliant actor, he can be minimally charismatic if you've seen him in The Man from Uncle movie, only in Man of Steel and now Batman v Superman we've seen plenty of him moping and sad and unhappy and burdened, just not happy or heroic enough.

 

The comic books or tv shows animated or Lois and Clark or Smallville have all put him through similar situations without making him so damn depressing.

 

Henry kind of pulls off those parts, yet he still feels like he's only halfway there in how to portray the emotions in those moments.

 

I don't know if he could have got closer to the character with a better script or if he really is using all the acting tools he has, the sad thing is I don't know if we'll ever find out for sure.

 

Now I'll tell you you don't have to be an absolutely fantastic actor to bring a character to life.

 

Some of the movies I love don't have the best actors, Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger to name two can fail in some moments in the characters they've played, but they get it right or play to their strengths in enough scenes in enough of their films you're willing to overlook the bad bits.

 

Gal Gadot isn't the strongest actress, she wouldn't have been my first choice to play Wonder Woman but after enjoying her scenes in Batman v Superman and now having seen her in the Wonder Woman film, I think she manages to do a great job of bringing the character to life.

 

The script by Alan Heinberg and direction by Patty Jenkins helped her performance and make her feel like the character she was playing was the one who stepped off the comic book page and on the screen.

 

Doing so in a way Henry has failed or not yet been given the chance to do in two full movies. For me he is the weakest link in the acting department, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon are give better performances than him. In spite as I've said being given underwritten characters or a pantomime villain role, which I feel is how Zod is written and played.

 

He isn't allowed to deviate from being the angry military guy. Whether he's on Krypton overthrowing the council or Earth plotting its destruction and reviving the Krytonian people to homicidal maniac seeking vengeance against Clark, Shannon performed him in the same tone.

 

Yet my issues with Shannon he is still better than Cavill and that's a shame.

 

You know it may seem strange given everything I've written about it, but as I've said I have seen Man of Steel multiple times and I will watch again.

 

Because as much as I feel it disappoints me, I can turn off my feelings about it as a Superman movie, and that way it can be an entertaining film and sometimes that's enough for me when I sit down to watch a film.

 

I think I'm done now, finally if you read it, thank you.

 

Oh just one more thing, a little casting trivia apparently Gal Gadot almost played Faora, but had to drop out due to being pregnant with her first child, which turned out to be a lucky break for her as she has her daughter and now she has the much bigger role of Wonder Woman.

 

Connie Neilsen was in line to play Superman's birth mother Lara; she too wound up in a bigger role as Queen Hippolyta Diana's mother in Wonder Woman. Had Connie been cast in Man of Steel it would have seen her reunited with Russell Crowe as she was a co-star of his in the movie Gladiator.

 

No really I'm finished now, so thank you if you read it all skimmed bits of it. If you care to leave a comment please do.

 

Thank You and Goodbye.

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