Man of Steel?

Greetings to all.

First off, my apologies for the long lapse. The old personal life has been busy, and though it is no excuse, I haven't had time to do the blog in recent weeks. I've decided to break my long silence with a review of Man of Steel.

If you have seen the movie already, no doubt, you have a strong opinion one way or the other on how director Zack Snyder did with America's first super hero. There is no more recognizable a tights-wearing super being than Superman, and no other character has such a long history. There ins't a person alive today in America who didn't grow up hearing, "look, in the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman!" As such, personal experiences with the man of steel are going to color everyone's reaction to the film. The general trend for traditionalists seems to be a dislike for the movie, while those who came to Superman in more recent times seem to have loved it.

The film took a heavier hand with the Superman-as-world-messiah than previous incarnations. This is the first time in my memory that Christian iconography was used heavily in a Superman work. Mr. Snyder also attempted to give Kal'El a new twist, and added concepts of being an outsider, a drifter, and a conflicted individual who is struggling to balance what he is and what he can be with how others see him. Where the real controversy comes in for the traditionalists is in how Mr. Snyder portrayed this internal battle; this Superman lets people die when he can save them. Whereas he still fights for humanity, he doesn't always choose the most moral path and it winds up forcing him to do things that no other Superman in recent memory does. The choices he makes are a hard pill to swallow for someone, like myself, who grew up thinking of Superman as the ultimate boy scout.

It wasn't that I thought a new interpretation was bad on its face. I was looking forward to seeing what a "darker" Superman would be like, but I disagreed with Mr. Snyder's choices, particularly the one at the end of the film. Although I loved the new spin on General Zod, not only did the film's moral ambiguity bother me (Superman is not supposed to be like Batman), but his take on Krypton, though beautiful to look at, made me scratch my head and think: "Are they really that dumb?"

Overall, for me, Man of Steel fell far short of what it could have been and I left the theater thinking about how disappointing that was.


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