5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

man of steel 10 5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

I have to admit, I’m more surprised than usual about the reaction to Man of Steel. Most of the time critical responses to highly anticipated movies are somewhat predictable; The Great Gatsby is going to generate a lot of bile, as is anything from M. Night Shyamalan, and people will be pleased even just with the fact that there are new installments of the Fast and Furious and Star Trek franchises. I expected anything with Christopher Nolan’s name attached to it would be a guaranteed home run. At the very least, I thought reactions would range from “good” to “Dark Knight good.”

Not so. Despite the few and proud voices (Jonathan Lack’s wonderful review gushes pure bliss) who were, like me, completely floored by Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman story, the movie currently holds a 59% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic rating of 55. That’s a lot of people who did not find it super in the least. The reviews are so split that in a lot of instances it’s as if writers had screened completely different movies. One critic will cite a particular scene as why Man of Steel got everything about Superman perfectly right, while another will cite the exact same scene, the exact same details, and use it as evidence that Snyder and company got everything about Superman entirely wrong. So since apparently people can’t even agree on what Superman is, maybe this whole enterprise was doomed to a split decision from the critical community.

Here are 5 reasons why people seem to be very divided in their reactions to Man of Steel. I’ll restrict spoilers to points #4 and 5—be warned!

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1) Zack Snyder is always divisive

Man of Steel 5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

I mean, this is the guy who directed Sucker Punch. He’s not exactly in the business of crafting universal crowd-pleasers. His bold style, which really caught people’s attention upon the release of 300, looks cool. Surely people can agree on this point at least. The use of color and motion in his movies is a compellingly novel way of visual storytelling. I guess where the disagreement lies is whether its coolness is effective enough to sustain over the course of an entire film, or filmography. Whether something that looks cool is interesting on its own or whether people become bored with the look and feel of his action and want to move on to something else to pique their interest (even though he’s the one accused of having ADD!).

Zack Snyder has thus accumulated something of a reputation, an identity that has become pronounced in a way that makes his name inseparable from the movies that bear it. And that’s unfortunate, because Man of Steel is a rather remarkable departure from, or progression of, the style he has come to be known for. Yes, the movie is big—it’s probably the biggest spectacle of a movie we’ll get for some time—but strikes a completely different visual chord than his previous collaborations with cinematographer Larry Fong. And there are some real delicate moments that the movie makes a special effort (much like our hero) to focus in on even though there’s chaos and information flying all around. Its stylistic decision-making will be far more heavily scrutinized than if it were by a director considered to adhere to that false dichotomy of function over form.

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2) It’s a bit cold and unsentimental

Man of Steel1 5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

I would frame this as one of the movie’s virtues: that, similar to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel has a distinct interest in a certain kind of realism. In this case, it’s a realism in the interest paid to the psychology of an alien isolated on a new planet, a realism in what cosmic battles between god-like creatures would look and feel like on Earth, and a realism in trying to visually depict a legitimate threat to humanity’s global existence.

People have objected that they expect a Superman movie to be fun to watch, and this one doesn’t deliver that in the style they would have hoped for. They would have liked it to be more about emotions, characters and ideas rather than spectacle and existential crisis. But I think even these subjective preferences can be reconfigured by grasping the intended tone and purpose of this movie. The central hero is a figure who is incredibly isolated, alienated as it were, in the world but not of it, and the movie takes on this personality in its style. What would seem more psychologically absurd would be to see Kal-El fit seamlessly into the human world rather than taking a significant amount of time to adjust physically, mentally and emotionally. And yet his relationship with Jonathan and Martha Kent is tremendously touching, and remarkably subtle. Likewise, his encounters with Lois Lane feel genuine rather than oversaturated with romance. If this is an origin story, Clark Kent is still maturing up until the end of this chapter. It will be interesting to see if the tone of the story matures and grows warmer as he does.

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3) It has more of a kinship to The Avengers than The Dark Knight

Man of Steel2 5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

This was the biggest surprise to me when I saw Man of Steel, and one that took me some time to fully grasp. Fans of Christopher Nolan have certain expectations for anything he’s involved with, and so I was anticipating, as I’m sure many others did, something of an heir to the Dark Knight franchise. And in a way it is. In the same way that Batman was reimagined for a contemporary world and current cinematic sensibilities in Batman Begins, this film does the same thing for Superman. It’s just that Superman is really, really different from Batman.

I’m not a comic fanatic or a Superman enthusiast or any sort of expert on the subject compared to countless others on the internet; my familiarity extends as far as the cinematic representations of these characters. But Batman seems like it ought to be more about ideas and moral quandaries and technological solutions to impossible problems. He’s just a dude. Superman seems to have much more in common with god-like characters, the supernatural likes of Thor or the Hulk or Doctor Manhattan. These types of characters face an entirely different set of dilemmas, don’t they? Not only are they different; they’re bigger. So while Batman fights to preserve Gotham, Superman’s literally trying to save the entire world, even though the villain has targeted him in his hometown. These cosmic consequences and quasi-divine characters result in a hero that’s elusive rather than relatable, and grand scale rather than intensely focused. But you mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger. Once I grasped the Superman-ness of this movie’s scope, everything fit together perfectly.

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4) People are invested in their own version of Superman

MOS 09932r 5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

*Again, I’m going to start addressing some spoilers now. Beware.*

Because Superman’s story has been around so long, people have had a lot of time to develop attachments to their favorite versions and their own personal idea of what Superman is. Any depiction that diverges from that perception, for many, is not Superman, and therefore not just a different interpretation of the character but a wrong interpretation. I suppose a character that is so steeped in hope and idealism and is essentially a deity would carry with him a certain sacred status.

I’ve been reading arguments about two pivotal moments in Man of Steel. There’s the scene where (did I mention I’m spoiling things right here?) Jonathan Kent dies in front of Clark and Martha’s eyes, because Jonathan insists Clark not save him so as to preserve the concealment of his true identity. Then there’s the moment at the conclusion of the Superman-Zod showdown: Superman snapping Zod’s neck. Many are outraged at the fact that Superman would kill a villain to save innocent lives. Others believe that the moment with Jonathan rang false, that his sacrifice was unnecessary and illogical. Then there are those that think both are completely consistent with the Superman character, who has killed in the past, and who wanted to demonstrate the trust and love he had for his adopted father. I’m less concerned with which of these positions possesses more merit than I am with why folks are so intent on their own conception of what Superman would do in any given situation. Instead of discussing the character’s decisions, whether Clark should have saved his father, whether he could have found another way to save the people Zod was threatening, people are discussing the filmmakers’ decision to tell the story this way. And that’s a result of the (understandable) sense of ownership fans have over this character and his story. Which brings me to my final point.

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5) Maybe attempts to depict Superman on film just can’t possibly please everyone

movies man of steel henry cavill superman1 5 Reasons Man Of Steel Is Dividing Viewers

Superman is a symbol of an ideal. He is an embodiment of virtue. He is Jesus Christ in superhero form, as many have pointed out through the years (Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns lays the religious imagery on even heavier than this version). Ideals and virtues by their nature are abstract, ethereal, spiritual, disembodied; thus, any attempt to make them concrete renders them imperfect. If Superman is supposed to be perfect, and people equate him in their minds with perfection, anything less than a perfect representation of their own personal imagining of him will be a disappointment, and since that is virtually impossible save for the artist that is responsible for representing him, perhaps he’s just a character that can’t be portrayed in a way that is satisfactory for all viewers. Division over ideals is inevitable.

Then again, anything is unfilmable until someone successfully films it. While Zack Snyder’s retelling of the Superman story worked wonders for me and many others, its interest in spectacle and mood did not align with the desires of a lot of people. And that’s fine. The only objection I have to people writing about how much they didn’t care for Man of Steel is when they contend that the movie is somehow objectively bad because it didn’t correspond with the movie they were hoping for, the Superman they wanted to see, or the experience they had craved. The nature of the character seems to expose people’s notion of an ideal movie, and maybe ideals in general, and the more specific a person is in their ideals, the more they set themselves up to fall short. To me, Superman is the embodiment of people’s projections of perfection, and in that respect, Man of Steel soars. It’s really unlike any movie anyone has made before; the argument seems to be over whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

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  • MovieJay

    If you like constant mindless action, you’ll like this movie. If you prefer a good story that is involving and has real adventure, you’ll probably not like MoS. I think it’s that simple.

    • Andrew Pane

      Movie jay if ur a boring turd like you you won’t like this movie if you like great epic action packed a masterpieces you will love man of stillmoviejay you are a loser

    • Andrew Pane

      Moviejay I think it’s that simple that you are a Fing moron that hasn’t a clue about Superman from the comics Mmm Kay dbag much?

    • Juan

      Disagree, Man of Steel had a very tight story that put things together and involved the characters’ throughout the movie. And it had emotional components weaved into it. I think Lack’s review on this site perfectly describes it.

    • Ashley P

      The first 2/3 of the movie was wonderful, and more about story and characters than anything. The last third was filled with a lot of action. One may agree or disagree whether this is a good thing. Personally, i am of mixed opinion on it. I loved the special effects, loved the action, and at the same time thought it felt a bit too crammed in, like it needed more time to play out. That happens though, with big movies like this. There is only so much time, and clearly they wanted the big epic showdown and world crisis actions scenes to stay ( who wouldn’t? they are epic). The next movie i think, will be a bit less overwhelming on that aspect.

    • jimmyz

      How could you miss the story of this movie? It was great well played and teah the action was amazing but the story itself was just as good.

    • natedorn

      also disagree. they accomplished everything they set out to do. great story. great characters, great action. this is there version of the iconic character. just nolan’s version of batman, i didn’t fully enjoy his version but still a great trilogy. im very excited for what they have coming next!

    • Robert Sheppard

      did people just not pay any attention to this movie. there was barely anything action wise until the second half of the movie. i mean there was the beginning with krypton but even then we were getting story. yall need to watch the movie again.

  • Toki Nakamura

    For example, the problem I found is that this movie is actually oriented to videogame audiences. No wonder I hated Avatar and Avengers also. It’s a matter of personal profile and bias. This movie wasn’t for me.

    I know my opinion is not very popular but I honestly found this movie to be an infomercial of a Superman videogame with product placement ads, and I never thought I see the day that I would say this movie is actually worse than Superman Returns.

    • Andrew Pane

      wow then ur not the target Audince because superman returns was complete shyt and you obviously have no Fing Tate I’m glad superman movies aren’t made for dull douchebags like u Thank God!

    • Andrew Pane

      wow then ur not the target Audince because superman returns was complete shyt and you obviously have no Fing Tate I’m glad superman movies aren’t made for dull douchebags like u Thank God!

      • Toki Nakamura

        and for the record, I HATED Superman Returns

        • moviekiller

          I felt the same way, after I left I went home and watched Superman Returns and I honestly like it compared to this CRAP! Its a sad state when it takes a movie far worse to make a bad movie look absolutely GREAT by comparison!!

          • Toki Nakamura

            well I started looking up Smallville episodes, that series was far from perfect but it had plenty of heart and humanity, they actually bothered to tell a story in which Clark Kent is THE protagonist.

            Both Routh and Cavill would have done a good version of Clark/Superman if they would have given them good material to begin with.

          • moviekiller

            Couldn’t agree more, there were moments in MOS where I thought “man this guy is good!” but it never went anywhere just fell completely apart! I haven’t seen enough of Smallville but I’ve heard from plenty of people about its good character build up, which btw was ANOTHER thing that pissed me off about that movie, Superman was more of a peripheral character instead of the main focus point! I compared it to Transformers in that it wasn’t even about the Transformers it was about the people fighting them, much like it was here.

          • Randomcomment

            Just like The Dark Knight, where it was a crime thriller with the character of batman in it, this was a sci fi epic with the character of superman in it and his own (Batman Begins of sort) origins. This wasn’t your typical superhero movie, in fact it wasn’t, just like the dark knight this movie elevated the concept of an origin of a superpowered being grounded in the real world. It is transcendental and that’s what so sad that because this wasn’t funny or didn’t make you laugh of have the “balance” that we have been conditioned to accept? The problem is not the movie, the problem are the viewers….viewers like you.

          • Randomcomment

            Clark Kent is THE protagonist you douche. You are only criticizing because you didn’t get the melodrama that you were expecting, nor the romance, nor the funny jokes or smiles or whatever the hell you think you believe that it didn’t have that made it bad. What the movie had made very very great and a masterpiece that IS very action filled, that is all. This wasn’t superman, this was clark kent learning about his origins and having a bad time about is alienness to the world, it was sad and beautiful and the consequences of the alien invasion were top notch and apocalyptic…they took everything about a real kryptonian living lonely in the world and accepting and learning what he is and that he has to make a choice for what he will be…this is superman in the making, NOT superman: the reboot.

          • Toki Nakamura

            why a bad time, why so sad, why so serious and apocalyptic? it was also full of 9/11 imagery, which was, in my opinion, done in poor taste.

            There was something about it that reminded me of the disaster porn of the movie ’2012′ with John Cusack.

            Different strokes for differents folks, I guess.

          • Randomcomment

            No dude…you didn’t even mentioned avangers nor transformers which have a lot of distruction as well. You just choose to focus on the over action and forget everything else of the movie…you are close minded thts for sure. The matrix was also criticized by its action as if it was the negative part of the movie, go figure smh

          • Randomcomment

            you are an asshole…This movie was a masterpiece in every way, and the fact that you couldn’t digest the spectacular action scenes goes to show that you are biased. Name exactly what made it crap, name and point each thing. You can’t can ya? You are to fat on your ass to criticize intelligently and prefer to bash instead without any supporting fact! Go away troll!

      • moviekiller

        Man you got issues bro, calling people stupid (and misspelled!) names because they actually have a brain in their head they use to determine the difference between good and bad things and all you can do is talk trash?! That’s pretty pathetic there pal…

        • Randomcomment

          What is pathetic is that you couldn’t name what things made the movie crap, which make you look like an idiot and enraged douchebag.

      • Dave Fontana

        At least that “dull douchebag” knew how to spell.

    • Kamille

      oriented to gamers? WTF!? lol

    • Robert Sheppard

      while i don’t HATE superman returns, this movie is miles better than that, it’s not even close. in that whole movie superman literally doesn’t throw a punch. also somehow he gets to save basically everybody in the whole city. thats unrealistic even for a superman flick. also what do people expect is gonna happen when you have an invasion of beings just as powerful as superman? did you think they were just gonna talk the whole time?

    • Dave Fontana

      So I’m not the only one who noticed the product placement in this movie! At one point, when he does something really cool, and then shoots up into the sky, the immediate next shot is the outside of Sears. And another time they crash through an IHOP. Such a sell-out.
      But don’t just take my word for it. Apparently, it’s a record, and over 100 companies paid to have their products in the movie! http://www.opposingviews.com/i/entertainment/superman-film-man-steel-sets-record-product-placement-video

  • JSO

    I’m hating people saying its too serious and humour less?
    So Superman’s gotta tell knock knock jokes as he’s fighting to save the planet or drop cheesy one liners like Batman & Robin!
    Also there’s too much action and it goes on too long and blah blah blah.
    I think it’s great to see Superman in an equal fight and even out numbered.
    I’d take that over a creepy peeping Tom Superman Returns any day!!

    • Doug Graves

      Art is meant to divide, because if it doesn’t divide, it doesn’t penetrate, and if it doesn’t penetrate, you just consume it.

  • moviekiller

    “unlike any movie anyone has made before”?!?!

    Here’s a short list of films this cheap-ass flick ripped off:
    Superman Returns
    Independence Day
    The Avengers
    The day The Earth Stood Still (BOTH versions!)
    Spider-man 2
    Terminator 2
    The Matrix and its sequels
    JJ’s Star Trek
    Star Wars ep. 3
    The Hulk (any iteration)

    Hell, any and all alien invasion movies!

    What disgusted more than anything, beyond the utterly detestable film-making elements such as acting, writing, dialogue, editing, lighting (ENOUGH WITH THE DAMNED LENS FLARES!!) cinematography, costume design and and an overall lack of involvement in the project from everyone save Kevin Costner was the fact of how they just blatantly ripped of so many other movies! I mean not even in homage just straight up scene for scene, shot for shot RIP OFF!! It was like watching the Psycho remake all over again, no difference in camera angles no let’s set up the shot the EXACT SAME WAY THEY DID IN ALL THOSE OTHER MOVIES AND FILM IT!! The lack of respect paid to this project is baffling considering so much was riding on it, I felt insulted and abused after sitting through that torture session, no excuse for how bad that flick was. None.

    • Idiotkiller

      Your brain is concentrated goatpiss. Thats also a problem with the movie. Having to cater to audiences like you.

      • jimmyz

        Goatpiss really i think you might be drinking goatpiss.

    • Ashley P

      Btw… Man Of Steel has been in the making for over six years… Avengers came later, even if it aired before this movie. Therefore… no ripoff. Of course, the idea floating around that Marvel is going to do a Thanos avengers movie b/c they are afraid of DC doing a justice league with Darkseid in it (Marvel ripped off Darkseid and called him Thanos fyi), is the real rip off

      • jimmyz

        Love it you know your shit….

    • Dave Fontana

      Definitely agree with you. I was so disappointed after seeing this movie. Not just because it ripped off other movies, it was not enjoyable either. Even the big action scenes weren’t that impressive. How many times can you throw a guy through buildings before you realize that it’s not going to hurt him?! Plus, Michael Shannon was awful as General Zod. The only person I actually liked was Kevin Costner, who was on screen for approximately 4 minutes.

      Anyone who ruthlessly defends this movie is just a fanboy. They have to like it either because it’s Superman, or because it has Christopher Nolan’s name attached to it. Open your eyes people! I try to watch every movie with a fresh, unbiased perspective, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

      • kokglock

        What does Nolan have to do with anything? He wasn’t even the director. I for one never really cared about Superman and enjoyed this movie, so that rules out your childish assumption about fan boys.

        • Dave Fontana

          He was the producer, and he had significant creative input on the project. He also wrote the original story. And go watch the movie again. It really was not that great. It had terrible timing, a lot of bad acting, and was too over-the-the top. Such a disappointment.

      • Randomcomment

        ” I try to watch every movie with a fresh, unbiased perspective, but ” but you watched it with bias and came here with an opinion based on ur douchy biased ass

        • Dave Fontana

          Hmmm I don’t think you understand what a “bias” is. I approached this movie with an open state of mind, and I tried to enjoy it, but ultimately I did not. Therefore I was unbiased. Learn your proper definitions before making a response next time.

          • Randomcomment

            Im sorry but considering that you didnt give any reasons pointing out exactly why you didnt like it made you look very biased indeed like many other people that couldnt stand how unfunny or not donner like it was and you are not out of this odd dumb crowd.

          • Dave Fontana

            The big action scenes were too excessive, and I was not impressed by them because they looked too fake. I did not care about anyone, because the story did not allow the characters to become actual well-rounded, believable people. Michael Shannon was awful as General Zod. There. Ya happy?

          • Randomcomment

            Action scenes fake? Fake? No dude…for it to look fake it would have to be with low quality cgi and lets be real here…this cgi was better than any of the past special effects from any movie of the last decade…if thats your argument then dont forget to say that the avengers looked fake and gay and also had excessive action and distruction and lets not even talk about transforners which was distruction for all of it movies especially the 3rd dor beggining to end

          • Dave Fontana

            I like the scenes between Clark and his parents, but there wasn’t nearly enough of them. Showing his entire childhood in flashbacks was a poor idea. I wanted more expansion of him as a kid, showing him growing up and dealing with his newly-learned powers. We get maybe three flashbacks, with a few lame conversations between Clark and his Dad, all which revolve around the idea that “you were meant for great things.” Like we haven’t seen this cliche in every superhero movie already.

            And then, after spending a lot of time saying absolutely nothing, Clark goes to the fortress of solitude, and not one minute after deciding to become Superman, he is forced to face General Zod. And not one minute after Zod comes down, the entire movie is just overloaded with building-smashing, explosions, punching, and blurry people flying through the air.

            The thing is, I like action movies. But only if there is a purpose behind it, if I actually like these characters. That’s why I love The Avengers. Each of them has their own background story, and each of them had well-developed personalities and quirks. If you don’t have at least some of this, then you just have Transformers, or Battleship, or Battle of Los Angeles. All of these movies fail, because there is all action and absolutely no story. Man of Steel may be one step above that. But look back: there is no humor, no real fun moments other than mindless action. It had no heart, and the romantic relationship between Superman and Lois Lane was completely lacking. And when we are thrown into the action, all that I am thinking is that I really don’t care what happens, because I don’t have any actual connection to the characters.

            And how could you possibly say that Zod is a well-developed villain?! Every dialogue between him and Superman went something like this:- Zod: “I’m a Kryptonian, and my devotion is to my people.” Superman’s response: “Well I am going to stop you, because my devotion is to the humans.” I could have seen it in any average, poorly written Michael Bay big-budget production.

            Really, I don’t see how people could have such polarizing opinions of this movie. Sure, it was at least somewhat enjoyable. But I would never call it a masterpiece. The Dark Knight, the original Superman, even The Avengers; those are masterpieces. Action movies that also have a heart. Movies you actually feel SOMETHING for. That’s what I was hoping Man of Steel was. And it failed on every level.

          • Randomcomment

            Wait wait….3 flashbacks? Really??? Ok dude is hard to take you seriously when to that you add up that they’re conversations were lame and about being great….wow are we talking about the same movie? The conversations where about hidi hiding his abilities and not about greatness at all!!! And even if it was about that they wouldnt be rehashed at all!!! Yet you wanted more flashbacks smh…The thing is you like action movies but only when superman is not involved in them and when they dont last more than 20mins…yeah I see. No heart? No heart??? Is it odd that you said that exactly after that you mentioned lois and clarks relationship???? Wow. Wow wow…you are just biased after being conditioned for 5 movies about what a superman movie should be and they were all rooted on the 70s and 80s. and your perceptions of it on nostalgia. Avengers didnt have heart…it had laughs. You are telling me your heart is so cold as kot feel anything everytime clark was bullied, suffered a loss like his dad….which was so horrible and sad and everytime he got badly beated up by the bad guys? Not even at the end when he finished zod? And he cried and screamed in pain? Not even when johnathan kent saw little clark with the cape? ( I admit ali cried a bit in that scene). This movie wasnt a campy fest or a joke filled movie…this movie had heart and it wasnt in the romance….the heart was in the father and son relationship of clark with his two dads and with his mom and it was beautiful. The destruction was apocaliptic as it would be expected in reality and the spectacle was dazzling. The end introduced clark kent with the glasses…..then….was just the beginning of the story and the destruction and everything else that happened will have repercutions in the next mo ie. This was and is a masterpie e in its own right. Good day, sir.

          • Dave Fontana

            I really do feel that we watched a different movie. The strange thing is, I know other people who feel the same as you. And I also know a lot that feel the same as me. I’ve never seen a movie with such polarizing views before.

            But when I look back on the movie and on the scenes that you mentioned, I still that they just threw those scenes in there with Clark and his parents, and because of that, I didn’t feel anything. And no, it’s not nostalgia from the early Superman movies, because to be honest some of those are outdated now. That’s why I had such high hopes for this one. And maybe my expectations were too high, but regardless, I left the theater disappointed. I felt that the action scenes were so excessive that they overshadowed any shred of story or connections between the characters.

            To each his own, though. It’s clear that we are not going to come to an agreement on this. Have a good one.

          • Randomcomment

            You did not care about anyone because you are biased as hell. Your brain was expecting sobbing drama like either donner’s or superman returns version and you didnt get that. You also seem to be saying that there was no character development and hence no depth to any of them and hence a total disconnection, which is false given the plenty but not solely focus of character emotional moments. Evry time we had the kents we had heart and every koment we had Kal we felt pitty and every moment he had the military we had concern and seriousness and evry time we had kryptonians we had the mythological roots and all of the majn characters had real and strong motivations for what they did. You are telling me you never felt anything for the kents? Not even when johnathan died? Is your heart that cold and hard? Or was the spectacale too much for you to digest that you couldnt appreciate the drama and story? That’s sad, very sad and your iopinion, but not the facts. The movie is a masterpiece and one that bromeground in how unexpectedly serious and grounded it was and how massive and action packed it was which is why people have trouble accepting it and want the older mobies tsk tsk

          • Randomcomment

            Oh and please do tell how shannon was awful as an new interpretation of a bland one dimensional villain from a few decades ago, please do tell. He interpreted a fully formed character that was a military man concerned with the survival of his species no matter what and he enbodied that perfectly, he was totally simpathetic and not one dumbass one dimensional bad guy……smh

    • Randomcomment

      Please do explain where exactly was anything remotely ripped off. Another thing, the fact that alien invasion or aliens of any type is not a “new” idea does not make in any way the movies that came after ripp offs in any way unless you can point out exactly what and where and how, but since you are too enraged to think logically and objectively, then you sir have passed as a douche and nothing more.

  • Ben Ohmart

    Wow, the reason I’m not going to watch it didn’t make the top 5! I can’t stand handheld camera movies.

  • Stephen Spencer

    I think the two big reasons are one: People image of Superman….holding onto a lighter era.
    two: The vast amount of story and action contained within 2.5 hours. For me it was totally awesome…..but I think these are the two main factors

  • jimmyz

    Best Superman movie ever.. Period hands down. And yes i was young but I saw the original Superman in theaters. Different eras great movie.

    • WoWed

      to be honest, that’s not really hard to do. I know there is insane love for the Reeves versions, but those are some terrible movies full of bad acting and plot holes.

  • kokglock

    My brother and I just saw the movie yesterday and enjoyed all of it. I was so glad that it didn’t follow the generic story of following Clark throughout his early life and onward, but rather through short flashbacks. I was also glad that there weren’t cheesy one-liners running rampant and that action was amazing. I defiantly can’t wait for the sequels and what they have in-store for us.

    • Dave Fontana

      There weren’t cheesy one-liners? The entire movie was one string of cheesy, cliched good-guy bad-guy lines. Michael Shannon’s performance is worthy of a Razzie.
      Plus, the timing of Man of Steel was really off. There were so many awkward transitions, and no real balance between sentiment and action. Sure, it’s a superhero movie. But I want to actually know SOMETHING about the characters I am seeing. Otherwise, I don’t care who lives or who dies. Really, just a disappointing movie.

    • Dave Fontana

      There weren’t cheesy one-liners? The entire movie was one string of cheesy, cliched good-guy bad-guy lines. Michael Shannon’s performance is worthy of a Razzie.
      Plus, the timing of Man of Steel was really off. There were so many awkward transitions, and no real balance between sentiment and action. Sure, it’s a superhero movie. But I want to actually know SOMETHING about the characters I am seeing. Otherwise, I don’t care who lives or who dies. Really, just a disappointing movie.

      • kokglock

        I would really like you to explain how the movie was full of cheesy one-liners.

        • Dave Fontana

          Every dialogue spoken between Superman and General Zod was so ridden with superhero vs. bad guy cliches that I couldn’t stop laughing. At one point, General Zod says “I am going to destroy all the humans.” And Superman says “Well, I am going to stop you!” That’s about as cheesy as you can get. Come on, is that really the best these people can come up with?!

          • Gabe

            Yes and the Avengers didn’t have any cheesy dialogue. The entire movie was one-liners, but ever since Avengers, marvel fanboys have been trashing DC movies.

          • Dave Fontana

            The difference is, The Avengers was meant to be more of a light-hearted, fun movie, and the one-liners were intentionally funny. But Man of Steel was supposed o be more of a serious, gritty superhero movie. So, by having the characters speak such cliched and cheesy dialogue, it reduced the movie’s quality instead.

      • Randomcomment

        Yes please do explain where and which are the clichéd and cheesy lines…NAME them…you can’t? Go figure, you are just an asshole.

  • Glides

    The thing that ticked me off was how Superman didn’t really try to help anyone…he literally let millions of people die so he could fight Zod.
    Despite that, it’s still a pretty dang awesome film, even though it’s inconsistent as hell. So it’s like this year’s “Dark Knight Rises” then.

    • Block

      Millions is little bit too high. But let’s be as realistic as we can be when talking about Superman. People in the thousands are going to die when there is a machine literally changing the landscape and atmosphere right in front of people. While this is happening, Superman isn’t just sitting and waiting, he is actively attempting to shut the machine down, which makes him weaker around it due to the small area around the machine that is already changing to Krypton’s atmosphere. When 2 super powered behemoths clash, there is going to be collateral damage.

  • Kamille

    I haven’t seen the movie yet but I see it has already gathered a legion of haters. For the record, I thought The Avengers was pure mindless garbage for the masses… It’s MoS the same or what?

    • Randomcomment

      NO. MoS is very smart, grounded and very very epic. There is story and character emotional moments, the thing is that people can’t handle the 3rd act which is loaded with the most impressive and fast fights we’ve ever seen and there are still some flashbacks that give much emotion and character development. People weren’t ready for this much action from Superman, that is all, it was beautiful.

  • Mark

    So sick of idiots claiming it had no story, you’re either some bitter idiot with misplaced nostalgia for the shitty Reeve’s movies or just a moron.

    • Robert Sheppard

      so im not the only one that thought those Reeve’s movies were shitty. i recently watched them again because the played all 3 of them on cinamax or something and they are just laughable, and not in a good way. Man of Steel is literally the best superman movie, even though that in itself is not saying much. with that said i f’en love this movie. it had character development i don’t care what anybody says. Superman is very capable of killing he has done it in the comics. also people need to stop thinking that superman is perfect because he’s not. i think most people only know superman through those shitty movies thus think that’s how he’s suppose to be. read a few comics and maybe you’ll get the picture.

      • WoWed

        It isn’t even like he brushed off the fact that he killed someone. it got to him. If superman had just killed someone and said a cheesy one liner, then i could see the outrage.

  • Rob Lambeth

    Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. For me at least, it suffered from too much non-stop action. Maybe I’m getting old, maybe I’ve already seen that type of thing too many times. The action sequence at the end just went on and on and on, it got tiresome. Kind of the same as I felt for The Avengers. It’s like the script just ends with INSERT 30-45 MINUTES OF CGI DESTRUCTION. Those types of movies just don’t do it for me anymore.

    • Darrius

      If that is the case then, yes you are getting old.

    • Randomcomment

      Congrats…you’re becoming a old fart lol jk

    • Toki Nakamura

      nah…. it’s the movie industry that’s getting old and tired with the same formula over and over again with terrible storytelling

  • mandawg

    This is why I, personally, didn’t care for it: the first act was extremely unfocused, I couldn’t connect with ANY of the characters (Amy Adams, whom I usually love, annoyed me the entire time, as did the normally excellent Michael Shannon) and the fight scenes dragged. The last point is something I’ve heard people who liked the movie admit to as well.

  • Darrius

    This is how I see it.

    In their attempts to make the movie their own the writers often seem to have some sort of compulsion to change something that redefines the character. The movies that we all hail as classics are the ones that get closest to comic book depiction of the character.

    The positive reactions come from the high productions values and great action sequences in the end. I read an article the other day where Snyder said the Man of Steel was an alien first-contact story. I think that this is the cause of the negative reactions to the film.

    MoS goes out of the way to tell us that Superman is not one of us, that he is an an outcast, that humanity doesn’t accept him. The problem is that that isn’t true. Superman is one us. By “us” I mean earthlings and Americans. We have adopted him. MoS tries to convey the idea that people will freak-out at the notion of us being threatened by aliens. But the mythology of Superman is just the opposite. We don’t freak-out over aliens who threaten us because we know Superman is gonna kick their ass.

    Superman is the Big Boy Scout. He stands for truth, justice, and the American way. Now all of a sudden a movie tries to convince us that the people won’t accept him. It’s not surprising that some people claim that it isn’t Superman.

    But that idea permeates the entire movie. It also results in some not-so-small changes to the character.

    1) Lois Lane has no relationship with the Clark Kent alter ego. That takes the magic out their love story and transforms it into something different. That will have ramifications for any sequel that they do. But for now IT TAKES THE MAGIC OUT OF THEIR LOVE STORY. People like magic.

    By the way, he also didn’t save her, which is a deviation from their character as well.

    2) Superman watched his father die. WTF? No one watches their mother or father, who actually loved and raised them, die when they have the power to save them. He watched his father die because his father didn’t want the world to reject him. That is fantastically ridiculous. No person would do that, least of all Superman. What good is it to be Superman, if you have to watch your loved ones die?

    3) Superman didn’t go patrolling for people to save. If he was around when someone needed saving, he would save them, but he didn’t patrol for people to save, and such didn’t become a hero of the people. Perry White DIDN’T run the story about Superman.

    These changes make MoS, far from the comic Superman, too far for the audience at large. MoS is further from the comic Superman than The Dark Knight is from comic Batman, or Iron Man is from comic Iron Man.

    That’s why so many people didn’t like it. It actually is about a different character.

    • Randomcomment

      “The movies that we all hail as classics are the ones that get closest to comic book depiction of the character.” Bullshit. BatmaBegins and TDK stray from the original comics in was that you seem to ignore…Batman is not the detective he IS supposed to be, his origins are changed greatly and the villians are also stripped away of their origins and many other things from the comics.

      “The positive reactions come from the high productions values and great action sequences in the end. I read an article the other day where Snyder said the Man of Steel was an alien first-contact story. I think that this is the cause of the negative reactions to the film.” Look I don’t want to offend you but wtf are you smoking? you on drugs, go read peoples comments again. It’s the other way around, people (old farts) can’t stand all the action and want more funny moments and Christopher reeves nostalgia.

      “MoS tries to convey the idea that people will freak-out at the notion of us being threatened by aliens. But the mythology of Superman is just the opposite. We don’t freak-out over aliens who threaten us because we know Superman is gonna kick their ass.” Superman doesn’t exist in this movie!!!!! NObody knows what or who superman is!!! you know what? how old are you kid? I’m not going to continue to answer anything because your mind is just backwards. Good day sir

      • Darrius

        “MoS tries to convey the idea that people will freak-out at the notion of us being threatened by aliens. But the mythology of Superman is just the opposite. We don’t freak-out over aliens who threaten us because we know Superman is gonna kick their ass.” Superman doesn’t exist in this movie!!!!! NObody knows what or who superman is!!! you know what? how old are you kid? I’m not going to continue to answer anything because your mind is just backwards. Good day sir (emphasis added)

        What was that you said???

        Oh that’s right, you said…

        Superman doesn’t exist in this movie!!!!!

        That’s the whole point, genius. Superman doesn’t exist in the movie.

        While you were quoting me you missed the part where I said…

        That’s why so many people didn’t like it. It actually is about a different character.

        The character in the screen behaves differently from the Superman that we know. That doesn’t make the movie bad, but it can hurt the future movies in the current arc if they don’t address it carefully. The behavioral differences shown in MoS aren’t franchise breaking like Lois’ baby in Superman Returns, but they do have to be handled well in the future. Although it will be difficult to overcome him watching is father die, it can be ignored though. In reality, something like that would probably lead to psychological problems that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

        All movies have to change slightly simply because they don’t have the amount of time with the audience that comic books have. But some changes work better than others. And some changes are gross violations, while others are not. Giving Catwoman this mystic connection with cats was a gross violation, within a trainwreck of a movie. Having Toby McGuire’s Spider-Man make natural webs was much easier to accept.

        TDK was closer to the actual characters than B.Begins or TDKR, hence it was easier to tell a compelling story, hence it was better.

      • Darrius

        “MoS tries to convey the idea that people will freak-out at the notion of us being threatened by aliens. But the mythology of Superman is just the opposite. We don’t freak-out over aliens who threaten us because we know Superman is gonna kick their ass.” Superman doesn’t exist in this movie!!!!! NObody knows what or who superman is!!! you know what? how old are you kid? I’m not going to continue to answer anything because your mind is just backwards. Good day sir (emphasis added)

        What was that you said???

        Oh that’s right, you said…

        Superman doesn’t exist in this movie!!!!!

        That’s the whole point, genius. Superman doesn’t exist in the movie.

        While you were quoting me you missed the part where I said…

        That’s why so many people didn’t like it. It actually is about a different character.

        The character in the screen behaves differently from the Superman that we know. That doesn’t make the movie bad, but it can hurt the future movies in the current arc if they don’t address it carefully. The behavioral differences shown in MoS aren’t franchise breaking like Lois’ baby in Superman Returns, but they do have to be handled well in the future. Although it will be difficult to overcome him watching is father die, it can be ignored though. In reality, something like that would probably lead to psychological problems that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

        All movies have to change slightly simply because they don’t have the amount of time with the audience that comic books have. But some changes work better than others. And some changes are gross violations, while others are not. Giving Catwoman this mystic connection with cats was a gross violation, within a trainwreck of a movie. Having Toby McGuire’s Spider-Man make natural webs was much easier to accept.

        TDK was closer to the actual characters than B.Begins or TDKR, hence it was easier to tell a compelling story, hence it was better.

        • Randomcomment

          A different character than superman? Im sorry are we talking ahout the same movie? Supermarket is clrak kent and clark kent is kal el of krypton and the movie is about clark kent knowing about his kal el identity and Starting to grow into the character of superman…by the end the poor guy is more hurt but more sure of himself in the world and has a tag name (superman) ) he is still not a superhero in the eyes of the people of metropolis and that will be played into the next movie and hopefully they will use lex as a political power to go against the image of superman. What funny and franchise breaking about lois baby is that in superman II lois and superman have sex after clark loses his powers…not very supermanly if you ask me lol. There where more than enough flashbacks and if there where more people would have ague against it too even if they were the begining of the movie…peolle would cry and bitch even more that the beginning of the movie was to slow and the end to action packed…smh . Oh and about funny moments jomes anr such …people would have said that it was trying to be too funny like margel and the romance thing is for the ne t movie…this movie wasnt aboutblios and clark…it was about clark and his loneoy journey to find his place in this world and thats what the movie was and the fights were massive and destru tve because the beings were massive and destructive and clrak needed to deal with them even with all his insecurities in his own abilities…goes to show that they took the concept of an alien with superpowers from krypton seriously and with all its concecuences….all of them and shannon acted nicely into his role and spoke with many other character acters besides clark and about stff more interesting than what your purposefully neglected to mention. The movie is a masterpiece concercing a lonely powerful being on this world and the massive menace he had to fiht against…even if we didnt expexlct the massiveness of the action and it was hard to dugest at first….it is in its own right….a masterpiece, sir.

        • Randomcomment

          A different character than superman? Im sorry are we talking ahout the same movie? Supermarket is clrak kent and clark kent is kal el of krypton and the movie is about clark kent knowing about his kal el identity and Starting to grow into the character of superman…by the end the poor guy is more hurt but more sure of himself in the world and has a tag name (superman) ) he is still not a superhero in the eyes of the people of metropolis and that will be played into the next movie and hopefully they will use lex as a political power to go against the image of superman. What funny and franchise breaking about lois baby is that in superman II lois and superman have sex after clark loses his powers…not very supermanly if you ask me lol. There where more than enough flashbacks and if there where more people would have ague against it too even if they were the begining of the movie…peolle would cry and bitch even more that the beginning of the movie was to slow and the end to action packed…smh . Oh and about funny moments jomes anr such …people would have said that it was trying to be too funny like margel and the romance thing is for the ne t movie…this movie wasnt aboutblios and clark…it was about clark and his loneoy journey to find his place in this world and thats what the movie was and the fights were massive and destru tve because the beings were massive and destructive and clrak needed to deal with them even with all his insecurities in his own abilities…goes to show that they took the concept of an alien with superpowers from krypton seriously and with all its concecuences….all of them and shannon acted nicely into his role and spoke with many other character acters besides clark and about stff more interesting than what your purposefully neglected to mention. The movie is a masterpiece concercing a lonely powerful being on this world and the massive menace he had to fiht against…even if we didnt expexlct the massiveness of the action and it was hard to dugest at first….it is in its own right….a masterpiece, sir.

        • Randomcomment

          Let me add that just like bruce wayne tries to be batman in batman begins…he still doesnt get there by the end, but he is closer…batman begins is not about batman as its sequels arent either especially tdkr…they are about bruce wayne and just like clark puttng on the costume doesnt make the transformation to superman complete, so does the same thing happen with bruce in bb…he puts the suit on but he still not there..he still isn kot the batman we know and love and some would argue that he never was…given that he never was very smart, nor a very good detective, nor did fight like the expert he’s supposed to be….so in a way or in the exact same way…this movie is …..Superman Begins.

          • Darren Hood

            Actually Bruce is Batman by film’s end. That was the whole point of waiting till the end credits to reveal the film’s title when Batman jumps off the roof of Police HQ and glides down and across the camera that is Nolan telling you Batman is officially here and on the case.

      • Darren Hood

        He is too a detective, he found clues (the rabbits with drugs) and follows leads (the cops who told him where they were delivering the rabbits) In Dark Knight his computer programs reconstructed bullets fired into a wall. If that isnt detective work I dont know what is. His origins are more true to the comic than the original 1989 film where Joker killed Thomas and Martha. The only thing different was Bruce being scared of the bat creature in the play and wanting to go outside, they chose an alleyway unfortunately. However unlike Man of Steel this shapes Bruce as a character we learn that he punishes himself he honestly believes it was he who caused their deaths. It was that guilt that drives him to be Batman. Putting on the suit of the creature that scared him and in effect took away his innocence is a way of coping with that. That was wonderful characterization. There was none of that in Man of Steel, he never felt guilty for letting Jonathan die. He grieved but in his mind he knew it was right not to expose himself.

  • N8

    The problem with this movie is that Zack Snyder doesn’t understand drama. Thishas all the right pieces but puts it together in the wrong order. Batman Begins knew which elements of character and conflict to develope when, while this film had great ideas that were never fully delved into, it wasn’t that this was a darker tone that made it not reach it’s full potential it’s that the story lacked the character development to get us onboard. If you want a Superman that perfectly understands the character and reboots him for a new generation read the comic Birthright”

    • Randomcomment

      I stopped reading after you said this: “The problem with this movie is that Zack Snyder doesn’t understand drama” Go watch Watchmen…smh

  • Gavin Martin

    The death of Jonathan Kent and Cal snapping Zod’s neck were two of my favourite moments. The former (along with Costner’s “you are my son”) damn near brought me to tears. But I get why the effectiveness of some scenes depends a lot on what Superman means to you, and how happy you are to see things shaken up a bit. Sequel, please!

  • Action Figure Planet

    Cool article! If I may share, I did something like this too.

    http://actionfigureplanet.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-were-they-smoking-my-reaction-to.html

    Those who hate MOS just don’t understand what the movie was all about.

    • Judge Dreadd

      HAHAHAHA.. Innocent times compared to today? I stopped reading there. It was the late 70s, near the height if the cold war, crime was rampant in every major city, murder rates was skyhigh, crack cocaine, oil price spikes and inflation was destroying economies all over the world.

  • P. Whyte

    Interesting how instead of this being an unbiased article about why the film is devisive, it is instead a feeble attempt for the writer to inject his opinion as to why the film is great and those whose do not like the film are clinging to their own superficial ideas about what it should be. While I myself enjoyed the film I will say that it is deeply flawed. It misses the point in several areas however it was still enjoyable. What I am expressing is an honest opinion and not insulting those whom did not like it. I do not feel the need to say that you have a set idea of how superman should be and that is why you didn’t like it. It is very possible to make a truly good Superman film, unfortunately Snyder didn’t do it. He missed the point in several areas and that is not the viewers fault.

  • P. Whyte

    Interesting how instead of this being an unbiased article about why the film is devisive, it is instead a feeble attempt for the writer to inject his opinion as to why the film is great and those whose do not like the film are clinging to their own superficial ideas about what it should be. While I myself enjoyed the film I will say that it is deeply flawed. It misses the point in several areas however it was still enjoyable. What I am expressing is an honest opinion and not insulting those whom did not like it. I do not feel the need to say that you have a set idea of how superman should be and that is why you didn’t like it. It is very possible to make a truly good Superman film, unfortunately Snyder didn’t do it. He missed the point in several areas and that is not the viewers fault.

  • Nathan Paul Kennedy

    I think it should be mentioned that for a great many people, unless a movie about Superman stars Christopher Reeve, it’s bad. If you think about it, there have been at least 3 major retellings of the story in between this version and Reeve’s, with Dean Cain, Brandon Routh and Tom Welling all portraying him either on the big screen or TV, yet none of them are referred to as Superman. Any story version of the Last Son of Krypton (Jesus allegory again) will be compared to the late, great Reeves and in some people’s eyes, be found lacking because he’s not in it.

    • Darren Hood

      Christopher Reeve is well known because he was the first to portray Superman as a vulnerable human being, his emotional ties to Lois and the people of the world conflict with his duties to protect them. In short he wants to be one of them but he knows he cannot because Superman is more than just one man he is a symbol, one that the world relies on. His Superman was also willing to save Air FOrce One, and Frisky from a tree, something everyone thinks is corny and outdated. Well if positive thinking and a well balanced do gooder attitude is wrong for the curent times of political corruption, race division, and corporate greed well then I simply do not want to live in a world that thinks a dark and brooding only thinks for himself attitude is necessary. The others Tom Welling (which never EVER was intended to be Superman) and Dean Cain were slight deviations of that same formula and existed on TV with a contained audience. They have their own fans but Reeve will be the quintessential simply because he was the first of the human Supermen and to further add looked, breathed, and acted the role both on and off the screen.

  • Rummy389

    And to me, it’s totally a good thing that this movie is so greatly different from its previous versions. Man of Steel rocked!

  • jp

    Blah blah blah….we know why! Critics wanted a funny love story with Chris Reeve in it. Haters never figured out that Supes was just getting his bearings. Nobody read the danged novelization, which covers all the questions (killing Zod, mass destruction and Lois knowing Kal El’s identity). JEEZUS, PEOPLE!!! What are you, five years old? The dragging out of this supposed “polarization” is just idiocy to feed tabloid mentalities. Let’s see, Nolan’s DK trilogy. No black underwear, Rachel Dawes (who?), he flies, trains with ninjas in the far east, Joker is wearing makeup…nope, ZERO continuity with the comics or with history. Outrage? None. Grow up, all of you, MOS rocked like a hurricane.

  • Al_Lex

    1) Lois Lane completely missed casted. Amy Adams doesn’t remotely model Lois Lanes dark hair and captivating eyes. Her acting wasn’t convincing enough to portrait Lanes Bad Ass Attitude which a key reason to me why this was a terrible Superman film. 2) The Darkness, (Read before you comment) I’m not saying Superman movies can’t be dark and stale. Superman VS The Elite was a really dark movie jam packed with deaths left and right. I enjoyed it, probably one of my favorites. This movies darkness clogged up so much of the plot that it was just too much. Yes the world is ending and yes Supes will save it but when will the darkness end? This isn’t Batman, Superman doesn’t operate in the Dark all the time. He’s supposed to be the light why wasnt there any? 3) Superman is the good hero. In every single battle he tries to find another way. He has God-Like powers and understands that’s he is the symbol of True Heroism. I’m not going to say he would never kill an opponent. In JLU when he gets fed up with Darksied he tries to kill a couple of times. Though this is after he’s been put through so much punishment and being put through a grinder. He tried to find a different way each time before he was fed up. In my opinion the final scene completely ruined it for true Superman fans everywhere completely defacing the original concept and hero that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had in mind as the Ultimate Figure of Heroism.