Man of Suck.

Saw “Man of Steel.” Surprised to find my jaw hurting at the end. Apparently, I was so angry and annoyed throughout that I was gritting my teeth the whole time. Here come many bitchy spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

I’m considering a second hate-viewing with a notepad so I can document exactly what pissed me off when and why. This is all just from memory. It felt like “Battleship” or “Armageddon” or any of a hundred replicas of this same stupid movie type that I always avoid. But I am angry they did it with Superman, a respectable icon with an established canon. It didn’t have to make NO FUCKING SENSE. I mean, look– the next shitshow coming down the sewer pipe is this “Pacific Rim” nonsense, which a friend and I deemed “Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots meets Avatar meets Cloverfield”. Derivative noisy children’s entertainment. Not for me. Have at it, teenage boys!

But Superman? UGH.

Really, I cannot believe how many films this steaming pile ripped off, and I’m not even that big a movie freak. Let us count the ways.

If you thought 1 guy (say, Han Solo, for example) is like 10 percent of the amount of characters that should be frozen in carbonite in a given story, then this is the movie for you!

If you thought poor Yorick’s skull should have a larger dramatic role, perhaps as the repository for all genetic information for a whole planet’s civilization, this is the movie for you!

If you just didn’t get enough baby farming in the Matrix, then this is the movie for you!

If you thought the dragon-y animals (“mountain banshees,” apparently) in “Avatar” needed to reappear but have even more magical timing and super flying specialness, this is the movie for you!

If you think that an evil character isn’t really bad until he has a goatee (Star Trek original series, etc.), then this is the movie for you!

If you think the fights between Peter and the Giant Chicken on Family Guy should all be 45 minutes long and even less believeable, this is DEFINITELY the movie for you!

If you want figure animation that is less realistic than World of Warcraft but with no control of the action, then this is the movie for you! (though to be fair, the figure animation in soooo many of these movies is complete shit… just thought the 300 guy wouldn’t make Kryptonians look as floppy as Fay Wray in King Kong’s hand.)

If you want to revisit the end of “Melancholia” but think it would be better applied at the beginning of a story, this is the movie for you!

If you enjoy really stunningly egregious ads for Nikon, Sears, IHOP and Lexcorp., this is the movie for you! (Only kidding about one of those. I did like that one.)

If you like the Art Deco relief sculptures at Rockefeller Center and think that’s an appropriate style in which to tell the history of Krypton, this is the movie for you!

If you enjoy free climbing on subzero ice steppes without proper cold-weather gear, ropes, pitons, or any damn climbing training whatsoever, then you will definitely not think that Lois Lane is totally insane, and this is the movie for you!

If Cyclops is your favorite X-Man, this is the movie for you!

If you want a mulligan on Russell Crowe’s swan dive in Les Miserables, this is the movie for you! (I liked the other one better. Fuck that guy.)

If 9/11 wasn’t a “fun” enough real-life example of what happens when a building’s structural integrity fails — but you don’t remember what ACTUALLY HAPPENS when a building falls, and how very far you need to be away from it, and what happens to the air around it, and you want to “enjoy” multiple representations of such events … fuck that, there were probably some super offensive and painful scenes for 9/11 survivors and families. This is not the movie for them, no way.

If an alien invasion is happening, absolutely flattening a major city, and you think that involving the President, Congress or any international leadership at ALL would just slow down the heroic FBI, a few dozen soldiers of indeterminate branch, and a few scrappy hands-on leaders in the Air Force, this is the movie for you!

If you like simultaneously too much unnecessary exposition and too few necessary logical connections, this is the movie for you.

(Let me again clarify: Nothing introduced in this movie makes any fucking sense.)

Cast notes:

Henry Cavill was good, solid, no complaints. He was just charming enough, undergirding Kal-El with a solid dose of Zen, nice balance of affection and wary understanding of humans generally. Also, quite an attractive superior specimen.

Amy Adams is fine, replaceable, but not bad.

Michael Shannon is NOT TERENCE STAMP, so all other commentary is superfluous. Luckily this General Zod is not anything like his predecessor, so *shrug* whatever, I can let it go. (I “enjoyed” his little acting-class soliloquy about his character’s origination and motivation. (oh, was that supposed to be his character just talking to Kal-El? Sounded like it was part of a conversation with a coach in the rehearsal room. My bad.)

Russell Crowe sucks, fuck that guy, I wish he would stop appearing in movies I care about. He doesn’t stink up the room like he did in Les Miserables, but stepping into Marlon Brando’s shoes, with a character that is not sufficiently differentiated, is not going to go well for a much better actor than that flabby blowhard.

OTOH, Kevin Costner was absolutely perfectly cast and played Pa Kent perfectly. Not always a fan, but big ups here.

Lawrence Fishburne showed up, said his stupid lines, and collected a check. This is also basically true of absolutely everyone else with their bland, one-dimensional characters. Whatevs, can’t hate. Get that money, y’all.

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About amywinns

Semi-snarky, semi-sincere, occasionally ranting, always paying attention. Feminist who can work a skirt and crack a joke. Grammar nerd who is also fun at parties. Mid-career writer/editor with 15 years’ experience in newspapers & magazines who now helps developers at a major media corporation communicate with the suits who write the checks. Pro-women, pro-family, pro-choice, pro-workingclass, pro-entrepreneur, pro-farmer. Like every other bourgeois Brooklynite, I choose local/organic/raw food — mostly vegetables — whenever possible/reasonable/affordable but I’m not a smug asshole about it. Hometown: Atlanta. Weird hobby: lindy hop. No pets, no kids, no thanks.
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One Response to Man of Suck.

  1. amywinns says:

    i09 comes through with the smart/funny takedown:
    http://io9.com/the-most-important-scenes-from-man-of-steel-as-i-remem-516405346

    What I appreciate most about that post is the articulation of the many violations of the hero code and Superman’s “prime directive” (if I may appropriate) to protect humanity. That includes Pa Kent’s (mis)guidance on helping others and certainly includes Kal’s disinterest in taking the fight away from the urban center.

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