Again, I know this one’s been out for a while, but it just came on blu-ray and so the Ho and I decided to snuggle up and watch it.
First off, some of the action sequences were sooooo much fun. The one in Smallville and the final showdown in Metropolis in particular were some of the most exciting “oh that’s cool” stuff I’ve seen in an action movie in quite a long time. Overall, this was definitely a step up for Zach Snyder too, in terms of working with actors with chops and really putting some effort into crafting some characters.
I also don’t have a major problem with the ending of the movie, ie- killing the bad guy. I thought they justified that quite well, actually. The guy was never going to stop, and he was about to kill people right then and there. He was also not someone that Superman had anything other than momentary control over. He had to act right then and there, he wouldn’t have another chance. Does it diminish the character of Superman? Perhaps. There is conceivably another ending they could have dreamed up. But, they didn’t make it an arbitrary, unjustified choice. It was even a choice that deeply pained Superman to make…that’s *good* writing, actually.
As for so very, very, much of the rest, however…man. They made so many choices in this movie that just make me frustrated. And, it literally starts right away, in, like, the first 10 minutes. Why is Michael Shannon’s character so angry??? The reason literally changes like four times throughout the movie. First, he wants to kill the council because he’s mad they ruined the planet. Then, he wants to stop Jor’el from sending Kal’el off the planet with the codex (which makes absolutely no sense since we JUST talked about the fact that Krypton was doomed, imminently), but he chooses to shout about the son instead saying he’ll find him (why???), THEN he decides it’s great that the codex is on Earth and is mad that Kal’el wants to stop him from terraforming the planet. I realize that sentence is confusing, which is exactly how I left the movie feeling about Michael Shannon’s character. Isn’t a villain at their best when they’re obsessed, to the point of madness, over one single thing? Okay…so he’s obsessed with protecting Krypton. How does killing the council protect Krypton? How does shooting down Jor’el’s natural-born son, who he also knows is with the codex, protect Krypton?
Oh, but, there is so so so much more than that, I could go on ad nauseum about what just didn’t make logical sense, but I won’t. Because, the most frustrating of all of them comes down to a common theme: they added so much unnecessary stuff to this story, re-writing back story that’s been around for the last 70 years, they created plot holes for themselves to fall into. The whole scout ship thing, for example? Why put that in? Why have Kal’el’s people be those who spread out across the universe founding colonies, only to then have them all perish on their homeworld when ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS TAKE A SHIP AND LEAVE. Ahhhh…that’s right…it’s all because you wanted to have the “world engine” be your set piece for the fourth act. There wouldn’t be “world engines” if Kal’el’s ancestors hadn’t spread across the galaxy terraforming planets. The writers were married to that doomsday device as their big set piece, so they just let the plot-holes it created slide.
Another great example of fucking with cannon in a bad way was the relationship with Lois Lane. Why did they fall for each other? They didn’t speak more than four words to each other before that stupid freaking scene in the graveyard where all the sudden Clark decides to confess to her who he actually is. And, jesus, the coincidental places that she keeps finding herself in to serve the plot, including somehow coming up with the plan to save Metropolis. All of those maddening coincidences disappear if they had just stuck to the original story of Lois & Clark. Clark’s a reporter, Lois is a reporter, they work together, he’s always had a crush on her and she won’t give him the time of day. That’s a story that everyone can relate to. It happens all the time in real life. It makes you think, “oh my god, I wonder what I don’t know about the people around me. Maybe that guy I work with is Superman.” But, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who tracks Clark down to his father’s grave to expose him as an alien…yeah…how many people can relate to a love story like that?
And I’ll quit there. I’m not saying you need to be a cannon nazi. Not in the slightest. Just ask me about the Star Trek reboots. All I’m saying is that if you are going to change cannon, make sure it makes MORE sense than what came before. Not less sense, and especially not for the sake of a special effect you think would look cool.
This movie was okay. Did it have the exact same act-four plot as the Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Yes. Was it unwatchable (like Transformers: Dark of the Moon)? No. It had it’s moments of fun. But, jesus, you guys! Write a story that makes fucking sense! Make things simpler, not more elaborate. Give me something with some characters that I understand, so I can genuinely care about what’s going on. It’s not about the effects. It’s as simple as caring about what’s happening.
I give this movie a C.