Superman makes a heel turn?
Man of Steel
Warner Bros. Pictures
Henry Cavill and Christopher Nolan
June 14th, 2013
The worst place to piss me off in a movie is near the end. I am more forgiving of mistakes near the beginning and not the end because they theoretically have a chance to fix them.
Man of Steel was running a solid 9/10 in my head and then the final 10-20 minutes happened. For readers not wanting the ending spoiled I will be putting a spoiler warning towards the end of my review today.
This movie serves as a darker counterpart to the Christopher Reeves movies from the late 70’s and 80’s. It tells the tale that nearly every child in North America knows. An infant born on a dying planet is shipped by his parents to Earth hoping to save him and making him the Last Son of Krypton.
Due to Earth’s lower gravity and the radiation from a yellow sun (as opposed to a red sun though the movie screwed that up), he gains superhuman abilities such as flight, invulnerability and laser vision. He tries to hide these abilities for fear of what humanity would do if he was discovered as an alien. However when a threat emerges in the form of the genocidal General Zod he must come into the public eye to fight for our survival.
This movie does have a number of good points to it. The first is that (shockingly to me) Henry Cavill who does a great job of being Superman. He captures the heroics of the character and is quite willing to throw off whatever life he has to save people, despite knowing that he will be forced to flee in order to remain anonymous. This shows the true selflessness of the character and all I can say is congratulations Mr. Cavill.
The second is General Zod played by Michael Shannon. While he is attempting to murder every human on earth his motives are understandable and even sympathetic. He was breed and raised from before birth to be a warrior whose sole duty in life is to protect Krypton. When he and his soldiers find that Krypton is destroyed they spend 33 years attempting to find a way to bring it back and in the end they discover that they can terraform Earth into being a New Krypton.
Because Zod and his soldiers see Kryptonians as the best they see nothing wrong with genocide to bring their people back and when that chance is crushed you truly feel that he was doing what he believed was right in his own twisted way. Before the spoiler I will say that before the ending this movie was going on a 9/10 for me.
Good action, genuinely funny moments and the pacing was well put together allowing the viewer to breath while still having its fast pace. However due to the final 10-20 minutes I am giving this movie a 7/10
The ending scenes of this movie make me want to slap Zack Snyder (director) and David Goyer (writer in charge of the change). You can make Superman a darker movie and it could work. Hell it was working in this. But they ignored the protests of Christopher Nolan (exec producer and second writer)and broke the one rule of Superman.
In the end of the movie Superman, the pinnacle of all that is supposed to be good in the world, Kills General Zod by snapping his neck. Only once before in any media has superman killed and it shook his moral core so much he de-powered himself as a result.
The second problem in this is we get one single short scene of him screaming no and then cut to a scene of him smashing a surveillance probe that was following him and bantering with a general. We see little pain from him over this act (not the fault of Cavill, he does a great job of selling the short pained scene). This complete mischaracterization of a legendary character is why I had to lower my rating.
– Cooper Thompson