Shudder. Retch. Save me from myself. Yes, it’s time to tackle to colossal titan of a blockbuster that was this summer’s Man of Steel.
Right off the bat, Superman is a boring superhero. He’s the ultimate good guy- no layers, no facets, no deeper meaning, no dead parents, no fear of flying rodents. Swooningly handsome and donning the stupidest outfit I’ve seen in yonks (trying to make the ridiculous rubbishness of the original outfit better by “modernising” it just drew attention to the fact it’s still just as bloody ridiculous), the Man of Steel was already manging to do the opposite of piqueing my interest.
Then there was the actual plot. Granted, I fell asleep four times in the cinema when I went to see this with my consort (apparently, at one point, I woke up, took in the wildly stupid goings-on onscreen, laughed once, then dozed off again), but Chrsit almighty. Aside from demolishing practically an entire city, the plot was dizzily all over the place, bouncing around girtty pathos and big silly fight scenes. And I will stand by my defense that Superman ALWAYS looks a bit daft when he’s flying around.
And this brings me to my main point. This movie took itself far too bloody seriously. Much as I thought Michael Shannon was slightly brilliant as Zod and everyone else seemed to WANT to have fun with it, the movie still remained a slightly too po-faced rendition of what is, at the heart of it, a bit of cartoon fun from a long time ago. I can see why one might think a gritty reboot of the Batman franchise might work (more importantly, it actually did), but when someone went “Hey! Wouldn’t it be awesome if we redid the whole Superman series as a deadly serious trudge through moderatley good-looking Americana? We could even have Kevin Costner being nobly killed by a tornado!”, someone should have punched them in the face.
Also, right, there’s a bit towards the end which apparently I was the only one to take issue with where Superman and Zod are battling away on a building or whatnot and Zod snarls with glee “There’s only one way this can end- either you die, or I do!”. That’s TWO WAYS. He presented two seperate options with no equivocation right there in front of Superman. And, frankly, I don’t want the person defending our planet to be devoid of basic literacy skills.