Historically, after spider man, who I actively dislike, Superman is one of the superheroes I get least excited about. I mean, I dont hate him, its just that the whole thing didnt make much sense to me logistically when I was a kid – are we supposed to believe that every single time he hears something bad going down he jumps into his suit and goes and sorts that shit? What if two bad things are going on at once? Like, a small child is about to be run over by a steam train, but in the very next town Lois Lane has gotten both legs stuck in one side of her panties and fallen over, whats a red blooded super man going to do? Then he is half way through the nasty with her and some other distressed citizen begins screaming for help? I suppose he is super, Lois isnt going to be so pleased though. We dont even need to enter into the debate about what sort of kryptonite condom he has to wear because he is always leaving half way through. One of the reasons this film did vaguely engage me was that it did away with a lot of those old questions – he only deals with the huge world threatening issues, he doesnt bone anyone, his suit isnt (as) stupid. There is a good imagining of the Superman origin story here which gives the character some depth I had never seen before. It depicts his powers as something of a curse, especially in his youth. All of this good work making things less confusing is undone though by extrapolating the ‘from outer space’ plot thread and making it is key part of the film, that and the way it is all stuck together is completely insane. So first, there is a major issue in that the relies heavily on people appearing who are dead – I may as well tell you, its Supermans Dad. His name is something silly. In much the same way as the “does superman stop fucking” question has annoyed me in the past I spent a good portion of this film wishing they would just explain how exactly this can happen – it would be like Harry Potter falling into the pensive without the scene where Dumbledore tells him what the hell happened to him. The confusion is made worse because half the film feels like it was put together as they were writing it, there are so many randomly timed flash backs that you cant help thinking someone turned up on set and said “we need to explain …, I think its best we go back to when Superman was … years old”. With all this flash back explaining how could they leave some of the far more critical questions unanswered? I am sure you have read that Superman destroys whole cities in this film as he fights the bad guys (whom were uninteresting enough that I cannot actually rememer what the deal was with them), but really, I can live with a Superman who destroys more than he saves so much better than I can live with a superman that poses so many unanswered questions about his undead father. The absolute worst thing about all this is that the undead father ghost mirage character is most definitely there to explain what on earth is going on.
Man of Steel