In defense of the story

Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by godisawesome, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. godisawesome Registered

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    One of the more common complaints about MOS is that the script and story are sub-par, anti-Superman, and downright choked in hokey dialogue. More than a few have even focused on the script as their main complaint for the film, tying it into disappointing performances by skilled actors, pacing issues, and other complaints. This makes sense, since when you break it down, the script is the single most important part of the final product in most films, controlling most character interaction and plot developments.

    Please note the following defense of Man Of Steel's script is part comedic rant, part angry rant, and 100% subjective on the part of the writer, but that I do stand by the majority of my arguments. Also, I'm going to argue story-elements first, so it's the ideas of the scenes and story that I'm talking about first.

    First off, let me say that I honestly think MOS Superman, and the post-Crisis Superman that clearly inspired a lot of it is a superior character to the Silver-Age one most people associate Superman with, and at least as iconic as Christopher Reeves. MOS has a relatable, very human, very emotive, and sincerely altruistic SuperMAN, a true Midwesterner clearly raised very well by loving parents who has some honest problems with deception and chicanery. He's not happy all the time, but he's clearly learned how to take joy in life regardless of his surroundings. He's fallible and lonely but friendly and diligent, as witnessed by the friendships he manages to forge with the waitress and Lois in a very short time and by his very nature towards his army interrogators, even though they don't trust him.

    To me, all that makes this Clark a better, more well rounded character than Reeves' version. This is helped by him having a movie long character arc. He's a scared kid who's obviously overwhelmed and scared of his differences, then a somewhat moody but understanding teenager, then a lost but helpful adult haunted by his father's death and the mystery of his origins. He then finds his ship and his people and is ecstatic over the pride of his heritage, happy to find at least one person he can trust with the truth, but his hopeful reverie is stopped by the return of his heritages darker side. He then embraces his role as humanity's champion and Krypton's future, is traumatized by the battle with everything corrupt about Krypton, and enters normal life hopeful again and willing to truck on.

    He's growing throughout the whole story. The Silver Age was all but completely static, and the Donner films effectively stopped growing in his first movie after Jor-El's tutoring.

    And the rest of the cast comes off as better and more compelling characters, even if they've lost screen time to Clark's journey. Lois isn't a [email protected]$$! She's actually a skilled reporter and investigator who still has the standards to protect someone who deserves it. She's competent! Hallelujah! The Kents aren't perfect! Pa was too protective and Ma feels a little inadequate compared to Clark's true parents but they still raised him into Superman! And Zod's basically a secondary protagonist with his own degenerative story arc! We can actually understand why he is what he is but know that he still made the choices that doomed him! Holy heck, he's actually compelling!

    And the two worlds involved actually seemed believable! There's a reason why Krypton failed and blew up, and it's not just because a bunch of pajama-clad idiots were stupid! There's some serious cultural problems and restrictions that set them up for a fall, thus justifying Jor-El's decisions and Clark's loneliness! And Earth is absolutely shocked by other life-forms! And Sci-Fi kicks major butt compared to hand-waving Silver age shenanigans! And Superman should be Sci-Fi, he's been Sci-Fi since Flash Gordon set the standard!

    And Superman has struggled with his willingness to kill since the Post-Crisis universe existed, and it makes perfect sense. If a villain has enough power you can actually argue that he probably should be killed, your victory is in doubt, and he's manipulative enough to sadistically play on your compassion and might still escape to kill more people, what would you do? Yes, Clark made the easy choice, but it was difficult for him in the heat of the moment, he's young, nd the majority of the world and probably even most saints would say his decision was justified, but he still acknowledges that he messed up!

    Okay, now, I can argue execution was better in terms of most dialogue and scene portrayal in the originals, even if I don't hold that for my own opinion, but I'll argue till judgment day the story elements were better in Man Of Steel than in the Reeves movies.

    And don't even get me started on Returns. That movies story elements were so messed up it didn't matter that Singer directed it well, or that he had good actors. The story itself was less than any modern Superman I've read with a protagonist far more handicapped by plot decisions than Mn Of Steel.
     
  2. br0adband Registered

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    /me grabs some popcorn and soda, this will get interesting really fast... ;)
     
  3. Ultimatehero Life is infinite

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    This is and Smallville are definitely the most well-rounded Clark Kent characters than Chris Reeves' version. As a superhero, I can accept Reeves' version and he represents the ideal. But, the very aspect that he is also an adoptee and this happy go lucky has always rung false to me. If you're an adoptee, most of us are beyond happy that we've been adopted and round up at a great home - BUT that doesn't mean we don't ache for not knowing our biological parents and roots. Not everything is 100% the most awesome deal ever as some people, for whatever reason want to make it out to be. There IS loss involved, the loss of one's parents. We get parents in return, but in order to get those parents first we had to lose. Yet, also, on the same hand remember that these complications that adoptees face haven't really come into light until rather recently.

    So, Donner's films should be forgiven for not getting that aspect right at all because back then the outlook on adoptees wasn't right at all - it was all very much swept under the rug as it were. So it wasn't that film ignoring it, it's just that they didn't really know any better back then and should be forgiven because of that.

    Basically saying while MOS and Smallville have had the best depictions of Clark Kent in that he is truly an adoptee that all or most of us adoptees can relate to, I can't also foresake Donner's film for not having included those aspects because in all fairness back then they didn't know that those aspects were there. It's much more talked about in this day and age than it was back then.
     
    #3 Ultimatehero, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  4. X Knight Straight Edge

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    very well said, godisawesome!!!
     
  5. kalhawj Registered

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    Awesome post... love MOS...
     
  6. godisawesome Registered

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    I'd drink to that, if I drank. The Silver Age idea of Superman was of a man completely content with both his human parents and his Kryptonian background. It's not flawed per se, at least not compared to other mistakes made in the films, but I'm going to argue repeatedly that it has greater depth and more maturity to it.
     
  7. Ultimatehero Life is infinite

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    Exactly. I wouldn't say flawed to the other mistakes, but really just a result of the times. It's one of those things that people began to learn more about and acknowledge more as time went on. You can actually chart the path of how much people know about the struggles an adoptee goes through by the evolution of how it's addressed in Superman which is really cool.

    Superman: The Movie --> Smallville --> Man of Steel
     
  8. ConnorKon-El Amateur Film Nerd

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    Nice post. And not quite on one side. You admit the faults that mos has while still stating what your opinion is.
     
  9. JangoNate Registered

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    A big thumbs up to you, sir. I thoroughly enjoyed this take, flaws and all.

    I just wished GL embraced it's sci fi more. That was one of the many things I shook my head at.
     
  10. godisawesome Registered

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    GL should have been a space opera. You could have made the film compelling and focused by dropping Earth entirely from the encounter. Before the credits, we see Abin Sur's ring find Hal Jordan. He wakes up in free-fall towards Oa. He spends the whole movie fighting one alien menace like Legion alongside the rest of the corps, learning discipline and embracing his bravery to fight it. All exposition could have been done with the rings, and Sinestro could have been actually built up as a more fleshed out character. The CGI and world building would than be a main theme of the movie as opposed to pretty but somewhat useless tack ons.

    And I'd say MOS left some room for more of DC's Sci-Fi elements to appear over time. Abin Sur might be fighting someone else while Zod and his cronies are doing their thing around derelict colonies.
     
  11. crimsontide Registered

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    In defense of the so-called rushed romance between Lois and Clark:

    We live in a society where one night stands and sex-on-the-first-date occurs way more than it should. Yet, Clark and Lois share one kissing scene after all the following occurred (1) meeting in the fortress, (2) meeting at Pa Kent's Grave (3) Lois protecting his secret from the world (4) An interrogation scene (5) both held hostage by aliens (6) several near death experiences (7) saving the world together, etc etc. One kissing scene! They didn't have sex or get married for goodness sake!

    I laugh in total astonishment every time I read about how rushed and forced their romance was.

    Besides, it makes me wonder if those who say it was rushed ever read a romance novel or watched a romantic comedy. :oldrazz: People in books and movies fall in love/lust over a whole lot less than what happened between Lois and Clark in MOS! :wow:
     
    #11 crimsontide, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  12. Project862006 Registered

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    honestly dont know what is wrong with the story for some i thought it was a good plot
     
  13. 113 Registered

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    Well said OP, well said!
     
  14. DACrowe Registered

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    Other than killing Zod (which came from Snyder and not Nolan/Goyer originally), I thought the story was fine.

    My problem is in the execution of Snyder's hand. Things like editing flashbacks on top of each other and, most glaringly, turning action sequences into 45 minutes of destruction porn.

    I actually liked the themes and tones of the story. It is just Snyder, to me, is a weak storyteller when it comes to things like pacing. He also gets way too much enjoyment of out carnage, violence and mayhem. To the point where his MOS movie feels like a tragedy at the end. Not exactly the tone I would go for with this character and I do not think it is the one Nolan and Goyer necessarily went for. Even TDK does not feel as much like a downer as that ending. Just saying.
     
  15. kalhawj Registered

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    Great point... and I for one didn't have an issue with it and thought the event lead to their kiss was why they kiss...
     
  16. kalhawj Registered

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    IMO this is the best CBM movie... I enjoy this move way more than any that came before it include TDK... Cannot wait for the sequel...
     
  17. sf2 Registered

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    a very well written, good sense and sound post.

    make you wonder what have the MOS haters had watched...
     
  18. herolee10 No More Miracles

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    And plus, they still kept true to Clark Kent helping people being because of his innate goodness and not because he was motivated by guilt or vengeance.
     
  19. Migu-EL Registered

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    Very well put, couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  20. Kryptonian Warrior The Dawn Is Upon Us

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    I don't understand why people just can't/don't go to the movies without analyzing the movie frame by frame. I don't go to the movies to analyze and break down every single little thing. I go to have a good time. I only go to movies that I want to see, take them for what they are and ****ing move on! I swear, you would think some people go in with a pen and a notebook to take notes. Then before the movie begins, the person writes "Problems with Man of Steel - Part 1......1) The JW theme is missing.....STRIKE 1!.....2) The red trunks are missing......STRIKE 2!) Why can't/don't people just go to the movies to escape every day life? I mean, isn't that what the movies are for? I'm sure you can all pretty much guess what I thought of Man of Steel by now. I thought it was a perfect Superman movie. Does that make me wrong? Nope! I will use the scapegoat that most everyone else uses. "It's my opinion!"
     
  21. writer0327 Registered

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    I don't think there was anything wrong with the plot of the film, nor with the script so much. There have been far worse scripts written for much better film. The problem this film has is the portrayal of Superman and what seemed like an incomplete development of his character. They could have spent another 15-20 minutes of character development rather than all the special effects and fight scenes.

    I still liked the movie and gave it 7/10, but it's lacking in a lot of the heartfelt and emotional stuff.
     
  22. Hoss Registered

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    I think when the writers went into this movie they told us it was going to be like nothing we ever saw. I struggled with it at first, until I realized I, like many others, were trying to hold it up against the Donner version of Superman. I stepped back and took it on its own merits, removing canon from the picture to look at it as I feel it was intended....a true origin story.

    I think the problem becomes Superman has 75 years of storied history that can't just be erased from the minds and hearts of his fans.

    Once I did that, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit more. Did it lack in places? Sure it did. But it's also opening itself up for a hell of a sequel.
     

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