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"Man of Steel" Review - All Frosting, No Cake

Updated on December 25, 2014
All Cape - No Face
All Cape - No Face | Source

"Too Far East is West"

So, fine. I guess I'm in the .0001 percent of the entire world population who was actually bored with "The Man of Steel." I was waiting for Superman, my Superman, and all I got was boring old action.

I was riding that natural high of anticipation standing in line waiting to get into "Man of Steel." I was totally engaged as Jor-El, magnificently portrayed by Russel Crowe, made the wrenching decision to launch his son into the unknown. I was enamored with the on-screen beauty of Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer who played Superman's birth mother. I adored Kevin Costner's portrayal of Superman's earthly father. But somewhere after the first third or so of the movie, writers Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer must have worn themselves out and the story devolved at that point to a cake-less frosting of a movie and a modern day example of that old Chinese proverb "too far east is west." There was a point about five-eighths into the movie (and yes it felt like there were around eight parts) where the narrative stopped and the movie with its the superfluous, redundant explosions, all meant apparently to be exciting I suppose, became an absolute snooze. I yawned. I fidgeted. I took a noisy sip of the Coke-flavored melted ice left in my cup. I looked for the Mentos in my purse. I wondered if anyone called my cellphone while it was silent.

There is a point where excitement on one end of a line and boredom on the other, are bent around in a circle, until they meet. And they met, in my humble opinion in "Man of Steel". Claudia Pwig, movie critic for USA Today and a few other brave writers in that field have gone out on a limb against the mighty Warner Brothers and the little boy/men lobby of movie goers to actually say that the "ka-BOOMs" POWs, and PWAKA-PWOOMs of the comic book world were a tad-bit overly done in "Man of Steel! Pwig made an important observation pointing out the irony of the Superman character, trying to save the world from destruction, participated in destruction beyond comprehension. Brad Brevet, member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, gave the movie a B- in his review at Rope of Silicon and states that "Man of Steel is best when it's at its quietest." I think Roger Ebert would give it a thumbs up, but would agree with Brevet.

Jesus VS General Zod

And if there had been one more reference to Jesus in this movie, I was going to have to choke. Arms outstretched, the ascension up to the heavens - iiiii yiii yii. I sure hope the risen Lord doesn't have to bring down half of a city, killing millions to save us from the General Zods of the Universe. (My husband argues this 2013's Superman Death Toll by all his leaping and bounding and chasing of Zod would have "only been in thousands").

One does have to wonder, though, if there is a connection to Goyer's youth and the obvious symbolism. Wikipedia references a quote attributed to the writer regarding his public school experience: "...a lot kids beat me up, saying that I killed Christ." Well, David, you brought Jesus back to life ten times over in "Man of Steel". If this movie lives on in sequels, as it surely seems destined, can you just assume we all get the symbolism and can move forward?

Pick an Ending, Any Ending

And speaking of "ten times" about having made this into THREE movies right off the bat, saving us, your huddled paying masses, from suffering in seats placed in an upright and locked position for two hours and 15 minutes? Here's a thought for screen writers: pick an ending, any ending and go with it. The last 45 minutes of this movie reminded me of a 6 year-old birthday party for little boys that has gone on way past the time that the sugar (explosions in this case) has kicked in and it has the kids now climbing to the top branches of the front yard trees, swinging from limb to limb, and dropping to the ground until someone ends up calling for an ambulance. It’s really important to know when to end the party.

"Faster Than a Speeding Bullet, More Powerful Than a Locomotive, Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound..."

The good part of the movie was that as I was yawning and planning my "to do" list for the next day, I glanced over at my husband and his eyes actually shone with excitement and I think he even was kind of smiling when Zod and Superman zoomed in and out of three buildings. So it wasn't a TOTAL waste of my time. Next time, though, I "ain't goin'" unless Clark Kent is in a suit in the first scene and a deep voiced announcer opens with "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall building in a single bound," with a cut to a crowd of people shouting, one after another, "Look, up in the air.... It's a bird... It's a plane... No it's Superman!!!"

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    • Billie Kelpin profile imageAUTHOR

      Billie Kelpin 

      6 years ago from Newport Beach

      Crafty, I forgot I wrote that part about the seats, but found it. We have one theater here where the seats are like recliners almost and they ROCK! I love that theater. From the poll, it is obvious that I'm in the minority on this one. I'll have to re-see it and reconsider. Ah, New York. There's an essay I wrote somewhere here on New York as being a gift from my daughter. But hard seats or not, from what I hear about "Gravity" we won't even notice :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. But I love your perspective about movie theater seating. That is a problem for my neck issues. I've even been to an imax theater in NY and didn't think they were all that comfy. Maybe theaters should start thinking about that and upgrade. LOL

    • Billie Kelpin profile imageAUTHOR

      Billie Kelpin 

      6 years ago from Newport Beach

      Hey Reality, Now you HAVE to see just to tell me what you think! Great observation that with each remake the hero becomes less modest, humble, and heroic. As a comic book fan it actually is a "moral imperative" that you see it, if only as a part of your comic cultural experience.

    • RealityTalk profile image


      6 years ago from Planet Earth

      Was it really that bad? I love the super hero movies. I am a comic book fan from way back. I still have over 1000 Marvel comic books individually wrapped in plastic from the early 70s and some from the 60s. I actually have a copy of The Avengers No. 1 from 1963 as well as the Ghost Rider No. 1 and many others.

      I have not gone to see the movie, because Hollywood has done Superman over and over and over. Just like Batman, I assume every time it is redone the super hero will be darker and darker to match today's society and less modest, humble and heroic. I also was waiting for it to appear on NetFlix to watch at home.

      So what do you think? A waste of time?

    • Billie Kelpin profile imageAUTHOR

      Billie Kelpin 

      7 years ago from Newport Beach

      Mike, a little playful review. I did like the cast, but really got bored with the explosions, fire, etc. etc. etc.

    • profile image

      mike olmon 

      7 years ago

      The man of steel was perfectly cast. Oh, to be a guy like that! I think Billie has some good insights.

    • Billie Kelpin profile imageAUTHOR

      Billie Kelpin 

      7 years ago from Newport Beach

      It was good in many parts. I loved Amy Adams and of course, the guy who played Superman is gorgeous and worth the look. The religious reference is honoring and not disrespectful, but the booms and the fires and the explosions actually did get boring. Thanks Phoebe!

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      A lot of people were talking about how religious the movie was... I probably won't even go to it because it sounds terrible.


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