A week ago Friday one of the most momentous events in Geek history occurred, the release of the long awaited and much rumoured Man Of Steel movie.
And with it, an incredibly divisive argument of epic proportions erupted. People seemed to either mostly love or completely love it, or despise every single moment of it.
For the record, I am firmly in the LOVE side of this movie,
While not liking a movie is alright, what disheartened me was the disgusting amount of completely inaccurate and utterly baseless attacks Man Of Steel was suddenly being subjected to. The illogic and selective memory used by some critics to trash this movie has been astonishing to say the least, almost to a FoxNews level of disinformation.
After much thought, and prolonged ranting to Googliebear who really wishes I would just shut up about it, I decided that a rebuttal to several of these moronic criticisms was warranted. So here is a quick list demolishing their wackiness.
AND YE SHALL READ SPOILERS GALORE NOW!
The destruction was too much and invoked 9/11. Yes, it was quite a lot of carnage, but so was Avengers and Transformers and Batman Begins and Cloverfield and so many other films. But we shouldn’t mention them, should we?
Lois should not know the secret. Yes, this has never ever happened before, unless you count Superman II, Smallville’s final season, or the years and years in the comics when they were married. In actuality, Lois figuring it out is so very now and refreshing. This development should be celebrated, not scorned.
Superman would never kill. Yes, this is not the desired result for anyone, even Clark, but this torturous decision has confronted him before. John Byrne had Superman kill the three Phantom Zone villains back in the 1980’s, and Alan Moore had Superman kill as well, as did many adventures back in the 1930’s. And those stories were made by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the character’s creators. The critics of this part ignore that Zod wanted to die and very much was forcing Superman’s actions.
Superman showed no remorse over the killing. I am guessing these people closed their eyes, covered their ears, and proceeded to pretend they were back in the 1970’s and hearing John William’s music. Clark let out a scream of emotional agony, followed by much weeping as Lois shows up and holds him. He did not just wipe his hands and say “done.” He does not just spit on Zod’s body then give it a swift kick. He reacted as Clark Kent recoiling in horror at what he was forced to do. It is obvious this life altering event will haunt him for a very long time, with plenty of long talks with Ma Kent and Lois on the horizon.
Clark is pushed into being Superman. Have these people never heard of the show Smallville? Ran for ten years? Had a Clark Kent unsure of himself? Took him a very long time to finally suit up? Even Booster Gold castigated Clark at one point for this. So Man Of Steel did not invent this concept, which is really very logical for the character.
The movie is humourless. Yes, the female army captain calling Superman hot was not funny at all. The minister whom Clark talks to swallowing causes no laughs. Superman seeing what is inside Emil Hamilton’s pocket makes no merriment. Pete Ross’s mother declaring Clark an act of God brings out no jollies. And of course Jor-El helping Lois escape rings no mirth at all. This movie could easily share shelf space with The Seventh Seal as the most dourest film of all time.
Superman should have saved people at the end. Yes, he makes the choice to save BILLIONS on Earth by defeating the World Engine on the other side of the planet. He takes on the cause, not the symptoms, which sounds very Superman like to me.
Superman should have taken on the ship in Metropolis. This notion is silly. The aforementioned World Engine was not defended by a cadre of Kryptonians, which would make it a slightly easier target. Is this not good tactics? Superman using his brain? Maybe the naysayers just wanted another epic battle? Nah, they said the Man Of Steel movie had waaay too many of those.
The movie had way too much fighting. Superman is saving the earth from a Kryptonian invasion, did he expect to just ask them politely to leave? Maybe give them a gift basket and wish them a merry trip?
Why did Zod want Lois? That is so obvious, I am surprised it is even a question. It had been revealed on earth’s media that Lois knew who Kal-El was, so Zod naturally wanted to know what she knew. Information is power, Zod is keenly aware of this.
More and more points of contention with these critics exist, but I fully believe I made the case of the malicious and unfair treatment so many of these malcontents have given Man Of Steel, a movie I know will be considered a classic.
The real reasons for these hatchet jobs is so simple. These people live and worship and pray at the alter of the first two Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. According to them, all should stay as it was in the 1970’s, with never a whiff of change ever to be entertained. To these “fans” I say the following. Grow up.
I love those movies. Love and have seen them a gazillion times. Cried when Reeve’s died. The soundtrack is always on my ipod.
But that was then, this is now.
And despite the insane devotion the critics are espousing, those movies also changed so much that had been seen before of the mythos, just as it should have. I also keenly recall some diehard fans at the time freaking out over Superman changing history. Then the uproar over Lois and Clark having sex in Superman II, shortly after she finds out his secret. These “travesties” are conveniently ignored by so many the haters, all for the sake of ridiculous arguments.
And by the way, as a final note, Googliebear very much liked the movie. She thought it made complete sense, had an excellent Superman and Lois Lane, and featured an amazing cast. Her only dislike was Ma and Pa Kent, whom she found annoying. And that is something we are still debating over a week later.
It’s funny. As someone who has only seen Superman I and II, scattered episodes of Smallville, and the For The Man Who Has Everything Justice League cartoon, she understands Superman far better than so many fair weathered fans.
She knows a great Superman movie when she sees it, and for that and so many millions of other reasons, she is my Supergirl.
…is currently reading The Joy Of Writing by Pierre Berton.
P.S. This post is one of several I hope to do this year to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Superman. Happy Birthday Kal-El! Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
P.P.S. Superman Man Of Steel opened last Friday, June 14th 2013. For an indepth look at the creation of this landmark movie, check out Jeffrey Taylor’s columns.