“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Man of Steel! Run for it!” (How to Make Man of Steel Better)

In 2013, DC Comics released their first comic book movie that wasn’t about Batman since 2006. Coincidentally, the movie in 2013 was a Superman adaption, as was the movie in 2006, but fun facts aren’t really the point. 2013’s Superman movie was Man of Steel, a reboot after 2006’s Superman Returns. Man of Steel got mixed reviews, and wasn’t really the flawless reboot DC was looking for. Honestly, I can’t disagree. What could have made it better?

Stop Killing Things, Superman! (Man of Steel)
Superman killing things.

Why Can’t Superman Stop Killing Things?

This happened throughout the entire movie, but was really evident near the end. Seriously, believe me when I tell you this. I’m pretty sure that the entirety of Metropolis was destroyed in the final battle between Superman and Zod. I mean, some of it was Zod’s fault, but Superman could have stopped a lot of it. Maybe he could have not crashed that spaceship that Zod was flying into the ground, and just caught it and lightly placed it on the ground. Maybe he could have gone out of his way to prevent human deaths instead of just destroying more things in his (albeit impressive) fight with Zod. Couldn’t he have found a better way of stopping Zod that just snapping his neck?

Cheer Up, Superman!

I’ll say it once, and (probably) not again. Superman is not Batman. I understand that DC Comics is trying to bring Superman to a modern audience, and their dark and brooding Batman trilogy worked out great, but the reason the dark atmosphere worked was because of Batman. When you try to make Superman dark and unfeeling, then you just come up with a frankly ridiculous character. Superman should be the embodiment of good and heroism, while Batman should walk his own line between hero and menace. I saw the way Superman fought Zod, unfeeling for the people of Metropolis. That’s not the way things should be. Superman is nearly invincible. He can get beat up a bit for the things that he believes in. So, why isn’t he? All these fights would have been better if we saw Superman actively trying to save things, instead of just adding to the carnage.

Superman Doesn't Come Close (Man of Steel)
Superman doesn’t even come close to how cool this woman is.

Lois Lane Should stop Getting in Trouble.

I’m pretty sure that Superman had to save Lois Lane at least three times in this movie. Superman was the hero, and the movie made me aware of that in every way possible. Sure, there was that female Kryptonian who helped Zod, who I ended up really liking, but other than that, there were only two other female characters in the movie. Lois Lane, who really just kind of stumbled her way through the movie, usually with the help of other men, and Jenny Jutwitch, loosely based off of Jimmy Olsen, a male character from the comics. I remember one scene when Lois tripped off of a plane, used as a moment to show how clumsy she is and get a scream in. How cool would it be if she jumped off of her accord? That would have made for an awesome shot and shown her as a woman who knows what she’s doing. Bechdel Test passed? I think not!

Look at those Graphics!

You can see this especially in the fight in Smallville, where Superman fights two Kryptonians (one of them being the female one I mentioned earlier). I’m watching this scene, and my sister looks at me, and says “this look like a video game.” I can’t disagree. If you look, you can see it pretty clearly. The CG is in that weird spot where it’s good enough to do awesome things, but not good enough to totally get away with them.

Metropolis - Final
Look at this cool poster I found!

Why Can’t Superman have any Good Villains?

As far as I know, Superman has two big-time villains. Lex Luther, and General Zod. (As long as you don’t count the computer from Superman III, or Nuclear Man). They both suck. Lex Luther is just a huge, bald, smart guy, and Zod is just another Kryptonian who holds a grudge against Superman, for some reason. Not the worst of villains, really, but compared to the brilliant foes that Batman, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men fight on a daily basis, how do they hold up? They don’t. Now, I haven’t read any Superman comics, but part of the point of movie adaptions is to see your favorite thing get a broader audience. If Superman wants to bring me (the new guy) in, then he’d better get more impressive conflict in the movies.

Now, this may have been a bit long, but I want to say now that Man of Steel is not in any way a bad movie. In fact, it’s pretty enjoyable. I find it fun to watch, and I’ll choose it from the TV guide and watch it if it’s on. If you see it on your channel guide someday, give it a chance. You’ll probably like it. I certainly do. However, it is not perfect.

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