Man of Steel: More Steel Than Man

If you wish 300 were more like Batman, Man of Steel is the film for you.

Man Of Steel

2013 | 152 minutes | Dir. Zack Snyder | Warner Bros. Pictures


  • Get an Oscar- nominated actress to play the heroine.  Because you definitely need an Oscar pedigree to star in a superhero movie.
  • Affiliate the villain with the hero’s past.
  • Make sure you put the world in dire jeopardy, so the hero can save it.  Accept nothing less than the destruction of Earth as a plotline.
  • Make film at least two and a half hours.
  • Dedicate a solid hour and a half to battle and/ or fight scenes.
  • When you feel the battle and/ or fight scene has gone on long enough, make it longer.
  • Involve the American military, but make sure they don’t win without the hero’s help.
  • Destroy New York City.

Do you feel like you can’t get enough of this formula?  Then go see Man of Steel!  Have your senses pummeled by explosions, sonic booms and screeching metal.  At last, Hollywood puts Superman on steroids just like all the other heroes!

HENRY CAVILL as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “MAN OF STEEL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release

I expected more from Man of Steel.  The trailer alluded to a more existential, theme- driven movie, maybe one that required some kind of thinking.  The trailer contained very few explosions.  It make the movie look like it was actually about Superman, and not the end of the world.

Stupid me.

At one point in the movie, Clark Kent’s dad says something about how Superman would inspire good in mankind despite his differences from them.  That would have been plot enough.  But no, we had to put the fate of Planet Earth on the line and have an all- out battle with aliens.  Superman wins the people’s trust immediately and all this talk about how “the world’s not ready for him!” flies right out the window.


I wish special effects would inspire good in movie directors.  Technology can put anything imaginable on the big screen, yet it’s consistently used for the same mind- numbing violence we’ve seen in every major action movie of the last 5 years.  The scene where Superman flies across the world impressed me way more than the scene where aliens blow all of Kansas to smithereens.


Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel per request of writer/produces Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception).  I expected more of the stylized fantasy- action that characterized Zack’s movies 300 and Sucker Punch.  Instead, Man of Steel opts for Nolan’s washed- out realism that completely sucks the glamor out of superheroes.  Snyder got director credits, but I feel like Nolan was breathing down his neck every step of the way.

As Americans, we come to expect certain things from a Superman movie.   We expect a sexy Lois Lane. We expect Lex Luther.  We expect some Kryptonite. We expect Clark Kent to be a dweeby but studly guy who works for the Daily Planet. We expect him to do this:


Man of Steel follows none of those conventions.  But hey, this movie isn’t called Superman.  It’s called Man of Steel.


1 comment on “Man of Steel: More Steel Than Man

  1. Pingback: I Saw The Avengers: Endgame Without Seeing Any Of The Prequels And Actually Really Liked It – CRITIC OF EVERYTHING

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