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My Review of Man of Steel (AKA Superman 2013)

9 Jul

July 9, 2013

The important thing to remember about Man of Steel, the latest Superman movie, is that it was a reboot. This means that you can totally forget about the last film, Superman Returns. Luckily, that movie was easily forgotten. You may have forgotten about it already. And the guy who played Superman, Brando Nutcase or whatever his name was? I think he pumped my gas last week.

Indian Superman

Anyway, Man of Steel is another retelling of the familiar Superman origin story told in such a way as to be unfamiliar. Oh, the broad strokes are still there- Krypton is doomed, and Jor-El for some reason can only build an infant-sized rocket instead of one to hold his wife and himself. This is so unbelievable. Realistically, the rocket should be big enough to hold his wife too, so Jor-El could rocket her off-planet and spend the rest of Krypton’s remaining time playing poker and smoking cigars.

Man of Steel begins with a sequence on Krypton that is half Star Wars, a third Star Trek, and wait, I have to do some math (one half  equals three sixths, and one-third equals two sixths, so that makes five sixths) leaving one sixth for Russell Crowe’s beard.

Krypton is doomed, General Zod leads a coup- a very badly-timed coup given that Krypton barely has time to watch two episodes of The Walking Dead- and Jor-El shoots his son to Earth. For some reason Joe-El has implanted the Krypton Codex in his son. This is some sort of skull that holds the genetic code of every Krytponian yet to be born. Does he bother to tell his son this important bit of information? No.

Superman-Dariya-Dil

As you’ve seen in the Christopher Reeve version, Zod and Company (which is also the name of a high-end fashion house in NYC) end up in the Phantom Zone, where, luckily for them, they survive the destruction of Krypton. Was that a spoiler? No, we all know the story. And if you saw Star Wars episode 2 you saw the Krypton chase scene and if you saw the first Star Trek reboot you already saw the special effect where Nero’s ship Zod’s prison goes into the Phantom Zone.

And one last note about Krypton before I finally get along with this review. You would think that such an advanced society as Krypton would develop more comfortable clothes. Sheesh, everyone here wears clothes that take huge machines to put on or take off. No t-shirts here, even the old folks on the ruling council, all of whom are at least 270 years old, wear headdresses that would make Pocahontas laugh with their delicate complexity. If any of those ancients ever nod off the weight of their head ornaments would decapitate them.

So baby Superman arrives on Earth, yada yada yada, and we get a lot of flashbacks, which I will put in chronological order for those of you with logical, ordered minds like me.

  • Clark gets bullied in grade school
  • Clark gets bullied in high school
  • Clark’s father dies in a tornado
  • Clark feels sad

Clark goes off on a journey (of discovery? Who knows?) around the USA, taking odd jobs along the way. In Alaska he becomes a crab fisherman and rescues some guys from an exploding oil rig. In the Mid-West he becomes a busboy where he protects a waitress from being harassed by a trucker. In New York he becomes yet another illegal alien hot dog vendor, where he protects his customers from salmonella by making sure the franks are properly boiled. In Alaska, he becomes part of a construction crew working with the government to uncover an ancient alien spaceship trapped deep in the ice.

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All of these things he does so totally inconspicuously that Lois Lane tracks him down and figures out his secret identity on her lunch break.

From here on, Clark:

  • Fights Zod and destroys most of Smallville
  • Fights Zod and destroys all of Metropolis
  • Fights Zod and destroys every truck, building, and IHOP in sight
  • No one seems to mind or even notice

Zod has got a mad on for Kal-El because he is a pretty stuffy guy and he wants the codex to being back Krypton, even if it means destroying the Earth.

On the other hand, Christopher Meloni shows up as a solider and Laurence Fishburne gets a paycheck as Perry White. (See what I did there? I didn’t do a black White joke. Good for me.)

It is a good film and if you are one of those guys who thinks that Superman should never kill, well I won’t spoil it for you, but in the climax, Superman kills a certain Kryptonian general whom I will not name so this cannot be called a spoiler.

Unlike just about every other Superman film ever filmed, there was no Lex Luthor in this film, and that’s a good thing. Aren’t we all tired of seeing the same old thing in every Superman film? One thing about this film, it was not the same old thing. Jimmy Olsen? No. Steve Lombard? Yes. Kryptonite? No. Kryponian atmosphere weakness? Yes.

And one last note- The Lone Ranger sucked.

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