Join Date: Jul 2007
What are your complaints? What would you do differently? *SPOILERS*
Well, now that the film has premiered it's time to get into the dirty little details. While many people love Man of Steel (especially on this board), there are many others whose expectations were not met, who have things they would change, or outright hate the film. This is not a place for a "You're wrong, I'm right!" argument to break out, rather, it's for those who feel unfulfilled by what they saw and and would ultimately change things given the chance.
Personally, I would give Man of Steel a 7/10 upon my first viewing. It's not a horrible film, but it definitely did not live up the advertising which had been created for it, nor did it live up to my hope of having a legitimately inventive and exciting beginning of a DC Shared Universe, unlike Iron Man. Here are some nits, picks, and complaints to get us started off.
-The opening shot of Kal El being born is gorgeous, and a genuinely fantastic way to begin this saga, especially since so much of it hinges on the idea of natural, not genetically manipulated birth. However, the Krypton scenes that follow border on nonsensical and way too rushed. If we had just had maybe one or two scenes prior to the council scene, establishing Jor El and General Zod as genuine allies with one tragic difference in world views, it would have given so much more weight to the Jor El's death, Zod's incarceration, and the destruction of Krypton. Ultimately it just feels like one rushed action setpiece to the next, setting up the very plotty MacGuffin in the Codex. Say what you want about the original Superman's version of Krypton, the silly outfits and fake looking sets, Donner gives it mournful pace and a wonderful, wise Jor El in Marlon Brando who really sells the importance of the moment. TELLING rather than SHOWING is generally a big complaint I have about David Goyer's script.
-Our first time spent with Clark. Again, the entire sequence on the boat is so, so rushed and could have been used to show us who Clark is at the beginning of the story, rather than an excuse for a setpiece. What if we had a couple scenes on the boat with Clark interacting with the crew, sharing stories, making jokes, just having a simple conversation? The human element felt very lost in Man of Steel, and scenes where we get a clearer sense of the man Clark has become would have been great peppered throughout his beginning journey. Also, the actual oil rig destruction itself was a let down as a setpiece. It was basically 30 seconds of Clark holding up something heavy. I'm not asking for a MASSIVE action scene here, but every bit of action should progress as a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. This was one long note without any variance.
-This is skipping ahead quite a bit, but the outfit reveal. It's presented to Clark without any explanation, and it comes after a massive info dump of exposition by Jor El. And then almost immediately after, he is suddenly in the suit and bouncing around. Clark has no reaction to seeing the suit, wearing it, anything. It's simply something he has to put on now, thanks Dad! It should be treated as mythic, like Jason acquiring the Golden Fleece. Even Green Lantern handled Hal Jordan getting the ring and "becoming" a costumed superhero better. Batman Begins had 20 minutes of buildup, with Bruce slowing building his suit and then the dock fight hidden in shadows, building up to his "I'm Batman" headbutt. The whole transition of Clark Kent to Superman wasn't handled particularly well, but I think missing this moment is endemic of the problems with the whole movie.
I have many more floating around in my head, but I thought I'd start off the conversation and maybe pepper them in as people post. Again, this is not meant as a hatefest, merely a place to vent frustrations. Better luck in 2015, Superman (aka, please give David Goyer something else besides Man of Steel 2 to do).