How Man of Steel Convinced Me I Was a Socialist Hippie
I am socially liberal but I would never consider myself a hippie. So I was really surprised to my reaction to Man of Steel. It looked good, but there was too much melodrama and destruction.
This reboot stands on its own legs making Clark/Kal/Superman even more human than before. Henry Cavil’s Clark Kent is bent on what is right and wrong. He passionately argues with his father that his powers must be used for good. He saves children on buses and on men on oil rigs while trying to keep a low profile. But he can’t hide from hard hitting reporter Lois Lane. Clark finds the truth about his origins when a ship is found in Alaska. This ship acts as a homing beacon to the last of his kind. The thug Zod is hell bent on resurrecting Krypton while destroying Earth in the process.
Man of Steel has two positive aspects. First off, the movie looks great. The CG is not overdone and you can believe Krypton is a real place instead not a habitat in a computer. As Clark flies, it’s beautiful and natural. The only times the graphics get fuzzy are the endless scenes where Superman and his many enemies are throwing each other around.
The second is high point is the fact that this most human, moral Superman I have ever come across. Cavil plays him like a real person who is a superhero not a super hero who is a person. He is fiercely loyal to his home and the people who raised him. But this also brings this down to one of the movie’s biggest downfalls. The movie spends too much time on melodrama specially when focusing on his past. We see a tortured Clark dealing with his powers. But the plots deal too much with his relationship with his human father. His father believes he should let people die so the world doesn’t know Clark’s secret. He lets him son watch him die instead of helping him (I told them to get the dog out of the car when they first saw the damn tornado). This character filled with me anger. While the point was that he didn’t want people mistreating Clark because he was different, it came across more as Clark shouldn’t do the right thing because of what society might think. He’s Superman. Who cares?
I truly got tired of all the destruction. Kill Krypton as an allegory but then destroy it all the same. The fighting wasn’t really fighting but destroying of cities and ecosystems. And a black hole over the Earth, even momentarily? Yeah, that’s not going to affect gravity or global warming or the planet’s rotation. For a film with well-done computer graphics, some of the plot points get really out there.
I did love the ending. Many people have complained about the violence of these critical scenes, but I think it was much needed. Clark had to really deal with his own morality and decided that the common good was worth more than one person’s conscience. The needs of the many out way the few, I can get with that.
- Choice And The Moral Universe Of ‘Man Of Steel’ [Opinion] (comicsalliance.com)
- Man Of Steel #MOS: What I Loved About It (Spoilers Ahead) (politicaljesus.com)
- A Comprehensive List of Why Superman Sucks (audacityoven.com)
- Emily S. Whitten: Superman and Man of Steel (comicmix.com)
- A Defence of Man of Steel (nicksteinberg.wordpress.com)