Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Zealand
Re: OK...its time.....Man of Steel vs Superman Returns - Part 1
Everyone's entitled to their opinion. As such, it's not really worth arguing
about which film is better because ultimately, people like one or the other
due to personal taste and aren't going to change their minds based
on a rational argument.
So, having said that, here's my opinion. MOS rocked, and SR sucked.
No disrespect to SR fans, that's just my opinion.
I appreciate that it won't change your mind, and if you enjoyed SR,
good on you, because it meant you didn't feel like I did walking out of
it ( I felt like asking for a refund).
Now here's why I hold this particular view.
I saw Superman: The movie, back in 1978, as a little kid. I remember the feeling walking out of the cinema from that one, I felt like I could fly. Other than Star Wars, SM TM was the greatest movie of my childhood.
I saw Superman returns......which bored the **** out of me. Routh's Superman had none of Reeve's wit or charm, he sort of floated around looking sad rather than super. The story dragged....a lot. Spacey's Luthor was annoying, rather than sinister (or funny, as Hackman's was). Worst of all was Superman's stupidity. The guy landed on the kryptonite island and then was surprised when Luthor and his thugs kicked the **** out of him.
There was nothing new or interesting about this film, because Singer just
re-hashed all the old elements of the Reeve films (he saves a plane, he lifts up a continent, have we seen that before, oh yeah, it was called Superman the movie) without putting any kind of new spin on them.
(love or hate MOS, at least Snyder/Goyer/Nolan had the balls to take the character in the new direction ). I know Singer gets a lot of hype, but I think he went for , reverential (as in reverence to the Reeve films) but it just came off as boring. Why, because those old films had a crucial element that SR didn't have, Reeve. Without Reeve, a Reeve-ish Superman film just didn't work. He was simply brilliant as Superman. He was funny, and charming and likeable, and could seamlessly make the Superman to Clark transition. As an audience we cared about him.
Routh's Superman, well I just wanted him to fly back out to space, sorry Lois the world didn't need his kind of Superman after all.
Okay, enough about why I hated SR. Again, if you liked it, that's cool, it's your opinion.
Now onto MOS. That feeling I had when I walked out of SMTM as an 8 year old, I had the same feeling 35 years later, walking out of MOS. Sure it wasn't Reeve, but it was a different Superman for a different time.
The Krypton sequence was suitably epic, and it really did look like a dying planet -Russell Crowe was a more than worthy successor to Brando as Jor-El.
The flashbacks really set up the character as someone we could care about.
My favourite scene "You're the answer son" gave the film it's heart,
something that was lacking in last year's Avengers. Sure the Avengers was flashy, and glib but not a lot of heart.
Diane Lane was a big part of the film's heart. Her scenes with Kid Clark, and adult Clark are a first (we've never really seen much of Ma Kent on screen). She was the humanizing element. after destroying downtown Smallville fighting other Kryptonians, what does Clark do first ? He comes back to check on his mom (even before Lois ).
I can see people's point about Pa Kent's death, but then that's a story point, the contrast between the two fathers and their views on what Clark could/should do with his abilities.
Lois Lane: Amy Adams was an improvement on Kate Bosworth, who was an improvement on Margot Kidder. For a change I actually liked Lois Lane
and found her believable - mostly because the solved the central problem of Lois Lane, that a clever, resourceful investigative journalist is fooled by a pair of glasses. I just really liked that she always calls him Clark.
Anyway, the central story isn't a new one, but its one that always works. The quest for identity. SMTM covered a little of it, but MOS really took us through that journey in Kal-El's footsteps.
Oh yeah, and in MOS, Superman kicks ass (I can only remember Reeve throwing a couple of punches, even in Superman II, and Routh.....well, you know). People criticize the carnage, but this was a new take on Superman, and its creators dared to show the kind of destruction that would result from beings like this doing battle downtown.
Superman killing Zod.... that's been debated and discussed ad naseum.
Suffice it to say, I thought in the context of the film, it worked.
All in all, it was a Superman for the 21st century (a Bud drinking, Football watching, beard-growing Superman). It might not be as light as the Reeve films, but we live in darker times. Despite it not being SMTM, I felt exactly the same elation coming out of the film, and that alone is enough
to make MOS the equal of SMTM, and far superior to SR.