By Amazonitalian (Metropolis, USA)


Resolution of Steel

The Man of Steel started out off-putting long-time Superman fans by having Kryptonian technology look like a cross between steampunk & The Matrix. I don’t mind re-envisioning Krypton, but it seemed too clunky & inelegant for an advanced society. To add insult to injury, “Jor” calls to a four-winged, bat-faced creature that belongs on Geonosis & jumps off a balcony ala Gandalf onto the King of Eagles in order to fly to the launchpad; we need originality, not a blatant imitation. To make matters worse, Jor El seems to be friends with Zod as he takes over the counsel because Zod lets him live as he completes his coup.

When Jor El is again confronted by Zod, as he unceremoniously sends Kal El off to Earth, he fails to convince Zod of their demise & dies… just as he did in Gladiator. Russell Crowe is a phenomenally talented actor; it makes me think Zach directed the film this way on purpose, which is inexcusable. This event & Kal’s clandestined birth makes me hesitate to let any kids into the theatre & this is only the beginning. Having a “cameo” by the camel/rhino creature from Stargate doesn’t negate that decision.

We zip forward in time to a “beardedly delicious” Clark saving men on an oil rig. Not a very good way to fly beneath the radar, Clark, er, Zach. There’s no complaint with the Kents, in fact, Kevin Costner almost redeems the entire debacle with his death scene. We’re left with the feeling that this is a death Clark could have saved his father from, but he just stands there with Martha. Endlessly slogging through product placements, Lexcorp & Wayne Enterprises references makes one want to leave, but that would mean missing out on the battle… I was impressed by Faora-Ul’s fighting technique, unfortunately it wasn’t original, the Red Blue Blur did it for 10 years, nor would Tom’s Clark have let his Dad die in a tornado.

The Smallville water tower being destroyed could have accomplished two things, a homage to Tom’s Smallville and a departure from it, but we repeatedly see it in the background. Just as we’re all ready to appreciate the super pounding, Jor El’s CGI engages Zod once again in a debate about the midiclorians, er, the genetic code of all Kryptonians that he beamed into baby Kal, while he tries to thwart Zod on the ship. I hated this non-canonical way for growing Kryptonians on Matrix-style Brussels sprouts. Replacing kryptonite with an atmospheric allergy is an awful departure from canon, though Zod’s ability to master himself is impressive… for a being specifically modified to do so.

Super-speed should equal choices, but Clark’s brain doesn’t seem to be up to par as he chooses to dispatch Zod. This scene could have been heart-wrenching except for Kevin having already stolen all the tears as he’s swept away along with Cavill’s first & not-very-anguished, no. Zach, you only get one anguished no per film and it didn’t even come close to Chris’s. This is the final reason I’d never let a little kid watch this movie & I’d even hesitate to let a teen watch it.

Brandon Routh, you are hereby redeemed!

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