Originally Posted by hopefuldreamer
To me, the film was joyless for a few reasons:
1. They added to aspects of the origin to make it even more tragic... to the point where they went over the top. There is enough tragedy in finding out your parents and your entire race are gone and you are the only one left. There is so much to be explored there already. And there is enough tragedy in your father dying when your a young man, without making it directly because of you and something you could have stopped from happening.
It just seemed like overkill.
2. The only reactions we got of 'the public' to Superman was Jenny's line of 'he saved us', which just felt kind of limp. How hard would it have been to have hired a bunch of extras and have more people around coming out of the rubble than just Perry, Jenny and Lombard? To have shots of groups of people all slowly realising they are safe now, pointing as Superman, smiling etc. To be able to actually see evidence of the amount of lives he'd just saved.
But no. All we see is a wasteland of buildings (and probably bodies) and 3 people he's managed to save.
3. The neck snap - because ending a film with a heroes soul crushing defeat is joyless. Forcing a hero to take another mans life in such a violent way is not in any way joyful.
Now, you can LIKE the ending as much as you want. But I don't get how anyone can argue with that.
Who said anything about Superman being happy-go-lucky?
I don't like happy go lucky Supes either. I like Superman to have issues, but BEING Superman is what ultimately means he bests those issues. That's where the joy and feeling of triumph comes in.
Except that I didn't feel the movies expressed that. They showed a tragic, depressed and lost character - and by the end, he didn't seem like someone who had risen above it all by embracing who he was... he seemed like someone who was now EVEN more scarred and troubled by the events of the film.
Which left me feeling joyless.
I don't think sacrifice should be a main theme of a Superman origin film.
Jor-el and Lara sending their child off into space is not a sacrifice... it's them saving his life. Johnathon Kent and Martha Kent raising Clark... should not be a sacrifice - they finally have the child they always wanted. Clark deciding to come out of hiding and be a hero - should not be a sacrifice. It should be Clark finally feeling free to be who he's always been.
Now, later stories where Superman has been around a while, would much better suit a theme of sacrifice. You can explore how much of a toll what he sees on a daily basis takes on him. You can explore how much of his personal life he has to give up in order to continue being Superman. You can see what effects it has on his relationship with Lois etc.
But IMO, the origin should be a story filled with hope.
Superman isn't the kind of character you should walk out of the movie feeling sorry for because they've had to go through so much.
He's the kind of character that you should massively respect for having been through so much.
There's a fine line, and it's all about how the film handles it's ending.
Well I think your impression is a bit presumptuous and dismissive, as I don't think that's what those 'silly critics' where saying at all.
1) There were only really 3 tragic defining moments in the film(Kal-El losing his entire race, Pa Kent dying and the neck snap), no overkill here.
2) Wait for the sequel. Goyer/Snyder wants to save all that public reaction as a plot device for future movies. They want to give us more than a 1 minute montage of news reels and interviews as seen in Avengers. If you can't deal with the way in which they want to do things, I suggest you should just stop complaining and whinging and just leave.
3) That neck snap was the most ballsy and gutsy move I've ever seen somebody do for a character. If anything it made me more curious to see where things go from here. Too many superheroes have been getting off Scott free and getting abnormally lucky to the point where it's unrealistic and the novelty's lost. Plus if Smallville's anything to go by, when significant changes are made to the Superman mythos, people will get over it and learn to accept it. I remember when people screamed in rage when Lex Luthor saw Clark's face without any glasses or even learning his name or when Lois was introduced or when Clark pretty much defeated his entire rogue's gallery before wearing the suit and without flying or introducing Green Arrow.
4) Again, he's not there yet, wait for the sequel.
5) Sacrifice should be a big theme into developing Superman. Some of the better episodes of Smallville which develops Clark's character most of the time involves a form of sacrifice. I never said Jor-El sending his son into space or the Kents adopting was a sacrifice or toll on them. Jor-El had to betray his people to save his son and sacrifice his life to save Kal-El from Zod. In the Tornado scene where Jonathan Kent told his son not to save his life just to sacrifice his life for protecting his secret. That is what parents do; they make sacrifices and bend over backwards in the name of their children. As for more hope, wait for the sequel.
6) It doesn't help when I see silly critics saying "Nolan and Snyder didn't need to reboot and change" or "I want the Superman I grew up with". It tells me that these people are silly and don't know that Superman's one of the most ever-changing characters.
Keep thinking that, it won't make you right. Also Earth One is not a comic book, and piss poor average anyway. If you want something relevant, try drawing from all eras of Superman's history, like:
Superman and the Men of Steel through to Superman and the Fiend From Dimension 5
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond
Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
Superman: For the Man who has Everything
Superman: Last Son
Superman: Greatest Stories Ever Told
Must There Be a Superman?
What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?
Up, Up and Away
Superman: For All Seasons
Superman: Secret Identity
Most of these books don't pertain to the origin