Link: Man of Steel
Summary: When the evil villain wants to turn Earth into a new Krypton, killing the planet’s population in the process, Superman must save the day.
Thoughts: This is the first Superman film I’ve ever seen. I am completely unfamiliar with the lore. Superman has never seemed like that intriguing of a super hero to me. And this film doesn’t help with that. The backstory was interesting and worked well, I thought. I enjoyed seeing Russell Crowe as Superman’s real father, and I enjoyed the flashbacks of Clark Kent growing up, learning to use his powers and arguing with his father about their appropriate use and his relationship with the rest of the world. The dialog writing was atrocious, but I can appreciate what they were going for.
Unfortunately, the adult Superman is a super-bland character. He wants nothing concrete, and hardly seems to care that much about other people, saving a few of them here and there only because it’s the superhero thing to do. There’s hardly any humor, and what little there is comes off as awkward and not very funny; overall, this film took itself way too seriously. I also completely don’t understand the Christ connection. The film rather blatantly portrays Superman as a Christ figure, as they are both, in a sense, persecuted saviors. (Granted, so are countless story heroes. And maybe the Christ connection is part of Superman lore, so maybe it works for other viewers better than it did for me.) But the reasons they are persecuted and the ways in which they save people are far too different for the comparison to be at all valid, as far as I can tell. Christ is about saving us from our own sins, saving us spiritually by teaching us about love and forgiveness, inspiring us to love as he loves. Superman is only a physical savior, and there’s no chance you’re ever going to get his strength, because he’s not even human. We persecuted Christ our of fear of our own condemnation, persuaded by the lure of our selfish desires. We persecute Superman because . . . what, he’s too strong? “Ah! A strong man! That’s just not fair! Kill him! Also, he can see under my clothes!” Am I missing something? Finally, what’s with all the destruction? Yay, the world is saved! And we have $5 billion plus in damages! It’s as if the director said, “Look, I don’t really know how to do a good fight scene, but I reckon if things are exploding and crumbling and crashing and smashing all the time, that’s basically the same thing.”
Overall, very bland story, very bland characters.