Friday, June 28, 2013

Fix It Friday: Man Of Steel

**WARNING: These posts can get quite spoilery. So if you're trying to avoid info about Man of Steel, STEER CLEAR.  Otherwise, onward, boys and girls!**

I went to see Man of Steel last week with high hopes.  Perhaps too high.  The movie was pretty, the actors were good, and I loved a lot of the elements of the film, but it just didn't really come together for me in a compelling way.  My initial thought was that this was because the primary character arc of the film seemed to belong to the villain.  It was his inciting incident we opened with, his motivation we knew.  For Our Hero we go from infant-hurtling-through-space straight to Wolverine-wandering-through-the-wilderness-for-no-reason-and-randomly-tripping-across-the-military-installation-that-will-reveal-the-truth-of-his-origins-without-setting-up-that-he-desperately-wants-to-know-his-origins-at-all.  So... you know, that happened.

A lot of people I've talked to are bugged by the demolition of the final fight sequences (my favorite being a tweet I saw saying in Man of Steel 2 he should bump into someone who has PTSD from the fight in the first movie and freaks out at the sight of his cape).  I wouldn't have minded so much with the rampant destruction if he'd already been established as Metropolis's hero... or if he'd made some effort to move the carnage away from civilization... but as it was, the film makers seemed to expect us to believe that just because we didn't see any people hurt in that sequence that all those buildings could have been toppled without a single casualty.  Because the Daily Planet chick survived.  And Superman wouldn't let Zod go all burny-eyes on four folks in a train station. 

You know the Incredibles?  How the movie opens with the supers being sued for property damages?  I wanted a little of that (PIXAR cartoon) reality to be applied to Man of Steel.

Really, I just wanted a more developed emotional arc for Clark.  (Oh, how I missed geeky wonderful Clark Kent.  I appreciate the ruggedly bearded mystery dude's hunkyness, but I really missed Clark.) 

His bio-dad set it up perfectly with the line "he will be a god to them."  I would have loved for that to be Clark's struggle - alienation, a sense that perhaps he is a god among the humans (and how can a god ever really fit in?), showing more earlier of his fierce desire to know his origins and find his own people, having him go to the Daily Planet as nerdy Clark (before the Fortress of Solitude bit) to essentially spy on Lois because she did an article he read so he thinks she might have clues to the truth about his origins, him following her to the ice where he will discover more and perhaps even intentionally call out for more of his people, but Zod arriving is not what he thinks it will be and when Zod threatens humanity it is the pivotal moment for Clark when he realizes that he has alienated himself and that humanity has embraced him far more than his own people did - that he has family in his parents, but also family in the Daily Planet people, that he loves Lois and that being Superman is not about power, about isolation, but about protecting the planet that has always been his home.  It's about love, y'all.

That's what I wanted.  Maybe it was there in the subtext and I just missed it.

On the plus side, there's bound to be more nerdy Clark Kent action in the sequel.  What do you think, boys and girls?  Did you see the movie?  Did it rock your world?  Or did it just make you want to go back and watch the original again?

Random tangent:  Anyone notice how the blockbusters this year are more about the villains than the heroes?  Khan, anyone?  Is this a trend?

1 comment:

Kali Robaina said...

I liked the movie a lot. But I think that's because I kinda got attached to Zod. He was really well developed and even had a rather touching romance with Faora and I was kinda sad that he had to be defeated. I know he was all dead set on destroying humanity but still...he was much more compelling than Hotty McSteel.

And the movie makers REALLY needed to watch The Incredibles. Not just for the property damage bit but also to get Edna's advice on capes.