Note: This post contains spoilers for the movie Man of Steel.
Silverwolf: Hello everyone and welcome to another awesome edition of Objection! This week, Kaushik and I are here to debate one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters and perhaps its most controversial movie, Man of Steel. As per my review from last week, I absolutely loved the film and, while I don’t think it was perfect, it gave me everything I could want in a Superman film.
Kaushik: Hi, I’m Kaushik and I’m here to debate the other side. I wasn’t a huge fan of Man of Steel. There were a few problems I had with it, particularly stemming from uninteresting storytelling. I disliked the flashback method they used to tell Clark’s past, and the journey he took to become the character he would be was not very compelling.
Silverwolf: I admit, at first I wasn’t fond of their method of transitioning to flashbacks, but it grew on me not long into the film. I like that Zach Snyder chose to juxtapose Clark’s rocky past coming to terms with his powers alongside his present where he’s figuring out how best, or even if, he should use his powers to help mankind.
Kaushik: The problem I had is that it felt disjointed and somewhat difficult to follow. You do have a good point in that it did serve to juxtapose his present-time position in the movie well, but I felt like I couldn’t connect as well to his past because of that.
Silverwolf: I can understand your concern. I think the director was attempting a different story-telling format, showing Clark as an adult and flashing back to his childhood rather than tell things linearly Perhaps if they’d edited the film a little differently it may have flowed better, but honestly it didn’t bother me too much by the second flashback. What other issues did you have with the movie?
Kaushik: I admit I’m not as familiar with the beginning of Superman’s tale in terms of comics, so I’m not sure how accurately Man of Steel represented that. I had some small problems with how the beginning of the story was handled. For example, after Zod’s attempted coup of Krypton and Jor-El attempting to persuade the leaders of the impending doom of Krypton, for some reason Krypton decided to have a trial and exile Zod, and then… just wait around for their eventual destruction? For some reason I imagined the circumstances of Kal-El’s departure from Krypton to be under more grave circumstances (like, as the planet was blowing up), so it felt odd that there was a period of time between Kal-El being sent up and Krypton exploding. It felt like the Kryptonians made no effort to escape their fate, even though Kal-El’s mother was still alive and clearly knew the truth of what would happen
Silverwolf: Again, I can understand your concern, but I’m almost sure Jor-El prefaces his discussion with the council by saying something along the lines of “Krypton will soon be doomed. You must allow me to build transports” or something to that effect. I also feel it may have been symbolic: the Kryptonians realized they royally screwed their planet by mining the core, and perhaps felt they deserved to “go down with the ship.” There’s the whole “noble lineage” aspect of Kryptonian culture. Are there any other concerns you had with the film?
Kaushik: Right, I guess that’s just the way the story has to go? I can understand it’s for sake of the plot, since this is based off a source material rather than a totally original concept. The last issue I had was that I couldn’t find myself becoming sympathetic to Clark’s troubles. I think a lot of what I enjoy in super hero movies (particularly Batman and Iron Man) is that these are inherently flawed characters. As a result, I find myself enjoying how they dealt with and eventually overcame those flaws. I didn’t see that as much in Man of Steel, besides some minor identity struggles with Clark coming to terms with being the alien he is.
Silverwolf: The thing is, I feel like that was a huge struggle for Clark. Heck, he had to let his step-father die in order to keep his identity a secret and assimilate, as it were. Clark also had to deal with making a difficult choice at the film’s end, killing Zod and thus cementing his decision to side with his adopted homeland rather than his biological one. That, for me, was a huge struggle and, honestly, I didn’t mind that Superman killed Zod all that much.
Kaushik: I think you have a good point there, actually. I really enjoyed the final scene with Superman killing Zod at the end. It felt like a powerful and emotional moment for him, and was the only moment I really felt empathy for Clark’s character. I guess for me while his struggle culminated in a satisfying way, the ride there didn’t feel as interesting to me.
One thing I really enjoyed in the movie was some of the action scenes. Sometimes it feels like the sheer speed and power and Superman’s flight ability would make creating a well-choreographed action scene difficult, but the movie handled them quite well. Particularly the fight between Superman and Zod’s two lieutenants I felt was particularly awesome.
Silverwolf: Oh, most definitely. The action scenes are, without a doubt, the best in any Superman movie and I might go so far as to say the best in any superhero film to date. I especially liked how Faora’s fighting style was so damn casual, like she had better things to do than curb stomp everyone.
Kaushik: I love how Superman’s cape was used as a weapon against him. I think the biggest thing for me is that you could really feel the power and speed of every one of those blows, and it seemed like the only Superman action scene I’ve seen that really accurately portrayed just how damn powerful he is.
Silverwolf: Agreed. That’s why making Zod the villain was such a great choice. It was someone he could cut loose on. Even though you had a few complaints about the film, overall how would you rate it on our normal scale of 0 to 5?
Kaushik: I would give it a 3. Some of your points opened up my eyes to the movie, but it’s not near my favorite super hero movie. I will say it’s the best Superman movie out there, though.
Silverwolf: All right, that’s fair. Anyway, that’s all the time we have this week! Join us next time for another epic edition of Objection!
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