Why I didn’t like Man of Steel


More alienation than alien, Superman kills his good name and self respect.

Man of Steel makes a valiant attempt to create a world of aliens and Kryptonian legacy but fails on so many levels it yelps amateur. All flash that speeds by like a hollow apple aimed for your head.

How many decades of bad film making does it take to learn to recognize the same repeated bad writing, acting and third act blunders? Seriously, come on already.

If Zack Snyder had been given full rein over the film we would have at least gotten some eye candy, the producer Christopher Nolan so called realistic restraints look derivative and psychologically unsound, in what looks like a poor mashup of Superman 2 elements.

I enjoyed that the opening sequences were time shifted before the overwhelming boredom of watching the same rebooted story again tore the soul from my eyes. It weaves the tale of Krypton’s destruction, Jor-El‘s struggles and Clarks childhood well enough to keep my attention and interest.

man-of-steel-crowe_1The world of Krypton is interesting. I wish the entire movie had taken place there and been a prequel to Kal-El leaving his home planet.

It all has a Dr. Who feeling, the Krypton council foolishly breeding people for specific genetics and tasks. I kept expecting the Tardis to RUMBLE in and Dr. Who to exit from the blue box with a wagging finger, and a tsk tsk escaping his lips.

Kal-El is the first child, not to be born in a pod, yet is later retrieved from a POD farm ala MATRIX. Confusing to say the least. So Kal-El’s potential is not limited or designed by the council as Zod created for war, acts as he is designed, though we see no history of the need of an army or who they were fighting. Merely that their attempt at colonizing other planets failed, and because of over population the Kryptonian council engaged a form of birth control, using Pods or genetics instead, outlawing natural births.

Sounds like a rather mentally flawed council for an advanced race and Zod’s attempted military takeover is almost a welcomed event, Jar-El is calm, almost condoning, even knowing it is futile and too late.

Jor-El, (Russel Crowe) is literally the best moments of the film. Crowe carries a dignity and buoyant intelligence  as an understructure to the film to help keep it aloft. Yet his gallant energy is still not enough to keep the overt story flaws from destroying the film’s realism and it’s descent into empty sardonic scenes that ring a hollow bell at almost every sequence.

general zod man of steel-1Zod, (Micheal Shannon) who I usually find mesmerizing, could not bring credibility to surface in his desperate bellowing that he usually lends such compelling contradictions to. Zod seemed shallow and driven by an unrelenting false logic, and poor strategy.

Luckily for Zod his attempt to take over the council of a dying planet is stopped and he and his crew are sent to the Phantom Zone to survive, while the rest are resigned to death on an exploding planet. Why not have everyone escape into the zone as Zod? Why are the so called traitors allowed to escape under the guise of punishment only to return later and threaten Kal-El.

Meanwhile Kal-El, is taught to live on earth by his suicidal father, Kevin Costner who preaches it’s perhaps better to let children die than reveal Clark’s alien presence, which any adult would know is inevitable.

(Costner) Kent himself later admits, eventually Kal-El will have to prepare himself for how the human race will react to the revelation of an alien presence on earth.

In a sudden Kansas highway twister, Clark’s father proves he would rather die than let Kal reveal his alien origins. Kal lets his father die in front of his and his mother’s eyes. A fatal character script flaw, that cracked the wall for me and broke the illusion of humanity in Kal. Does Kal have a hidden distain for his father for forcing him to hid his own origins and willingly lets him die? Do aliens naturally want humans to die?


Kal-el played handsomely by Henry Cavill, is incredulously buff. Is this CGI or incredible genetics and GMO whey protein? Cavill struggles with the role attempting to create dimension to the character, yet he more often than not comes across as a tired, sad orphan. Brooding over what would have been a revelation to any fake human, hiding his alien virtues, knowing that his invunerablities makes him fearless. Most humans on this planet live in fear and act out of survival instincts. His father instilling his own fears of death and restraints into his found son.

“You are NOT alone” beckons Zod from every electronic device on earth even RSS feeds, does anyone use that anymore?

Finally the alien presence has arrived and it’s Zod and his poorly introduced crew or small army. The world knows now that aliens exist and it’s Nolan’s wisdom to play the ploy of what will happen when we actually meet aliens.

Once more the fear would rise up and if they were superior aliens, which is our greatest fear. Our reactions would be predictable, fight, bomb, jets, the usual fair, more boring than the last third of ancient Bond movies where the last act descends into a million bullets slicing the air to hit someone in the far distance. Irrelevant, boring, mundane and terrible.

Yet after the CGI sizzle of useless weapons it works as a motive for Kal-El to don his cape under the blackmail of aliens to surrender himself, or the human race will suffer extinction. His relevance is created by conflict from his own race, hopefully supporting his decades of brooding and hiding.

It was wise to refrain from having Kal jump into the suit for a fly around the planet without anything more than a joyride as his motivation, although perhaps a Kansas boy who didn’t brood as much could enjoy letting loose after a few decades of holding back.


Zod’s crew barely have close ups other than a female Krytonian, who is nameless. Zod’s brutish henchman lays back and surges forward in long shots for the mindless World Wide Wrestling match later in the film. Its all a senseless battle rhythm and serves no purpose other than to prove these movies are designed to stimulate prepubescent dreams of power and sadistic urges of masculine sexuality.

They capture Kal and draw his blood on their ship, where the environment has rendered him UNsuper. Blood we later learn contains the genetic code for the entire Kryptonian race of a biobred cast system. Saved to reactivate the genetically engineered Matrix pod babies of a superior Kryptonian race.

In this iteration of Superman, Krypton’s society has lost a lot of its previous charm, splendor and intelligence. Reduced to an inept, cold, calculating, over indulgent race of inferiors who err far too often on the side a logic that is never really explained in origin or meaning.


The Matrix derivative designs are cold, there is little if no sign of nature on Krypton, it looks almost barren and very machine orientated. The SUPER battle tween ZOD and Kal-El is nothing more than a lackluster recycling of the last fight scene of the Matrix’s trilogy, which was superior, technically and psychologically.

Man of Steel, foot and confrontation as he is revealed to the American army.

Where is Zack’s signature slow-mo when you need it, the super brawl is satirical, a jumbled mess of swirling bodies and buildings and swooshing around. Yawn, bored, tired and my girlfriend literally fell asleep during the movie.

And so once more another film director confuses the ending of the film with the moment to escalate the inane. More ships, endless punches and darting around with little reason and of course destroy New York and Smallville and any structures in the way as though it was a poor video game and NOT a character driven film.

Hollywood makes these films because oversea markets buy them. They do not have Superman, they have their own romantic comedies and their own action films. Hollywoods last commodity is the tentpole blockbuster and they are beating it to death with bad endings. With all their writers still they can never seem to tie up the third act without resorting to dehumanizing situations and just bringing in more hardware.

Why didn’t Zod and his crew just leave Earth and create a new Krypton on another planet like they had done so many times before and why had the other attempts failed? Zod has Kal’s blood why does he need to kill him? Kal’s blood contains all the code he needed to recreate the Krypton race. And it’s his priority to protect that race.

Why does Clark let his own father die? Would you let your own father die, if all you had to do was super speed him out of harms way. It would have taken a nanosecond and no-one would have even noticed as hey cowered out of harms way from the magical appearance of a gigantic twister.

Why does Shyman, Superman snap Zod’s neck like a bad Chuck Norris movie scene from the 70’s? This is Superman not Steven Segal in another badly named flick called Death Bite or Valor Killing or Too Fat to Die.

There is simple TOO many things wrong with the MAN OF STEEL to over look and too few moments of inspiration that should have been worked out further to sustain a greater depth of character for Kal.

The flaws disjoint the film structure into comic book snippets designed to stimulate thyroids but without the proper emotional motives of character they flounder like badly inked panels from the comics themselves.

Jor-El, should have been in more scenes and instilled his morality into his son and this should have changed Clark, into a smarter man, into a Superman. The film could have evolved beyond the destruction of New York as the Avengers failed to do, into a greater story in the last act.

One day we will look back at all the recent blockbuster Superhero movies as though they were the sophomoric rambling of children fascinated by their own hormones. IF I watch one more building explode or senseless special effects burst into mind numbing endless streams of CGI self applause. I am not going to buy another movie ticket ever, at least at home on Netflix I can stop the movie and find a better movie.

I actually wasn’t going to see Man of Steel, I was going into the theater for Star Trek but the theater was showing the ridiculous 3d version, which only hurts my eyes and destroys any film that is meant for an adult and not merely as a child’s expensive attraction.

Put a quarter into a small rocket at an old supermarket and get a better ride.

Though thankfully for you, I suffered so you don’t have too. Don’t bother paying for Man of Steel, unless your children demand it. See it on Bluray, when you are really bored and eat pizza during the seen it before, punch it out scenes and flying cars and trucks.

This film isn’t bad, it’s merely the terrible mediocre reflection of what the industry thinks we want or creates what they are capable of and that makes Man of Steel, tin foil, despite Caville’s overwhelming pecs. If this is what we as a race find entertaining then we had better evolve quickly.

I know everyone worked very hard to make their billions from this movie and all the best talent was pooled and then someone walked into the room and said, “Do the same thing as before, that worked”

Now I am just depressed.

This isn’t the reboot of Superman, it’s the death of Superman. He’s now a murderer in many ways and has lost all the charm of the Reeves version, soak in banal self indulgence hardly inspiring from the most powerful being on earth. I realize the character needed to be updated and less comical but look to history to find people that can inspire without resorting to becoming a mockery of themselves.

Oh wait… the last bit when Kal shows up at work as Clark but with glasses on and no one can tell from looking at his immediately recognizable face, that he is the alien Superman, wasn’t comical.

It was ridiculous and fell VERY flat! DUD, to the floor. Despite all it’s previous flashy light effects and loud drums.

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