SPOILERS may be contained in this post, you have been warned!
Recently I went to see the new Superman movie “Man of Steel”. I don’t intend this post to be a review of the movie exactly, but there are a few things that bother me about the story.
One thing to consider though is, does Superman have too many powers? Think about it, he is pretty darn near invincible right? Oh sure he has a weakness, Krytonite, thankfully not used in this movie, but otherwise he cannot lose.
This is what makes it difficult for a movie to succeed. He has to be in peril at some point. If you can’t worry about him having success and possibly dying or getting hurt badly, then there is less tension and excitement.
This is where the movie lost it for me. I got extremely tired of the long battles between super-beings. No matter which one of the other people from Krypton he was fighting, it was a bore. You knew neither could hurt the other, so why were they wasting time fighting?
Sure the “aliens” had breathing masks that if removed or damaged caused them difficulty. Strangely enough the difficulty was they could suddenly experience the powers in the eyes (heat vision, x-ray vision, hearing) that weren’t available to them before. If they had super-strength why didn’t they also have these powers?
Conveniently it was explained that it was also the air that they breathed that limited their powers. That’s odd since in the beginning of the movie it was explained that the Earth’s sun is what caused special powers. The “aliens” could ‘earn’ those powers by taking off their breathing masks, which for some reason they can breathe fine without them, yet Superman had trouble breathing in their atmosphere on the ship.
Why didn’t the “aliens” get sick on Earth when exposed to our air? I think it is just a choice made by the writers to find a weakness for Superman to exploit. A weakness which Superman finally uses to kill Zod. Yes Superman killed a man. Well he also did lots of collateral damage which he didn’t seem to care about, this Superman is a bad man.
If the air had nothing to do with strength, how is it that Zod’s neck could be broken? Is Superman also not totally invincible? He and the other “aliens” can be thrown all around, through buildings, smashed into the ground and horribly beat up, yet a twist of the neck and they are dead? It just didn’t make sense.
The final point I want to make is about Jor-el appearing on the ships due to the “hope” key. It’s a fine way to make that work, but amazing that it knows people it has never met. It can guide them through the ship and tell them where to shoot. It was conveniently smarter than it should have been.
How in the world did that ship get there anyway? Buried under ice that was 18,000 years old? When did Jor-el decide to send that ship? It just leaves a lot unexplained and too convenient.
There were some good things with the movie. Kevin Costner was good as Jonathan Kent, Amy Adams cute as Lois Lane and interesting seeing Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) as Perry White. The flashbacks were a good way to do the origin story without plodding through it straight away. In the end though there was way too much wonton destruction and not any point where you really felt for the hero. You just can’t do Superman without him losing some powers, he is too good.