(This originally started off as the lead-in text to the next round of “DC Previews Picks.” Then I got going for a little bit and it wound up too large for that. So, here you are!)
So I skipped out on offering my thoughts on “Man of Steel” after I saw it after being deluged by all of the online opinions from the likes of Mark Waid, Tim O’Neill, Chris Sims, Max Landis and more. Not to mention all of the opinions my friends had about it as well. The short version is that I liked the first two-thirds of the movie as the filmmakers did a good job of re-establishing Superman’s character, showing the influence of his two dads from two different worlds, introducing the supporting cast and setting up Zod, his comrades and the threat they represent. This was all well and good, and generally very acted too -- particularly from Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Michael Shannon as Zod. The problems, as you might have already guessed, come from the third act which indulges in far too much disaster porn for my tastes. Not only did it go on for way too long, Superman was either unable to stop it or party to it which is not the way it should’ve been.
As was the case with his “snap decision” near the end of the movie. Now I’ve read lots of justifications and interpretations for this action, and some of them are pretty well-reasoned and thought-out. However, at the end of the day, I believe that Superman doesn’t make “snap decisions” like that and if he’s ever put in a situation where he’s forced to make a “snap decision” he will find a way out of it that doesn’t involve making a “snap decision.” Why? Because he’s Superman -- THAT’S WHY! Also, if you’re determined to put him in such a situation, then you are probably doing it wrong too. I’ve heard from a friend that director Zack Snyder went to DC looking for a way to justify Superman having to make a “snap decision” and when he couldn’t find one, he said that he was going to have him do it anyway. I find that particularly disturbing and a real sign that he just doesn’t get the character. So if Warner Bros. (DC’s parent company) does want to drop him for the sequel -- which isn’t likely -- then I won’t feel too bad about it. At the very least we’d probably get a “Superman” movie whose primary color isn’t “gunmetal.”
Does this have any relation to the comics? Well, as Rich Johnson speculated over the weekend the fact that “Superman” made a “snap decision” in the movie was likely to filter into the comics at some point. In fact, it seems that may be the catalyst for the upcoming “Trinity War” crossover. Yes, Superman may be making a “snap decision” against his will, but I can only roll my eyes at this particular instance of the tail wagging the dog.
So much negativity here. Time to go break out my copies of “Birthright” and “All-Star Superman” to get back to a version of the character that I can really believe in.