Superman is back and he’s moody as hell. I explore the consequences of that decision and much much more.

Genre: Superhero/Action
Premise: (from IMDB) A young man is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.
About: Warner Brothers is getting a little jumpy these days. Without the gargantuan Harry Potter franchise pumping out a new film every year anymore, and without Nolan directing Batman movies, they’re in desperate need of a huge new franchise they can depend on. They put all their chips into Man of Steel, and it looks to be paying off. The film made 125 million dollars this weekend, despite some not-so-enthusiastic reviews. Since Friday, public reaction has been split. Some like the film, some not so much. What did I think? Read on.
Writers: David S. Goyer (story by Goyer and Christopher Nolan) – Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Details: 143 minutes

man of steel

I wanted to love this movie.

If you’ve been following my Twitter, you know that. I was so ready to fall in love with Man of Steel, I almost asked it to marry me. Of course, before the wedding, you have to buy the ring, and I bought mine, only to find out the diamonds were fake.

I really thought this Superman movie was the one. The last Superman (Superman Returns) was so miscast and uninspired, it nearly destroyed the brand. It was that catastrophe that helped Warner Brothers realize they needed to take Superman in a new darker direction, and I applauded them for that. That’s exactly what Superman needed. It needed filmmakers willing to take risks. Because the idealistic version of Superman is dead. Today, we want our superheroes flawed and a little dark. And that’s exactly what the trailer promised.

Too bad it was only a trailer.

Man of Steel was not just badly written, it was terribly written. Even more terribly written than Iron Man 3. I mean, at least Iron Man 3 had Robert Downey Jr. to make the dialogue sound kind of good. I do not have enough blog space to note all of the terrible writing mistakes here. And blog space is infinite.

For those new to the site, I don’t sit there and tally up “screenwriting mistakes” as I’m watching a movie, and if the movie violates too many screenwriting “rules,” give it a failing grade. I don’t care how a movie is written, as long as it entertains me. If a movie doesn’t entertain me (or in this case, lulls me to sleep), I go back to the screenplay to figure out why. There were certainly a few director choices that annoyed me in Man of Steel (the 15,000 shots of someone about to be rammed into, only for someone to fly across the screen and intercept the projectile/person at the last second), but if a script fails to connect this severely, it’s always the script’s fault.

So what was Superman about? Krypton, Superman’s planet, is dying. So Superman’s dad must save the future winged one by sending him to earth. The catch here is that Military Leader General Zod, who’s upset that the Krypton Government put them in this mess in the first place, wants to make sure Superbaby never gets off the planet because… well, I’m not entirely sure why. I think because he doesn’t want the Kryptonian bloodline to survive. Which doesn’t really make sense because I’m pretty sure Zod wants to survive. And he’s Kryptonian. Superman experts can clear this up for me in the comments.

Anyway, once on earth, this new 2013 Superman (now Clark Kent) is a drifter. He doesn’t have a job at the Daily Planet and wear glasses. He goes crab fishing and wears a beard. This new Clark Kent is reallllly moody. He’s so down all the time, and I suppose it’s warranted. He has these super powers but knows if he uses them, even for good, people will think he’s a freak, or worse, the government will lock him up. So all he really cares about is hiding, which is why we see him drifting from town to town, ignoring our good nation’s hitchhiking laws.

Unfortunately for Clark, the U.S. government finds another ship sent from his planet embedded in ice (I believe the ship was a scout ship sent to Earth to determine if it was a viable planet for invasion – which is how Superman’s dad knew to send him here). This attracts Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane to see what the government’s covering up. This results in Lois and Clark meeting and beginning a friendship, which is quickly ruined by our old buddy General Zod showing up and demanding the world give up Superman or be destroyed. Clark believes Zod’s going to destroy Earth regardless, so he takes on Zod and his Kryptonian clique in a fight to the death.

This is sooooo a simplified breakdown of the screenplay. So much more happened. DNAs, planetary codexes, terraforming. I could get into the immense amount of exposition-heavy plot there was here, but there were so many other issues that doomed this script, the first of which was the protagonist himself.

Superman was boring. Whether he was Clark Kent or the caped crusader, he was boring. I didn’t realize until now what the original Clark Kent reporter angle did for the character. It gave him a personality. Superman had to be stoic and on top of shit. Clark Kent didn’t. And it really made us fall in love him. New Clark Kent just mopes around and complains about his situation all the time. In a screenplay, your main character is everything. For that reason, you have to be aware of how any choice you make will affect the audience. If you make your main character a moping moody drifter, chances are he’s going to depress the audience.

superman after

But what really killed Man of Steel was that Superman was an inactive character. This is one of the first things they teach you in any screenwriting class and there’s a reason for it. If your main character isn’t carving out his own path – if he’s not leading the charge, he has a big chance of fading into the background and becoming boring, or worse, forgettable. There are stories where this kind of character can work, but in a Superman movie?? I don’t think that’s one of the places where you want an inactive protagonist.

I just remember in the original Donner Superman movie, Superman was always going out there and trying to save people. Here, we had the school bus scene and the oil tanker scene. So he DID save people, but both instances were in flashbacks (or pseudo flashbacks) and therefore felt like a thing of the past. And even if they weren’t, the writing made these moments feel so… depressing. Like something wrong was being done. It was bizarre. And even when Superman DOES decide to start doing things, the movie is ¾ of the way over, and the decision isn’t really his. He’s practically gotta be talked into it. In combination with a personality-less and depressing Superman, this overt inactivity made him an extremely boring character (not to mention he barely says anything the entire movie).

My next issue was the endless backstory being shown. When the movie started on Krypton and we were introduced to that world, I was like, ‘Ooh, this is cool.’ I liked the technology, the originality of the planet, even the political stuff, with Zod trying to take down the government. But then it kept going. And going. And going. And going. And going. And going. And going. And going. And going. I don’t know how long it actually was, but it felt like half an hour.

That’s THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES of backstory they’re showing us. While I understand there’s a LITTLE bit of exposition required for Zod’s later arrival on Earth, it did not warrant a 30 minute opening that could have easily been boiled down to a quick montage and/or some later exposition. Hey, I’m all about the showing and not telling. That is unless your showing takes FOREVER.

Which brings me to the flashbacks. Why were these flashbacks necessary?? I suppose there are a FEW people in the world who don’t know Superman’s origin story. Even still, the flashbacks prevented any rhythm at all from developing. Maybe, MAYBE, they might’ve worked if you didn’t make us sit through a half hour of backstory that could’ve been edited down to 3 minutes. But because it took us so damn long to get down to earth, we were already impatient. And that impatience meant we weren’t okay with stopping every 8 minutes for a flashback that told us something we already knew (or could’ve assumed).

Now, here’s the thing with the flashbacks. Goyer uses them to establish Clark’s flaw. Or at least his central inner conflict – that he can’t help people even if he wants to. Goyer wanted to establish that in order show change in Superman later on, when he decides to go against his father’s wishes and fight for the planet. So I get why that was included. But here’s the irony, that choice is what made Superman so boring. By creating a flaw that states you “can’t do anything,” you limit your character to an inactive tumbleweed.

Now, here’s an example of how screenwriting mistakes start compounding on top of each other. Because we spent the first 30 minutes of the movie on backstory and because we spent ANOTHER 40 minutes showing Clark try to adapt to the world amidst a series of flashbacks, we didn’t get to the actual freaking STORY until over halfway through the film – Zod showing up and demanding Superman be returned.

This should’ve happened 30 minutes in, at the end of Act 1, and could’ve happened without all the backstory. One of the oldest storytelling tenets there is, is “Come into the story as late as you can.” Never start earlier than you have to. And if you really really wanted the Krypton stuff, you could’ve done it in a three minute montage without dialogue, which would’ve been so much more impactful anyway.

On top of all this, I couldn’t BELIEVE how melodramatic, on the nose, and over the top all the writing was. Here’s a screenwriting tip: If you’re writing a human interaction that would never ever happen in real life, you probably shouldn’t write it. There’s this scene where Young Clark, at school, is overwhelmed by all his new powers (mainly his X-ray vision) and escapes into a custodian closet in the hallway. His entire classroom follows him as his mother comes along and has a heart-to-heart with him, through the door. We get this dialogue. “The world’s too big mom.” “Then make it smaller.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! This conversation would never happen! The teacher would’ve whisked the kids back to class so Clark and his mother could be alone, not waited for a mom to try and coax her kid out of the closet. And what kid says, “The world’s too big mom,” after finding out they have x-ray vision?? What about, “Why the hell can I see through people??” The combination of the falseness of the scene, the falseness of the dialogue and the overly dramatic handling of the interaction, destroyed any realism this scene had the hope of accomplishing.

I mean there isn’t a single genuine moment in this film. In the original Superman, Clark’s dad dies of a heart attack. It’s quick and tragic and never lingers. Here, Clark’s dad dies IN A TORNADO!!!! He actually stands outside the car, with the tornado coming his way, as Clark watches him from an underpass, wanting to save his father. His father raises up his hand and just says, ‘No,” and allows himself to be whipped up by the tornado. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!??? Again, I understand that this is an exploration of Clark’s inner conflict going on here – whether he should show his powers or not (and all the Jesus themes that come with that). But do you have to use a dad dramatically waving his son off from a LEVEL 5 TORNADO to get that conflict across??? What are the chances of ONE MAN finding a crashed alien and being killed by a tornado in the same lifetime????  A quadrillion to 1?

I loved the set-design here. I loved the new Superman uniform. I loved Russell Crowe as the father. I love Michael Shannon (who played Zod), period. And when Zach Snyder’s on, he’s an A-List director. But the writing in this was so freaking bad, it was embarrassing. And what’s so baffling is I know Goyer knows what he’s doing. Even on his worst day, he’s not this bad, which makes me wonder where some of these script decisions came from. Is Snyder known for over-the-top melodrama? Is he the cause of this? I know Christopher Nolan (who oversaw this) loves exposition, which explains the first 60 minutes. But the worst scene in The Dark Knight is better than the best scene in Man Of Steel, so it couldn’t have been him. Maybe Jon Peters (infamous for parlaying a Barbara Streisand hairdressing relationship into a producing career) was still contractually allowed to make some story decisions? I don’t know. My gut tells me people who don’t understand screenwriting got to make some major story decisions because I can’t imagine a top level screenwriter writing a script this bad.

[x] trash
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Be wary of an internal conflict that makes your protagonist uninteresting. It can be so rewarding finding that flaw or inner conflict that allows you to explore your character on a deeper level throughout the script. With Will Hunting, it’s that he refuses to open up. With Luke Skywalker, it’s that he doesn’t believe in himself yet. With Clark Kent in Man of Steel, it’s that he CAN’T ACT. Does that allow you to dig into your protagonist and explore him on a deeper level? Sure. But the conflict dictates that your main character take on the very trait that makes characters uninteresting – not acting, which is what doomed this. Even if you got everything else right here (less backstory, cleaner plot) an inactive, reclusive Superman will always be boring. Let this be a warning not to write yourself into a corner with your main character’s flaw.

  • Poe_Serling

    Yikes! Carson is ‘trashing’ the Man of Steel… oh, this could get messy. ;-)

    Plus, watch your back, CR – Harry Knowles and his Father (Geek) loved the film so much that they cried their way out of the theater and into the parking lot.

    • Ahnult

      To be fair, Harry also cries while pooping.

      • Poe_Serling

        lol. Man oh man… that’s an unpleasant image to think about.

  • Jonathan Soens

    I liked it, myself.

    It’s funny. I told my fiancee after I saw it, “If I saw this movie in a world where ‘Iron Man 1′ and Nolan’s ‘Batman’ didn’t already exist, my head would’ve exploded because of how good it was.”

    I agree they got a little bogged down in the backstory. The most interesting thing to me was the way one of his fathers kept trying to keep him on a leash, and then the other father just opens the door for him and tells him he’s allowed to go into action now. I really liked that contrast, and I would have tried to distill his backstory down into that more clearly.

    I liked the idea of making him a drifter who has to keep moving on to a new town every time he makes a scene and gets too much attention. I liked the seriousness of it. I know everyone wants Superman to wear bright clothes and be all happy-go-lucky, but the reality of his existence is a pretty isolating and confusing one.

    I like that Lois was a stone-cold journalist who did some sleuthing and figured out his identity before he’d even had a coming-out party to the world. Loved that she just straight-up showed up at the Kent’s doorstep in Kansas. This was so much better than the same old, same old version of her where we’re being told how smart and competent she is as an investigative reporter all while she’s too stupid to tell that Superman and Clark are the same person despite being friends with both of them.

    I think it’s a solid start to the rebooted franchise.

    Now, if they were smart, they’d back up a Brinks truck to bring back Christian Bale so they can abort the plan to have this DC universe be separate from Nolan’s Batman universe. A “Justice League” built on this new Superman and Bale as Batman would be a guaranteed success.

    • carters

      Didn’t you find the whole ‘lonely drifter’ an almost direct rip off of Wolverine’s ‘leave me alone I’m a tortured superhero’ sequence? It all just added to the derivative feel to me.

      • Jonathan Soens

        I didn’t mind it. I quite liked it.

        It makes sense to me that he would be kind of a mess. He grew up in a way where he was such an outcast, so his isolation seems natural for him (unlike other incarnations of the character where he’s outgoing and popular and everything comes easier to him). Smallville is too small to hold him anymore, with too many people noticing him and there being these urban legends about freakish things he’s done. And he’s still too much of a smalltown kid to want to just run away to the big city where he can blend in and lose himself.

        I didn’t mind him having to go on a whole weird little journey before he was ready to take a stand and stop running away.

        In light of the comments speculating on what this movie means for future DC character movies, they make it sound like this life is basically the life all of these hero types have been leading until Superman puts on a suit and makes himself known, providing an example for others to follow. I could see this being the life that a lot of heroes would lead when they go through a reluctant phase of accepting/denying their responsibility to use/refrain from using the powers or gifts they’ve been given.

  • Logan

    Yeah, I hated it. It had sooooo much action, and seemed to have very little if any time for well.. Anything else. You just don’t know and don’t care about any of the characters. The oil rig scene is useless because its like he’s on the boat, you THINK maybe they’ll show his day to day activities, get to know this drifter Clark a bit, but then it’s MONSTROUS OIL RIG FIRE! ACTION! Jarring, crazy editing.

    Another example is when they have Supes detained and Louis and Clark are talking in the room and then BOOM! They’re in the desert. No time for anything else! ACTION! And then there’s the thousands of people that superman undoubtedly kills during the fight, not even thinking to take it some where else. I mean C’mon. This is Superman, not the Punisher.

    ….Yeah, the fights and SFX were INSANELY GOOD, but the movie blew its load on that halfway through the film. Very disappointed with this Hollywood mangled piece of trash.

  • Heximal

    Zod doesn’t care about Jor El’s baby being sent into space; he cares that the Kryptonian codex is being smuggled out with him. the only reason he’d kill baby Supes is that he was natural born aka in their world, unnatural. other than that, Zod just wants the codex to start a new “pure” race of Kryptonians.

    i was kosher with that to define Zod’s villainy up until it became clear that Jor El is perhaps even more evil. he has single-handedly decided that Krypton done fucked up too much so they all deserve to day. sure, he could have accompanied his son instead of sending a newborn baby into the blackness of deep space, sure he could have convinced his government to save his people by entering the phantom zone, but no. in his mind, they deserved to die, except for HIS son, so they had to die. da fuq is that?

    i do have to say that i think the 30 minutes of Kryptonian exposition COULD have worked in this case, only because everyone knows the rocket-sent-to-Earth/Krypton-exploding origins. i sort of appreciate that a more developed insight into the birth of Kal El was at least attempted, but alas it was not executed very well.

    other than that, fuck David Goyer. that guy sucks shit.

    • GeneralChaos

      How would destroy Kal’s (it’s Kal-El, in case you’re wondering) ship return the codex to Zod?

  • Tyler

    Trash? Are you kidding me Carson? I feel you gave it that just because it didn’t come close to meeting your high expectations but this was far from trash. I loved it and even though I felt the writing wasn’t great I still think it was decent. I really felt for superman throughout the movie when he wasn’t able to act and I didn’t feel that it was melodramatic. Best superhero movie I’ve seen excluding the Dark Knight trilogy.

    • Ken

      I enjoyed Man of Steel too. Far batter than the incredibly flippant Iron Man 3.

  • StoryMapsDan

    For me, the biggest issue was clarity, primarily in the final (too long) fight against the evil Kryptonians. I was constantly in my head trying to figure out the geography and the “rules” of the atmospheres and their powers.

    That, and that there’s SO much fat to be trimmed. This would have made for a great 110-120 minute movie. Several talky, redundant dialogue scenes can be cut, and most of the action sequences should have had the head and tail of the sequence cut. For example, once Supes starts really wailing on Zod, when he’s punching him in the air, then he flies up and punches him again? That was awesome, and so satisfying, so get to that sooner! And I didn’t care at all about Laurence Fishburne and his intern, and Christopher Melloni I only cared about because I like Elliot from Law & Order: SVU, which is not a good reason to care about a totally throwaway character!

    Focus, focus, focus, Mr. Snyder. Remember “300” next time.

    But all that aside, I still enjoyed it as fun, epic popcorn cinema. So take that Carson Reeves. ;-)

  • Shaun Snyder

    I, too, was very disappointed in this movie. There was an overload of action and not enough substance. I know it will never happen, but I would love to see a Superman movie that is primarily about his childhood, possibly told from the perspectives of the Kents, and it would detail their struggles about raising a child like that. I think that would be interesting.

    The two highlights of “Man of Steel,” in my opinion, were Hans Zimmer’s score (I think he is incapable of composing a bad score) and Kevin Costner’s performance. I love Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon as well, but Costner was perfect in this movie. I know he gets a bad rap, and he’s certainly not one of the best actors, but I honestly think he is underrated and I’m glad he’s making a comeback.

  • RO

    I have to agree with this review. This “movie” had no substance. I actually fell asleep watching the flick. Nothing of value happened. I woke up to see Cavil thrown into a Sears store, then another building and so on. I left and asked for my money back (which I’ve only done once before when I saw ‘RV’); the funny part was that the theatre manager didn’t ask for a reason, he just gave me that knowing nod and put the money back on my debit card.

    This movie really missed the point of Superman. The biggest flaw with a lot of the movie goers that wanted this movie is the whole “DARK” atmosphere to it. If it’s not dark or moody, it’s not a superhero/comic book film. This attitude towards Superman is why Man of Steel was a poor overly mediocure attempt at a movie.

    Currently in this moment in time, our planet and 1st world society is in a strangly dark place. We have governments using drones to destroy their enemies, multiple wars with other nations, invasions of privacy, abuse of human rights and constitutional laws and so forth. There is a strong loss of honesty and value.

    This is a perfect time for a genuine Superman film. He’s not about darkness or inaction, he’s about inspiring hope and setting an example for truth and justice. That’s why Clark Kent is a journalist! He listens for the bad so he can do good. It may seem a little silly but cynicism has really dominated our media and perception that the simple thought of there being a good semaritan seem foreign.

    Too many people only ever look at Superman one dimensionally (which is what we got in Man of Steel). they can’t look beyond the fact that he’s invincible and nothing can hurt him; failing to see that he’s very human, has feelings and that regardless of all the things he can do, he can never save everyone (in Superman The Movie he looses his father to a heart attack something he has no power to stop and that devistates him) and because he’s so powerful can never make a mistake without there being heavier than normal consequences.

    The other big problem with this film is that we don’t get the love triangle. It’s ironic and a lot of fun. I get the question, how could anyone not see the connection? But that’s the fun of it for US. It’s literally like when you see a guy and a girl argue in “that familar way” and whisper to your buddy, they love each other and they don’t even fully know it.

    The differences between Clark and Superman are more than just a pair of glasses and a different hair style. People see what they want to see. If anyone has friends with a thick pair of glasses and they take them off, really examine their face without them on. They look different. Not entirely unfamiliar, but different. Now depending on who they are imagine them also wearing a revealing skin tight costume with a cape. Do you really thing you’ll be able to fully pay attention to their face?

    Superman is Science Fantasy (not sci-fi), so it should reflect that in its narrative: a black and white — good vs evil story peppered with some morals. Make it well with that in mind and it will stand the test of time. Ignore realism — real is boring especially in a movie where a man can shoot lasers out of his eyes while flying through the air.

    If it’s made well enough and all the convictions are solid, people will accept it as “real” without the need of a dark moody atmosphere.

    • Mike.H

      Perhaps the studio chief green lit this bohemian script knowing majority of the BO $$$ is from over seas to non-English speakers with 2nd or 3rd world mentality/ education? [ oh, and there’s also numb-skull young teens in the mix US or otherwise, as well]

      The “action trailer” drew us in and it worked, didn’t it? Ka-ching… money in the bag. Financial implosion averted.

  • klmn

    Judging by the drawing, you’ve got really skinny arms. Hit the weight room, Carson.

    • jaehkim

      I think they’re pretty good actually. I can’t even draw stick figures.

      • klmn

        And he’s only got four fingers per hand. Oh well, that’s two more than Lobster Boy.

  • jaehkim

    when I saw the trailer and then the 143 minute running time, I figured there’d be slow story development.

    i haven’t seen the movie yet, but I have a feeling this will be one of those movies I love when I see it, but will never want to see it again once its charms wear off. I felt this way about the dark knight. loved it. probably won’t see it again.

  • John Moss

    Not the best review you’ve posted, Carson, but certainly the most overly-emotional.

    Hey, when I first heard that this movie was going to be yet another origin story, I was not happy. What?! Another?? Wasn’t there an entire TV series devoted to that? One that lasted for 10 seasons? And now we’re going there, again?! Ugh. So, I get your frustration and impatience with the time spent on a muddy backstory. But we’re going to disagree about how much Clark was moody and inactive. Going out of one’s way to poke around an ancient alien spacecraft in the arctic strikes me as being plenty active. I can’t say I’ve ever done something so bold. Can you?

    I get that people are passionate about this movie, and that’s cool. It’s Superman. We all feel a level of ownership in that character. Does this movie have its share of flaws? Sure, I think we all would have attacked the script differently, but the vitriol you’re dishing out… It’s the kind of shitting on that I would have understood had this been ‘Prometheus’ or ‘The Avengers’ or ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Scripts with well-documented, egregious lapses of logic. The script that you’re describing should have resulted in a flat, dull movie, that people mentally checked out of at the halfway point. Something I doubt anyone did no matter how much or little they liked it.

  • carsonreeves1

    He really was. He nailed that part. He even did the best he could with the tornado scene.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Need more cartoons.
    Less review.

  • writebrain

    Have to respectfully disagree – loved it.

  • JakeBarnes12

    “When Zach Snyder’s on, he’s an A-List director.”

    On what? Life-support, so they can grab some kid from the street to direct in his place?

    • ximan

      I think he means A-list-visionary… I hope he does.

  • ripleyy

    To say it was trash is an understatement. This movie was below trash, it was excruciating and painful. The writing was painful, the acting was torturous to watch and the entire feel of the movie felt like I was driving a car that kept abruptly stopping. There was no momentum to the story and there wasn’t even a rhythm to it at all. The flashbacks just killed it before the damn thing could even begin.

    The problem is, is that everyone knows who Superman is. Why do we need an “origin story”? It was as if they were squeezing both an “origin story” and a “non-origin story” into one film and so we got this conflicted mess where one moment we’re following Superman trying to take down Zod and then we’re watching a completely different movie where we find out why Clark is the way he is. Okay. Why are you telling us this? Everyone knows who Superman is, heck, even my Cat knows who Superman is. You’re spending so much time re-telling the same story we all know? If you need to re-cap, why didn’t they devote 30 minutes to a re-cap?

    And then there’s “accelerated romance”. The “accelerated romance” in this movie was so fast that it was at neck-breaking speed – it was so fast that it broke the fucking sound barrier. Lois Lane barely even meets Superman and all of a sudden, they fall in love? Am I getting this right?

    So that out of the way, then we got the story about Zod but…why is the black-haired girl, Fauna? Why did she spend more time fighting Superman than Zod? Hello? In Star Wars, Luke didn’t spend the majority of “Empire” fighting one of Vader’s right-hand men, did he?

    Also, what the hell is with the ending? Okay, he’s a journalist and people probably didn’t know what he looks like except Lois Lane but come on, it just felt so stupid.

    The whole movie had this dream-like feeling to it as if I was watching a dream unfold in real-time. It made no sense, it had no “reality” towards it and throughout it all I could say was that “it was odd” because there isn’t anyway I could describe it other than “odd”.

    So all of that is alright, I hate it, but I can let it settle. But where this movie decides to throw caution to the wind (quite fucking literally) is when Zod and Superman fight each other through Metropolis. Wow. Sure. They might as well just nuke the entire fucking city while they’re at it. I understand finales, but that entire scene just made me so uncomfortable as they destroyed 90% of the city. Couldn’t they have at least kept it to one particular place?

    Damon Lindelof could write a better movie.

    • GeneralChaos

      Lois experienced a moment, a couple I believe, where she almost died and was saved by Clark. That kind of shared experience can lead to “accelerated romances”.

  • Steffan

    This movie failed in a multitude of ways–I won’t go into detail about the product placement or the fact that gravity doesn’t affect people (only the cars and debris surrounding people).

    The simple reason the Man of Steel sucked is that it failed to dramatize the main dramatic/thematic question: Is Superman one of us? This became totally apparent to me when Zod asked Supe to save Kripton and rebuild it atop a terra-formed Earth. In my mind I realized that the movie had never given me any doubt that Superman would choose Earth over Kripton. None. Other than, and this is a stretch, that he was interested in finding out about his parents/heritage.

    A simple, single change–in a movie that needs multiple, complex ones–is this: make Zod a mentor figure (even if it’s a twisted one) to Superman. Have Zod be the one that teaches Superman about Krypton and his parents. Not have Superman teach Zod (which is what the movie ultimately did).

    It’s always much cooler when the antagonist knows more about the protagonist’s past that s/he does.


    Writer of “Inhuman”

    • Alex R. Graham

      But making Zod the twisted mentor would’ve turned this into Batman Begins. It’s a good idea, but we’d be seeing the exact same film again

  • Awescillot

    Some mixed reactions over here, ha. I guess I’ll watch the movie first, instead of possibly waisting time on reading it first.

  • ximan

    Oh Carson, Carson, Carson. A man after my own heart. Thanks for seeing the EXACT same flaws I did and for the good laughs. But I would add the following to the LAUGHABLE list of bad writing:

    *A partial skull (“codex”) contains ALL of the DNA of the entire Kryptonian species
    *A machine is ready and on-hand that can disseminate a skull and implant its DNA into an infant
    *Matrix babies
    *General Zod and his flunkies are imprisoned for all of 5 minutes, and this imprisonment ensures their survival while the Kryptonian citizens burn alive
    *Michael Shannon overacting “I WILL FIND HIM!” (which I can only blame on the line being in the script at all)
    *Lois Lane measures dicks
    *Superman’s perfectly tailored suit is on a 20,000 year old space ship even though it’s only been 33 years since he left Krypton (and his dad isn’t 20,033 years old)
    *The ghost of Superman’s dad walks around and can see behind his head, and is actually CRUCIAL to the plot
    *Pa Kent died SAVING A DOG!
    *In the time it took Pa Kent to get swept off he could have ran to safety with Clark and Ma Kent
    *Lois Lane gets saved by Superman (TWICE!) in the exact same way
    *General Zod and Co. conveniently find a Kryptonian colony with weapons and ships that they can take because the death of Krypton killed all Kryptonians everywhere, except General Zod & Co. (and Superman)
    *General Zod INCEPTIONS Superman (and Lois Lane)
    *The last 45 minutes contains the EXACT same action/fight scenes over and over and over again, and they’re set in ridiculous product-placement locales, like a 7-11 and a friggin’ IHOP.
    *Poorly timed drone-morality-scene (also too on-the-nose)
    *A military professional thinks Superman “is kinda hot”

    • GeneralChaos

      *Lois Lane measures dicks
      I was hoping when Lois asked where she could go tinkle that the Colonel would’ve replied, “There’s a bucket in the corner… just pull out your dick.”

      • ximan

        Lol. That would have been better than what we got!

        • GeneralChaos

          There was another moment later when I thought, “This line would be a good response” and kept hoping they WOULDN’T say it so I could use it in my screenplay.

          They didn’t :-)

    • GeneralChaos

      *In the time it took Pa Kent to get swept off he could have ran to safety with Clark and Ma Kent

      His foot was crushed when the truck landed on his car. Couldn’t run.

      • ximan

        Not if his son would have lifted the truck, which would NOT have exposed him. We hear stories of soccer moms lifting vans to save their children every day.

        Also, why didn’t Clark at least make sure everyone got out of the truck in the first place??? Uggggh! The more I think about it, the more it sucks.

        • GeneralChaos

          His foot was injured from being crushed in the car, which is why he couldn’t run.
          Everyone did get out of the car, it was just, in their rush no one remembered the dog wasn’t smart enough to get out on its own.

        • filmklassik

          “We hear stories of soccer moms lifting vans to save their children every day.”

          Wait, what?? We do??

          We must subscribe to different news feeds.

  • GeneralChaos

    The shot that annoyed me after the 5th time was of the camera zooming in and gaining focus on some distant object flying. It’s special once, maybe twice.

    • DrMatt

      I always wonder the reason behind that camera move in digital effects. Several years ago, when effects weren’t as convincing, it made you feel like it was being shot by a real camera. But now? I’d pose the question to Snyder like this: When you’re filming real people doing real things, would you use a cheesy 70’s zoom like that? NO. So why the heck would you use it on a visual effect?

      • GeneralChaos

        Honestly, I was just grateful not to see “slow-motion punching” Superman.

      • Ken

        I think that digital effects are still in need of ways that lend them some verisimilitude. The way in which the camera is shown to be struggling to get a focus on the fast-flying craft helps imbue some realness to the effects, so I certainly don’t mind that particular camera effect being used.

        • DrMatt

          I totally agree about verisimilitude, but it just felt dated and overused in this case. The whole movie, really, had this weird mix of handheld and non-handheld shots. Like Snyder flipped a coin on when to use which.

  • GeneralChaos

    The worst big of dialogue was when Zod transmitted his message to Earth and began with, “Greetings. My name is General Zod”. Really? Your name is General? And it also happens to be your rank? So you are General General Zod?

  • Tailmonsterfriend

    So, with great power comes great responsibility, but with even greater power comes the responsibility to hide and not do jack?

    …okay then!

  • cjob3

    Let’s face it. Superman has always been, at heart, a lame character. One note. One dimensional. He’s like uncle Sam. Iconic symbol of patriotism, sure, but probably not someone you wanna spend a great deal of time with.

    That was the Marvel Comic hook. To take these “superhero” types and give them a flaw- make them human, relate-able (in other words, interesting.) Superman in an invisible alien. Batman a reclusive millionaire. On the other hand, Spider-Man was a scrawny geek, Iron Man an alcoholic. They had fatal flaws to overcome. Superman has no flaws – (Kryptonite isn’t really a flaw, it’s an allergy.) And I count Superman II among my favorite movies, because at least it’s fun. Take away the fun and what have you got? Nothing.

    Excelsior! Make Mine Marvel!!

    • GeneralChaos

      Oh, come on. Iron Man spent a good 25-30 years in comics before he suddenly became an alcoholic.

      That’s what makes Superman different: he is good and noble. He’s an ideal to strive for. There must be some reason he’s been popular for 75 years. Every other superhero is just a pale imitation of the original.

      And Batman is not human and flawed?

    • jaehkim

      I agree. the main problem with superman is that he’s un-relatable. he’s invincible and he doesn’t know what to do about it. he looks human, but he’s not human. I guess that’s the conflict and drama, but the fact that he’s invincible really limits what you can do with it.

      • GeneralChaos

        He IS human. That’s what makes him relatable. He was raised as human. He has feelings and emotions just like all of us but also the burden of greater responsibility. He is symbolic of what humanity can become. How many people would, if given his powers, not use them selfishly?

    • witwoud

      cjob3: “Take away the fun and what have you got? Nothing.”

      That’s it, isn’t it? Superman works best as a semi-comic character — a nerdy journalist who has to dash into telephone boxes to change into his costume. It’s the stuff of comedy. This modern obsession with making everything dark and moody may have worked for Batman, but obviously not for Superman. (Personally, I don’t think it’s done James Bond much good either.)

      • filmklassik

        I agree about the Bond thing but I’m not sure I agree that Zach Snyder’s Superman is THAT dark or THAT broody.

        I think this version was just dark enough, actually. After all, Donner’s version had a good deal of the same broodiness — on Krypton, and then again in Smallville — before the movie switched locales to Metropolis in the second half.

        I really dug MAN OF STEEL and am frankly surprised at the negativity. Then again, I am frequently out of step with the mainstream. I couldn’t stand the last two DARK KNIGHTS, for example, and had no use for THE AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA or IRON MAN 2 & 3.

        In fact the last “underwear movie” I really enjoyed prior to MAN OF STEEL was IRON MAN, back in 2008.

  • cartersol

    Did anyone else laugh at the sheer SILLINESS of the movie? That’s what killed it for me – going for such a kind of almost classical drama, and all I could think was that but for the very impressive visuals, the movie played out and dialogue sounded like a really bad B film.

    – first scene, RC arguing with elders when Zod comes in and issues orders, Elder says “on whose authority?” Zod: ‘Mine. ‘ and BOOM shoots her with a laser. I mean, I literally think that scene happened in a McBain sequence in The Simpsons. Fifteen years ago.

    – They tell Lois to board the ship with Superman. Because….?
    – Superman just happens to give Lois the ‘flash drive’ thingy – that just happens to be the thing that saves them all. BEFORE she just happens to be told to come on the ship.
    – Superman just happens to KNOW Lois is at his father’s grave. The wind blows – she says ‘I thought you’d find me’ (or equivalent). WTF? I mean, lets say he DID know. Is he really gonna go FLY there and confirm everything she is speculating. There goes the Ol SECRET IDENTITY.
    – RUSSEL CROWE as Hamlet’s father managing to pop up conveniently every time a plot hole / escape clause needed to be established. HANDY!
    – The SUIT – just happens to have a spare suit in a ship that crashed 18 000 years ago that also somehow has SM’s FAMILY LOGO on it…?
    – Superman’s ‘WEAKNESS’ in this one being caused, essentially by SMOG.
    – ZOD can’t die after being used as a battering ram to destroy half of manhattan, but somehow at the end Superman can break his neck.

    Now I get it’s a fantasy film. But if you spend an hour boring me to tears to humanize the guy – then you gotta work to your own rules! There were so many parts where I couldn’t stop laughing because of the sheer corn factor. The movie was a really really good looking B grade stinker.

    • Midnight Luck

      agree, with all your fantastic points.

      I have to say, I cannot believe when movies like these do such ridiculous things:

      the ending.

      I thought exactly the same thing. Zod is just as powerful and Super as Superman, since they are from the same place and affected by the Earth’s Sun in the same way. So, neither can be hurt, both are super powers. They go through an hour of fighting at the end, beating each other over the head with Skyscrapers and Battleships, and then Superman, just, Breaks his Neck? What? Why didn’t he just do that the first time they fought. How could Zod possibly be that weak?

      There were so many contrivances in the film that were only there to fill in plot gaps, or to Magically bring about some conclusion the writer / filmmaker needed. Even though it made absolutely no sense, and was just absurdly convenient.

  • wlubake

    I really enjoyed the film, and was engrossed throughout my viewing. I have some issues, which I’ll talk about below, but first wanted to defend a few things:

    1. I thought it was quite clear why Zod wanted to hunt down Kal (Superman). It was two things: (a) Zod was a law enforcer, and Kal’s birth outside the structure of Krypton’s controlled birthing process was a crime, and (b) the Codex. Zod valued it above all else. He thought it was sent with Kal.

    2. I didn’t find Clark inactive. He wasn’t roaming the Earth to evade notice, as much as he was roaming the earth to find answers. Each stop may have lacked meaning, but they were made on a journey of discovery that culminated in him finding the ship. Once he becomes Superman, he is very active. He voluntarily gives himself to the government. Then willfully goes to Zod. He’s not active in a physical sense, but he is on a decision-making level. This is subtle, though, because he is kinda being jerked around by the military and Zod in practice. But this is Superman. He’s only jerked around if he chooses to be. He made those decisions. He moved things forward in the conflict.

    3. I found his flaw compelling. He wanted to do more, but had that doubt put in him by his father. It was a wanting to belong that kept him from becoming Superman earlier, coupled with a lack of understanding of who he was and why he was sent here. Once those obstacles were removed, he immediately took up the torch of Superman and defender of mankind. He was ready for that moment, and had wanted it all along. His father and lack of knowledge held him back until then.

    4. I find it amusing how many folks here think that the conveniences of the story are too much to accept. This is Superman. An alien who looks EXACTLY like us. With no modification or adjustment needed. He ages EXACTLY like us. He isn’t even particularly tall or short. He is average in every human way. Yet he is from a planet galaxies away. But it is too weird that Jonathan Kent would discover an alien and be taken up by tornado (in Kansas). And the tornado is the unbelievable part of this? Why don’t we give credit to the fact that the discovery of a spaceship in your back yard is low odds, then give him the same chance of dying in a tornado as anyone else living in tornado alley?

    As for my problems:

    1. Jor El. He’s everywhere. Answering questions, helping people who don’t know what to do. An instructional video would have been more tolerable. I feel like this was just used to give them enough screen time to attact someone like Crowe to the role. Deus ex machina to the extreme. Loved the idea elsewhere here that Zod gives him the answers. Let him find the ship, and the suit. Maybe create a few more questions with that. Then have Zod filli in the blanks. Become somewhat of a mentor figure, then put Superman in the impossible place of choosing between the recreation of his species or the protection of earth.
    2. Agreed on the unrealistic acceleration of his connection with Lois Lane. It makes sense that she’d be into the superbeing that helps people. Why does he dig the reporter though? There was never a moment that made it believable.
    Final note. Let’s compare this to appropriate movies: Batman Begins, Spiderman, Iron Man, etc. The first in a franchise series. Then we evaluate the complexity of the origin story. This movie had to be long on exposition, as a reboot of the character. There is a generation of 13 year old kids who will push this movie from hit to blockbuster who never saw Superman the Movie, Smallville or Superman Returns. They are discovering the character for the first time. This movie sets the stage for the rest of the series, where this stuff doesn’t need to be tackled. Think how The Dark Knight was better than Batman Begins. How Spiderman 2 was better than Spiderman. You can focus on the story. This will make enough bank to greenlight the sequel, then this crew can get to work on a truly memorable Superman film.

    • writebrain

      I agree with this assessment (except for Jor- El, Russell Crowe owns in this, and they throw in some Transhumanism to boot); I thought that Goyer really handled the structure of this very carefully.The film is basically two remakes, the first half is a re-imagining of Superman the movie, and the second half is a re-imagining of Superman 2, with the reluctance for the world to accept Superman as the glue that holds the two halves together.

      • Ken

        You nailed it: it is part Superman remake and part Superman 2 remake – with a Clark-is-reluctant-to-reveal-himself plot thread uniting the two. I really, really enjoyed this movie.

  • gonzorama

    When I read that this Superman film was going to be ANOTHER origin story I gave up hope that it would be any good at all. Why did they think this was a good idea? The people who were waiting for this film all know where Superman comes from, so why waste valuable storytelling time rehashing the least important crap.

    They missed a huge opportunity, however, by not going deeper into the story. Okay, they wanted to do an origin story, so why not go all the way? Why not do the first new Superman movie completely on Krypton showing the tension building between Superman’s family and Zod’s family? They could have created their own world, had giant robots fighting, families trying to save their children and a planet explode at the end. Now that’s a movie I want to see.

    But a sad introspective Superman doing nothing until three quarters of they way through? Lame. Who in their right mind would think people would line up to see the ultimate superhero NOT use his powers?

  • Avishai

    Wow… this is so disappointing. Everything about it looked so… right. The cast, the crew, the designs. The music is amazing. The trailers were pitch perfect. I remember reading Mark Waid, who wrote one of the best Superman stories- Birthright- saying how excited he was that the movie looked like it was stealing wholesale from his work.

    Of course, the reviews are in and apparently it’s a stinker. Mark Waid even came back saying he saw it and didn’t care for it. Ouch.

    Well, it comes out here at the end of the week. I’ll see it, because I feel like I should. But I no longer expect greatness.

  • J.R. Kinnard

    But did you like it, Carson?
    I think I mentioned on your Twitter that it’s amazing how polarizing this film is.
    It sounds like Goyer/Nolan were going for the same structure they used in “Batman Begins”, with lots of flashbacks, backstory and navel gazing. I liked BB, but I was not overly impressed with it. In fact, it’s my least favorite Nolan effort to date.
    Still, a movie that has folks this bitterly divided probably took some chances, so I’m still anxious to see it.

  • jridge32

    Good points about the Krypton sequence, and the tornado death. I remembered thinking the Krypton bit was just overloaded with effects work. As visually cluttered as “Episode One”. What was that winged thing Jor-El was riding (where are we, Pandora)? There was no clear sense of what exactly was happening or why, other than civil war and planetary destruction. But who was doing what and where? 10,000 things happening at once and filling every inch of frame equals headache.

    And yeah — why does Zog give a damn if little Kal leaves? Just because he’s soooo evil. If God (I mean, Zod… sorry, better movie flashback) goes down, everybody goes with him?

    I also thought it was an overwrought moment with Clark’s dad just waving to his son and telling him it’s alright as the big funnel took him. It was supposed to be powerful, but I thought, ok you tried to save the dog. Saving the dog is not possible. You still have plenty of human family you love who are all safe: are they not worth living for? Why not? I mean, per-haps the tornado will suck you up regardless if you try and make a run for it.. but try. Even if you aren’t letting Clark save you when you know he’s quite capable because it’s important for his powers to remain a secret (yada yada), run away. From. The car.

    Then, the building smashing climax. Ok, why the H did we go through all of that when Superman was just gonna snap his neck?

  • Mike.H

    Carson, Miss SS sure is a cutie!

    She needs critical amount of conditioner in her hair tho. :P

    {miss SS certainly reminded me of Latte Schwartz, Cam. Diaz in Being John Malkovich minus the animal pets. :)

  • Will Vega

    There were alot of things wrong with this movie. Many of which are already mentioned. They should’ve just simplified the story, making it that Krypton was dying due to the planet getting pillaged, Kor El uses his only pod to ship Kal-El, Zod finds and wants to pillage Earth, Kal-El doesn’t want it to happen and fights Zod.

    THERE! Get rid of all that stuff with the syllabus, the codec, or whatever that skull was called. If you really need to include it, make it a second half plot twist. During the pillaging, they research the circumstances of what Kor-El did back in Krypton and find out the artifact that ingrained Kryptonians with pre-destined paths (which I thought was cool) was on Earth. Then they find out it’s in Kal-El. I thought making it the MacGuffin from the very beginning made it very confusing and made me question why that thing was so important.

    Lois Lane very conveniently finding Clark walking in the snow and doing research from there was very clumsy too. I GET IT, YOU’RE LOIS LANE. IT’S EXPECTED YOU WILL MEET UP WITH CLARK KENT/KAL-EL/SUPERMAN BY THE END OF THE MOVIE. But for the love of GAWD, at least PRETEND I don’t know that! Make the transition seamless and believable.

    I don’t think I can blame Zack Snyder entirely for this. I enjoyed his Dawn of the Dead remake, 300, and Watchmen. Never saw Sucker Punch or that Owl movie, but the other movies I thought worked. He’s like a more competent Michael Bay. So despite all those annoying zoom-ins here and there, the action delivered. And it was the only part of the movie that was good.

    Maybe I can blame Jon Peters, since he might’ve had some sort of a stake in this thing. But I think most of the blame can be placed on Goyer and to some extent Nolan. The thing that really messed this movie up was that it was TOO CONVOLUTED. Too many layers at once. Too much explaining where you didn’t need explaining. These were things that prevented Inception from being a better movie and ultimately fucked up Dark Knight Rises (I’ll be willing to say Dark Knight too, Begins was the only movie that I could enjoy from beginning to end).

    Superman didn’t need these unnecessary layers. Superman is straightforward whereas Batman is more complex. Not to say you can’t tell a multi-layered story with the Man of Steel, but the way they did it here didn’t work. Like, at all. Now i’m fuckin’ TERRIFIED at the notion of Nolan and Goyer working on Justice League. If they screwed up Batman with the last movie and screwed up Superman, what makes you really think they can handle an ensemble cast?!


    bOUNTY (TV Pilot) – After a night of heavy drinking, a devil-may-care Gambler wakes up in the middle of the desert finding himself in debt, hired by the Mexican Cartel to pay it off…and wanted by Nevada police for murder.

  • sheebshag

    btw. who did those drawings? Is that going to be a new feature here on SS?

  • rosemary

    To each their own. I thought it was good Im not saying its perfect but I wouldn’t call it trash. Personally I thought it was better than the other Superman movies.

  • Maggie Clancy

    This is so disappointing to hear, seeing as the trailer gave me goosebumps. I have been hearing mixed reviews from my friends, but a super hero movie should never just be “OK.” I understand they are trying to go for this dark/angsty vibe, but from what you’ve described…maybe I will wait until it hits the five dollar theatre downtown.

    SAVING MOMO – After a horrendous break up, 24-year-old Therese is wrangled into a mission to “save” an older friend of a friend that parties way too hard. –

    • wlubake

      Maggie, some unsolicited thoughts on your logline, provided that I haven’t read the script: (1) I see no connection between a break up and helping a hard partier; (2) a friend of a friend is a pretty low stakes relationship; (3) her exact age and name are unimportant details for a logline, whereas calling her a “born again Christian” or a “psychology student” or a “recovered alcoholic” would provide more context (though they may not be true for your story, what characteristics make 24 year old Therese the right protagonist for this script?); and (4) I generally prefer stronger action language for my loglines, such as “Therese must save…” rather than “is wrangled into a mission to save”, which suggests a passive protagonist. Good luck.

      • Maggie Clancy

        Thanks for the advice! I put it out there for a reason – no advice/criticism unsolicited here.

    • GeneralChaos

      Have to say… people constantly using the comments section to post their screenplays and workshop their loglines (especially the times I’ve seen it done during amateur reviews) is something I hope doesn’t become around here.

      • Maggie Clancy

        This was something that Carson suggested trying out in last week’s newsletter – not trying to be a nuisance, just seeing where this is going. The idea was to post your logline/script more of as a signature, not necessarily to start a dialogue about your particular screenplay; if people like how it sounds, they’d read it, and if they liked it, they’d recommend it for AF.

        • Will Vega

          Correct, he did say it in the newsletter. I’m starting to do it too but I think I might limit it to once a comment if it makes it less annoying.

          BTW, will read your script.

      • jaehkim

        yeah, carson didn’t really give us much guideline as to what to do with these. I have no problem with people putting up loglines and a link. but I don’t want the comments section inundated with reactions to loglines. maybe email the person with all comments?

  • UrbaneGhoul

    They really jumped into that opening, I wasn’t sure what was happening. It’s like Avatar and Jor-El has his own dragon. I liked that Smallville fight, maybe for Antje Traue owning that scene. Superman may just be a hero that works best in serialized format like television or the old serials. More specifically animated like the Fleischer Superman and the late 90s Superman:TAS. I was fine enough with this, saw it twice with different people. Rules are Superman has to fight Zod when the Phantom Zone should’ve just been the finale. I’m probably more interested in Man of Steel 2 after watching this than I was the Batman sequels after watching Batman Begins.

  • Chris Mulligan

    It was okay. Being that I’m a huge comic fan (and work in the industry) I probably like it more than the average popcorn eater, but I will definitely admit there were faults. Agree with the commentor who said just simplify the whole thing, I really didn’t enjoy the codex (nor really understand the motivation/plans for it).

    Loved the end result with Zod. That was shocking. And I liked the ending with Superman KO’ing the satellite and staking claim over his land.

    THEN – the worst part happened. The whole movie they’d carved out a different Superman, one who wouldn’t do the bumbling Clark song & dance. If the movie ended after the satellite scene it would have been in tone with what they’d laid out, but then they had to go camp and throw him in the Planet. Definite bummer.

    All in all I give it a B.

  • writebrain

    That intern is actually Jenny Olsen, and the scene gave Perry White some gravitas, IMO.

    • GeneralChaos

      Jenny Olsen. Ugh. Why not make Jonathan and Martha Kent ”Jennifer and Martin Kent” while they’re at it.

      • Alan Burnett

        Oh no, Hollywood has ruined an ICONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. Of course, I bet you could recite the Jimmy Olsen stories from the comics by heart, right? Jimmy has NEVER been interesting, so give me a break.

        • GeneralChaos

          I remember that he was Superman’s best friend. I remember that Superman gave him a watch that emitted a distress signal that could be used to call Superman whenever Jimmy was in trouble. I remember when he fell in love with Supergirl. I remember when he developed super powers for a short period.

          Other than that, no… I don’t recall much.

  • themovienerd

    True. Bale won’t be back for a desperately wanted franchise monstrosity like Justice League. Or Superman/Batman Nolan helmed hybrid (DK1?!?!).

    But it’s a moot point. Bale won’t do it. Until he’s offered greater than Tom Cruise money to do so.

    • GeneralChaos

      Well, he has stated that he can see returning if there was another story to tell so it’s not completely out of the question.

    • Jonathan Soens

      I would offer Bale a record amount of money to do it. Not sure what the record is, but I’d feel okay paying him crazy money. I’d feel okay paying him crazier than Tom Cruise money.

      With Bale onboard and with this Superman being a hit, “Justice League” would be poised to be the kind of movie that gets 700 million, maybe up to a billion. So even if you made him a crazy offer, you’d still make so much money that his payday would be worth it. Without Bale onboard, there’s a decent chance one (or more) of these other solo movies just tank and completely torpedo any possibility of “Justice League” being the kind of success it could be. And if one of those solo movies that tanks is a Batman reboot, guess what? The new Justice League plan is dead on arrival anyway.

      And if the fans knew Bale was coming back, it would buy them a lot of goodwill in the obligatory solo movies of the other characters.

      I’d just steal what worked for Marvel. Except instead of it being an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. showing up in everybody’s movies, I’d have Bale popping up in everybody’s movies.

      If I were the head of Warner Bros., as soon as I got a look at the business “Man of Steel” was doing at the box offices, I’d have been on a plane to wherever Christian Bale is. I’d offer him 50 million to star in “Justice League” and make cameos in the other JLA heroes’ solo movies, I’d offer him a 75 million dollar check to fund any other movie he feels like making. Yes, it’s crazy money, but it would guarantee the massive success of the JLA movie, and it would prop up the other solo movies at the same time. No brainer when you’re figuring they’ll be approaching a billion dollar payday with their big Justice League flick.

      • Todd Walker

        Is Batman, Superman and The Avengers part of the same franchise? If so, why not do a thing like they did with The Incredible Hulk where we met Stark for the first time? Perhaps Clark Kent goes to interview Stark about missing weapons at his company? Or a similar situation with Bruce Wayne?

  • Matty

    This is “trash”…. Looper is “trash”…. The Master is “trash”…. Upstream Color is “trash” etc….

    Carson really needs to watch more movies if he thinks these warrant bottom-of-the-barrel “TRASH” ratings.

    • jaehkim

      I’ve only seen looper, so I can only speak for that movie. and… looper was trash.

      • Matty

        Anybody who thinks Looper is “trash” – the worst possible rating – either a) sees very few films, or b) is making a huge overstatement.

        The quality of filmmaking and acting in Looper alone, ignoring the screenplay, makes it better than a great many films that come out all the time.

        • jaehkim

          ok I take back the ‘trash’ statement. I didn’t mean to imply ‘worse possible rating’.

          let’s just say I saw it on DVD and if I had paid $10 to see it in the theater, I would have wanted my money back.

          • Matty

            That’s fair.

          • wlubake

            You folks have a pretty high standard for your entertainment (including someone below who asked for their money back after Man of Steel). This isn’t the Love Guru. These are coherent narratives with great visual effects and average to good acting. No one is phoning it in here.

          • jaehkim

            for me, it’s hard to quantify what’s entertaining and what’s not. Prometheus had great visuals and good acting, but I wasn’t satisfied after I saw it. I’m not saying it was as bad as the love guru. but as a consumer, it’s either worth $10 to see it in theater, or it’s not.

          • Matty

            Exactly. If you think Man of Steel/Looper/about 90% of the films Carson calls “trash” actually are trash – essentially saying it’s completely worthless with nothing positive to offer – you don’t know much about cinema.

        • Ken

          Looper boasts an incredibly poor plot structure.

    • wlubake

      Really think this is the result of the product not meeting high expectations. Carson probably lacks objectivity based upon excitement for a project.

      • Matty

        It most DEFINITELY is that, which is hugely unfair. Don’t call a film “trash” – essentially saying there is little, if anything, good about it – just because you expected one thing and got another, or were disappointed. The Dark Knight Rises was extremely disappointing to me, but I don’t go and call it “trash” – it isn’t.

        I also really think these should be called “Script Reviews Based on the Movie” because they ARE NOT movie reviews. 98% of the review is about the writing.

    • Ken

      I would agree with Carson that Looper is trash. MOS, on the other hand, is great.

  • Ken

    She was!

  • Will Vega

    It’s as ridiculous as liking Batman. Or Ironman. Or Transformers. Or Star Wars. Or Indiana Jones. Or Back to the Future. Or Jurassic Park. Or any Pixar film. Or (you get the point).

  • Ken

    Carson – Clark DOES act (he saves a helicopter during an oil rig fire, he saves kids from a bus crash, he sticks a bullying truck driver’s lorry on top of logs, he goes in search of that crashed spaceship in the ice, etc.) Clark is unsure if he should reveal himself to the world but he certainly DOES do stuff.

    • ximan

      Those are mostly REactions. Big difference.

      • Ken

        You’re right: he’s mainly doing things that are reactions to events at first. However, the structure of MOS (jumping backwards and forwards in time) means the story isn’t dull and it does build anticipation as viewers wait for the moment when Superman does take centre stage. Going in search of the ancient space vessel in the ice, however, is not just REaction, it is ACTION.

  • RafaelSilvaeSouza

    I’m psyched about this movie. Specially now that it proved to be so divisive. But I have to wait a full month for it to open around here… This sucks.

  • GeneralChaos

    Those characters don’t have to be introduced prior to a Justice League movie. Not every superhero team-up has to follow the Avengers model. It’s true… I looked it up.

    Even the most casual of fans are already familiar with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman and Green Lantern has already had visibility from his film. That’s your lineup right there. No intros needed.

    • Jonathan Soens

      Well, I have a few thoughts about that:

      1. I think fans kind of want DC to follow the Marvel template. I’ve read numerous articles already about the backlash/disappointment to “Man of Steel” not having a post-credits scene.

      2. Similarly, while a lot of us look at these movies from a creative angle (thinking as writers or storytellers) and roll our eyes because we get tired of the repetitive “origin stories,” I think the movie-makers have conditioned audiences to expect that. I don’t doubt somebody will take the plunge and make a full-on superhero movie without indulging in “origin story” nonsense, just jumping right in instead of dipping their toe first. But there’s a good chance audiences would reject it because of what they’ve been conditioned to expect.

      3. I think some of Marvel’s solo movies succeeded (or merely survived) on the strength of people seeing them because they were excited about the team-up movie that was coming and they didn’t want to miss out on these other movies that were a piece of that bigger picture. Now, we as fans can look at that as proof that maybe the solo introductions to each character weren’t actually even necessary. But a movie studio looks at that and thinks, “The excitement about a team-up movie that is coming will make these things more likely to make more money. A rising tide floats all ships, so let’s put more of these bad boys in the water and make some coin.” I can’t blame the studios for wanting to make money. I can’t blame them for striking while the iron is hot with superhero movies doing such great business now.

      4. I suspect some of the actors who signed on for “The Avengers” were stoked that they’d be getting their own movie showcasing them and their character.

      • GeneralChaos

        I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have solo movies before a team-up film. I’m just saying that fans are always misguided in their beliefs as to what will and what won’t work. I think it’s not vitally important for that to happen. Fans were worried about how the fantastical world of Thor would work with the “real world” set-up of Iron Man, just like the silly debate about a fantastical Superman working with a Nolan Batman.

  • GeneralChaos

    “Zod doesn’t care about Jor El’s baby being sent into space; he cares that the Kryptonian codex is being smuggled out with him.”
    Don’t understand how destroying the ship would return the codex to him.

  • Jerry Salvaderi

    I remember seeing the first Transformers in theaters and nearly falling asleep during the film’s climax, which consisted of robots with a thousand moving pieces battering each other into buildings and city streets without so much as making a dent in each other. The climax for Man of Steel sounds similar, with the added caveat of thousands (millions?) of civilians perishing. Truly disappointing, as I too was actually getting excited about seeing this movie. I’m usually not one to enjoy superhero/comic book movies (Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy excluded), but like many others I was very intrigued by the trailer for this one. Looks like it’s a disappointment, and I can save my $10.

    • Ken

      Go and see it, Jerry – it’s far better than Transformers.

    • Midnight Luck

      it is no different.

      It takes 1/2 the movie to get to the inciting incident and a goal or focus and purpose for the movie. Then the second half is again (like all big budget movies nowadays) purely an excuse to “show off” the CGI orgasmatron the Production companies think they are giving us. They think we will be so blown away by the amazing special effects, we will forget there is no story, no intrigue, no interesting characters, etc. I guess maybe they are right, as most of the public who saw it loves it. I for one agree with Carson. It was terrible. Boring. And that last 1/2 of the movie, was all punching, throwing, kicking, attacking through buildings, throwing buses through buildings, etc. It was exactly the same as Thor, Transformers, etc. Does it really matter? We know Superman / Thor/ Etc are invincible on Earth, so no matter how many times a building is dropped on them, we aren’t waiting with baited breath to see if they are alright. We know they aren’t in danger.

      Watch the original Superman, and where they get it right, and this one gets it totally wrong, is that Superman can be taken down, wounded, beaten, when you attack his emotional side, not his physical. Go after what he loves, his true weakness and then you have drama. This didn’t do that. Put Lois in real danger, not Superman having to catch a car being thrown at her. Make Superman have to make deep emotional choices without a good resolution, and then, Shazam! we have an interesting, sit on the edge of your seat movie. This was more of the same, and it wasn’t deep, dark, or anything like The Dark Knight, or a few of the other well made super hero movies.

      How many times can we have a battle with the good and bad super heros throwing each other through buildings and decimating entire skylines and think it is fun or cool? I guess they at the big houses think we are always excited to see it.

      Me? Bored by it.

      Please screenwriters, Write Harder. Be creative.

      • RO

        Well written. Very much agree.

      • Jerry Salvaderi

        Yes, I agree with all of this. My biggest problem with these type of climactic scenes (and a large reason why superhero movies just don’t do it for me) is that, despite being the final battle, the fight itself doesn’t feel as though it has any stakes. The films stage these huge, violent showdowns that don’t really effect the robots/superheroes/whatever involved until an arbitrary tipping point lets the audience know that the hero has won the day. In The Avengers, seeing Thor thrown around, like you mentioned, does nothing. Even if he gets thrown through ten brick walls, he merely picks up his hammer and rejoins the fight as if nothing happened. Where’s the drama in that?

    • andyjaxfl

      Matinee for $5 (depending on where you live, I suppose)…

      • Jerry Salvaderi

        Yeah a few theaters near me do $5 Tuesday nights as well, might do that in a few weeks if I’ve nothing else to do. More than likely I’ll just pick it up from a redbox.

  • filmklassik

    Yep. $$$ = quality, and the more money a movie earns at the worldwide box office, the better that movie is. No exceptions. Excellent point, troll.

  • Dyland55

    Mr. Reeves, since you love J.J. I was wondering if you have read his superman script and what you think about it?

    • SinclareRose

      My memory is not the best, but I’m pretty sure Carson reviewed this a few weeks ago. Just google something like – scriptshadow jj abrams superman – and it’ll probably come up.

      • Dyland55

        He did, thanks for the heads up

  • Will Vega

    Problem is Superman is such an iconic character, people WILL buy into it.

    If John Carter was as well-known and beloved, then more people would’ve bought into it. Sure the character is iconic in some way, it influenced future series like Flash Gordon and stuff, but not alot of people know about it as well as Batman or Superman.

    If it’s part of pop culture, it will work. It’s just tweaking it enough to make it work in
    today’s world that’s tricky. I really believe it can be done but it wasn’t done here.

    bOUNTY (TV Pilot) – After a night of heavy drinking, a devil-may-care Gambler wakes up in the middle of the desert finding himself in debt, hired by the Mexican Cartel to pay it off…and wanted by Nevada police for murder.

  • Midnight Luck

    exactly, thank you.

    • kenglo~

      LOL! Man with The Iron Fists was trash! Man of Steel, with its repeated grinding dialogue of “They’re not going to like you. You will be despised, you will be feared…” over and over again is what got to me. I loved the first half about Krypton. I loved how he was something BEFORE he was Supes. I don’t agree with some of the choices, but DAMN, the effects and the action were top-notch! I mean HELL, how do you kill the guy? You can’t. I made the comment during the film that they were doing more damage than the Avengers! I guess those ‘guys’ (film-makers et al) wanted to one up the destruction part of it all. Oh well, my palms were sweaty at the end. I really ‘felt’, hokey as it was, for Costner, I ‘felt’ for Supes breakin’ Zod’s neck. If you had two SUPER powered folks fighting it out in a city, that’s what it would look like. When Neo and Smith went at it at the end of Matrix Revolutions, that’s what I wanted, but didn’t get it. It should be friggin’ balls to the wall, all out battle for supremacy, MFs going through three or four buildings is AWESOME. The first time I saw an original (Japanese version/uncut) DRAGON BALL Z anime and GOKU went flying through a friggin’ MOUNTAIN, and one of the characters kicked this dude’s HEAD OFF…I was hooked. This is what Superman needed. To be SUPER. Not fight friggin’ Lex Luthor for three straight films! Anyway, I liked it. It wasn’t trash. It wasn’t Avengers, but it was far from trash.

      • Gregory Mandarano

        A live action DBZ movie done PROPERLY is like my wet dream. I would lift mountains if I could help make that a reality in any way.

  • GeneralChaos

    His humanity is what makes him one of us.

  • andyjaxfl

    The flashbacks threw me off a bit, but I think they existed only for the scene at the end when Pa Kent looks at Clark in the cape in front of the dog and striking that classic Superman pose with his hands on his hips, and knows that the kid is going to do some great things for humanity. I really loved that scene and I think it’s placement at the end could have still worked by playing all of the Clark-as-a-kid scenes in Act 1.

  • Montana Gillis

    After watching 4 or is it 5 different actors create Batman (only 2 of them were good), I was relieved this version of Superman is being panned on so many levels so I won’t have to watch it. This “dumbing down” of mankind is fully exploited with another rehash of a story that is older than Grandpa and more stale than his undershirt.

  • Matty

    My apologies – people should be allowed to call something trash because it didn’t meet their expectations, even if their expectations were sky high and it was only mediocre. It’s fucking stupid, but you’re right, they’re allowed to.

    My point is: if you think all of these films are “trash” – the worst possible rating or adjective you can apply to a film…. you seriously don’t know what kind of utter crap is out there.

    If you took a good majority of Carson’s “trash” movie reviews and looked at them, it would indicate (if you believe Carson), that this is the worst that the film industry has to offer. If Carson thinks it actually can’t get any worse than Man of Steel or Looper or The Master, he really needs to watch more films.

  • Matty

    Think of it this way…. if Roger Ebert (or any critic) had given a strong percentage of the films he reviewed zero stars (the equivalent of saying “trash”), how long would it be before you didn’t take him seriously anymore? How serious did people take Armond White – a man who seemed to trash almost every film that was critically successful? Not much.

    Anybody can say anything they want about a movie. And I can also say I think it’s stupid. Especially when there’s a significant pattern of it.

    And this is all coming from someone who didn’t like Man of Steel at all. But I don’t go out and say it’s “trash.” The acting alone, not to mention other positive features, keeps it a step above many, many, many other films out there.

    • Will Vega

      I never took Ebert seriously even when he gave rave reviews. Carson said he didn’t like Iron Man 3, but I disagree with him on that. Doesn’t make his advice any less valuable.

      James Cameron liked Aliens Vs. Predator. Does that mean I’m gonna have to take him less seriously as a director for liking, what I think, is one of the crappiest entries in the Alien and Predator universe? Quentin Tarantino loves a whole skew of films, some of which I like and some of which I don’t like. There’s even a guy called Hideo Kojima, who created the videogame series Metal Gear Solid, who loves films I hate. But I still think the man is a genius at storytelling, let alone storytelling for videogames.

      I think “trash” to too harsh of a judgement. With all its pros and cons, I’d say it’s “alright” at best. I have seen shit way worse than Man of Steel, one of which I walked out of the theater due to how awful and pointless it was (it was some art film).

      bOUNTY (TV Pilot) – After a night of heavy drinking, a devil-may-care Gambler wakes up in the middle of the desert finding himself in debt, hired by the Mexican Cartel to pay it off…and wanted by Nevada police for murder.

      • Matty

        My entire point is not that he’s wrong for disliking it (hell, I disliked the film)…. the point is exactly that “trash” is incredibly harsh. It’s indicating that these films are as bad as it gets.

  • lonestarr357

    I do not have enough blog space to note all of the terrible writing mistakes here. And blog space is infinite.

    If anyone comes up with a better burn on anything this year, I’ll be truly amazed.

    Haven’t seen MoS (yet), but this is kind of how I see things: Zack Snyder is a baby bird, Watchmen was him falling out of the nest and his ability to discern good material is the mother bird that rejects him. That he was hired to do this is proof that you can fail upwards in Hollywood. Watchmen (though I liked it) barely broke even and Sucker Punch was more of a bomb (creatively and financially). Maybe, his next movie will turn things around.

    Scriptwise, that is an interesting tip: creating an inner conflict at the expense of an active character. I should get to work, ’cause I think I did that in one of my scripts.

  • Matty

    What’s your point? Because mine is – yes, you can say anything you want, and yes I’ll respect that. But after saying something over and over and over to the point of being hyperbolic and/or contrarian, that’s when I start to doubt your credibility. You have quotes from various filmmakers about other filmmakers. Now what if one of them started trashing every filmmaker out there? How seriously do you take that person now? Uwe Boll comes to mind, actually. He pretty much hates everyone except himself. And people sure do take him seriously… of course by that I mean, “they think he’s a joke.”

    Of course certain renowned filmmakers dislike other renowned filmmakers. I don’t understand your point other than “they’re allowed to do it.”

  • SinclareRose

    Hey Josh, I understand why you would think he’s bashing this movie, but I’d like to share a similar tale so you can compare the two.
    My favorite movies of all time are The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I annoy everyone when I talk about them or watch them – all too often. So you can imagine how much I was looking forward to The Hobbit. I followed the one ring dot net, Peter Jackson, WETA – well, let’s just say I was excited for it. Then I went and saw it in the theater. I was pretty disappointed. I still haven’t rented it to watch it again and I always rewatch movies. If I had my own blog I would have probably taken up more room than Carson did to go over the things I didn’t agree with.
    Anyway, I think Carson is a huge Superman fan and was really looking forward to this movie and he was just disappointed. Among other things.
    Or I could be totally wrong and he’s just a basher, but I like to believe not. Besides, we don’t have to read his stuff and we have our own opinions. That’s all it boils down to.

  • triguous

    This movie was so stupid and maddening that I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s like Revenge of the Sith.
    There is no credit to be given to Goyer here. Let’s not forget his last three screenwriting credits before he somehow managed to land the Man Of Steel gig — Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Unborn and Jumper.
    Without that Krypton prologue, they could’ve reversed gender roles and cast Antje Traue (the film’s bright spot) as Zod (Michael Shannon did absolutely nothing for me). It would have been a welcome and surprising twist.
    So disappointing, especially when every trailer was so fucking amazing.

    • Will Vega

      Antje Traue was great in this movie. You don’t need to have her as Zod, they could’ve just created a new main villain character just for her.

  • Matty

    You completely left off the rest of that sentence, which is “…just because you expected one thing and got another, or were disappointed.”

    I ask for a sirloin, I get a decent hamburger instead. Is it fair to call that hamburger “trash”? I can. It’s stupid. But I can.

    Yeah, anybody can do what they want. But after a while, they start chipping away at their credibility with their hyperbolic statements.

    How many times has someone said “hey, Carson said this was garbage – that means I’m seeing it ASAP”? Why is that?

    You’re totally and completely missing the point which is not that any single opinion of his I consider invalid. It’s that I, and I’m fairly sure it’s not a stretch to say I’m not the only one, no longer give much stock to these movie reviews. Not only are they mislabeled as “movie reviews” when they are really reviews of the writing (which is one of a great many components that make a film), but Carson’s average rating seems to be “trash.”

  • carsonreeves1

    As long as she exists in my head, that’s all that matters.

    • grendl

      Seriously you should start a script shadow cartoon though.

      I want to see your rendition of me.

  • JakeMLB

    A bit late to the party but I agree with a lot of what you said, Carson; however, I can’t say the film was trash. That’s a bit harsh.

    I enjoyed it and yet was bored by it at the same time.

    I didn’t have the same issues with character. Superman was active when he needed to be. He sought out the alien ship. He surrendered when Zod appeared. And so on. In fact, one of the main motifs of the film was patience or restraint — a theme which actually fits the Superman story well considering the scope of his powers and the potential to abuse or misuse them — and thus his inactivity makes sense in that world. It was as father Kent told him: there would come a time when Superman would need to use the full extent of his powers but until then he’d be damned to restraint.

    The biggest issue for me was the plot. I didn’t care because it didn’t make sense. Beyond the many minor leaps of logic that others have pointed out, my biggest concern was this: why was General Zod even alive to begin with? This gnawed at me throughout the entire film. Krypton is dying, Zod attempts a cout and is defeated, and his punishment is what exactly? Banishment from a dying planet? What!? That’s a blessing not a punishment. And the destruction of Krypton somehow releases him from stasis? Wouldn’t the council not know this? Why waste a ship on Zod when it could be used to actually save people?

    Seriously, given even a moment’s thought, the backstory is absurd. So the entire race of Kryptonians have the technology and prowess to terraform new worlds, to colonize planets throughout the universe, and yet they give it all up to settle on a dying planet that literally none can escape from except for one ship of prisoners? I’m actually laughing right now.

    Aside from that, yeaaaaahhh…. the closet and tornado scene were filth; the latter being another example of contrivance: the writer’s hand clearly at work. How Superman got his powers made no sense (the air? really?). Two too many flashbacks. But outside of that, the film was more or less entertaining. A missed opportunity perhaps but the viewing experience wasn’t as bad as I expected. It’s unfortunate that the film crumbles under the weight of its own contrivance upon even a moment’s reflection.

  • Guess Who

    Superman didn’t need to be darker. Superman Returns bombed, not because it wasn’t dark enough, but because the script sucked, the acting sucked and the director was off his game that movie. It shows how genius that Donner Superman 2 was. Opening montage Zod and the criminals get banished…..soon Superman inadvertantly sets them free by exploding a nuclear device to save the world….we’re intrigued. Those first few minutes, we have mystery, showing of a threatening menace and a heroic deed by Superman showing us why we love the guy. The recipe of Superman has worked for almost a century for a reason…. Superman as the clumsy lovestruck reporter following Lois around proved to be such a charming contrast to his man of steel powers… The fact that he has to hide his identity from the girl he has a crush was just so charming…..and I always felt inspired when he has that look on his face like he has to do something….and that John Williams Superman soundtrack starts playing…..gave me goosebumps. Superman’s just not a dark guy….he’s the boyscout, that perfect husband, that good neighbor, the guy that you can count on—the bad boy is Batman. I think a lot of this is on Nolan. Everyone kisses Nolan’s ass, but Nolan’s the wrong guy to be spearheading Superman. Nolan was instrumental in forming the story…. Carson asked the question of whether some higher ups came up with those decisions….well, only Nolan was there forming the story with Goyer. I kind of wish they would play the Donner ones in a movie marathon on the big screen so I can watch it right before seeing Man of Steel.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    Lol. I would love to run for president of the universe.

  • Cfrancis1

    Totally agree, Carson. And I’m the easiest lay in the world when it comes to superhero flicks. Hell, I even kinda liked Superman Returns. But this… terrible. I didn’t care about anyone in the movie. Including Superman. That’s bad. And the action was freaking boring. BTW, when Superman flies in a movie, I actually like to see him fly, not just be some little speck sonic-booming his way through the atmosphere.

  • writebrain

    That’s fair, although I felt that Perry’s actions were in line with his character.

  • GeneralChaos

    Every 7 year old already knows The Justice League characters thanks to Cartoon Network and cartoons like Young Justice. Daycares are decorated with superheroes. My daughter’s has Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern on her wall.

    So you need a stand-alone Martian Manhunter movie to introduce him to kids? He couldn’t just be introduced through a JLA movie? Confused children will wander the aisles of theatres not understanding why they didn’t get a Martin Manhunter solo movie to prepare them for JLA?

    and my “I looked it up” was meant as a joke.

  • GeneralChaos

    You mentioned killing Supes. The only way to kill him on that ship was by destroying it. You said he only cared about the codex, yet he ordered that the ship be shot down. I asked how would destroying the ship return the codex to him. Simple question. Wasn’t an attack.

  • Todd Walker

    I was afraid this was gonna happen because by taking it into “dark” land they pretty much ripped out the heart and soul of Superman. Yes, Superman is fighting for “Truth, Justice and the American Way”, but he isn’t supposed to be so freaking morbid all the time. That’s not how Superman is, and he’s not as pithy as Stark or Wayne but he’s more well adjusted than they are. Kent/Superman has learned to accept the world he lives in and how to function in it.

    Has the general audience forgotten about Superman’s backstory? I don’t think so. We all know about Smallville, Krypton, etc. already so why not begin it with the Daily Planet and have it be his first year on the job then dad dies of a stroke when he visits his boy?
    That way you keep it in the present without having to go into the whole childhood backstory. And another thing, wouldn’t he START OUT morbid about it. Clark Kent basically has about 28 to 33 years to adjust to being Superman and we are supposed to believe he was morbid his ENTIRE LIFE? Sorry, but that’s just B.S., nobody is that serious. Have you ever known a person who is morbid or depressed all the time??

    Yes, I get that being Superman brings a whole slew of issues most people don’t have to deal with, and it’s perfectly conceivable that his way of coping would be to become a drifter but come on! He needs a degree of normality to survive, we all do.

    • Guess Who

      Yeah, he’s freaking SUPERman….there’s no way a guy with those kind of powers is going to be that morbid. Donner and Christopher Reeve got it right. Superman was just a good guy with a knowing smirk. He was so boyscout nice that it was hard not to like the guy. I always thought Nolan was over rated anyway.

      • Todd Walker

        Nolan isn’t a bad writer, I just think he’s too fresh off of Batman.

  • srdiction

    -The world is too big, Mom.
    -Then make it small.

    I like these lines. But, as Carson noted, this dialogue sounds very corny in the scene. It seems like majority of the dialogue was written for the trailers where lines and scenes are used out of the context. Still liked the movie.

  • Writer451

    I agree. This character was boring. I would’ve liked it better if he was more like Capt. Kirk; an immature punk who abuses his powers, but when evil comes knocking, he gets serious, matures and takes control.

    And don’t forget… we had to sit through that exposition about Krypton twice. The first 30 mins. when they SHOW it, and then again when Russell Crowe TELLS Superman about it.

  • Pascal

    Carson thanks so much for your review! That is exactly what I felt watching this movie but couldn’t sum it up as nice as you did. When I first saw your critique I couldn’t believe your rating because as you wrote the trailers looked awesome and all the main players are so talented but while sitting in the theatre I actually thought about leaving because the story was so BAD.
    While still in the theatre watching the rest, I thought about how someone could rescue this mess but I couldn’t come up with one solution. Maybe if the story they wanted to tell, would end up in a HBO series where you have lot’s of time to tell all the backstory it would have worked but not in a 2 1/2 hours movie.
    Maybe if they would have started on earth and told the Krypton part in flashback after Zod arived on earth it would have helped a bit but I’m not sure.
    I’m still shocked about how bad this movie turned out to be. With all the money involved and all the great looking vfx it’s just disappointing.