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Man of Steel (2013): A Misunderstood, Flawed Film

Nick Kush

A current college student, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016. As a film critic, he offers no nonsense reviews that are meant to educate as well as entertain. He fell in love with film after first seeing Forrest Gump and has been hooked ever since.

30 Responses

  1. Good review! My boyfriend loved loved LOVED this movie. He is one of the biggest Superman buffs I know. He thought it followed the comics really well (with the exception of a few creative changes) and that is really important to him. I really enjoyed it as well. I don’t love Superman as much as him. I’m more Batman but I still thought that this was a great start. Henry Cavill played Superman really well.

    • Nick Kush says:

      Thanks so much! I think this film is definitely better than people give it credit for!

  2. Chris Scott says:

    I generally don’t like Superman as a character. I find him intensely boring and much of this is due to him being basically a god on Earth. The only times I’ve felt a connection to him was in Superman II when he is pitted against enemies that are just as strong but he beats them by drawing on his human side. Man of Steel brought a lot of this feeling to the table for me. Yes, the final act is absurd and overkill, but also think that it might be the most realistic representation of super heroes battling. If he stops and retreats, Zod wins and destroys humanity and so, sometimes there will be collateral damage. Anyway, I don’t love the film but I like it, even if it craps on the core of the character a bit… personally I find him more interesting here.

    • Nick Kush says:

      I’d agree with that. I feel as if Snyder and Goyer just don’t really know how to write him as a character, leaving his god-like abilities to do the talking. He definitely has some nice character beats, but he’s unable to be charismatic

    • I didn’t mind the collateral damage as much as Superman apparently not making any attempt to mitigate it. That’s a standard trick in super-hero stories — the villains can count on the hero having to divide his attention between them and their victims — and it would have demonstrated that Superman’s more than just his powers. It felt like Snyder just decided “it’s a summer blockbuster, shit should blow up!” and didn’t put any more thought into it.

  3. I thought the first half of the movie was better than the second. I agree that it was a bit disjointed (an even worse problem with BvS). In spite of some critics, I don’t have a problem with the lead actor, but I think more care should have been given by the director to the delivery of certain lines.

    • Nick Kush says:

      I think Henry Cavill is a solid actor that doesn’t get enough to do. He showed in The Man From UNCLE that he’s very charismatic

  4. Jay says:

    Wow, you needed to continue both sections, that’s awesome!

  5. raistlin0903 says:

    The first time I saw Man of Steel I absolutely hated it, but the second time I appreciated it more, and it grew on me. As you say it is a fine movie. Nothing more, nothing less. The overkill at the end of the movie I could have fine without though, and if they had handled that differently it moght have been a better movie. Great post as always 😊

    • Nick Kush says:

      Thanks so much! I definitely feel like if they showed Supes saving dozens of people that many more would like it. However, as constructed it feels like a terrorist event

  6. ghostof82 says:

    Sorry, but no, MOS really hasn’t improved with time. A shorter, less po-faced directors cut would be an improvement.

    • Nick Kush says:

      That’s your opinion and you should stick to it! I totally understand that sentiment. It’s not the Superman film you’d expect.

  7. I think we can all agree that compared to “Superman Returns” (which was a well-intended, but dull tribute to the Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve era of Superman films), Man of Steel definitely takes more chances. It does have some good themes and some nice performances (not to mention that we would all want to like this movie), but it’s ultimately bogged down with one too many bad decisions in plotting. Also, when compared with the utterly-mediocre “Green Lantern” from two years prior (which thankfully isn’t part of this universe), M.O.S. proved that Warner Bros. was trying to move away from its “play-it-safe” attitude with its DC films. Also, check out the “Superhero Rewind” review of this film, since you’ll be shocked at what details are present in the film, but Zack Snyder doesn’t bother to inform the audience about.

    • Total disagreement. Warner Brothers isn’t taking chances at all. They see Batman is their most successful hero so they make a dark, tormented Superman who’s presumably haunted by seeing the death of his father (that also had a strong Spiderman/Uncle Ben feel to it).

      • You are right in a way. I’ve noticed this trend even in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line. It started after 2011’s “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights” when the focus was narrowed to just Superman, Batman & the Justice League. Following 2013’s “Superman Unbound” however, that series became entirely focused on Batman and the Justice League until that streak was finally broken with “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract”. Here’s hoping that the upcoming Wonder Woman film is the true sign that W.B. is finally willing to not handcuff itself to Batman in order to make a competent DC film.

      • Nick Kush says:

        From the early reviews that’s what seems to be the case!

    • Nick Kush says:

      Like I said, there’s a lot of neat scenes that don’t necessarily mix together. It did lead to obvious plot devices to move the film forward.

  8. I enjoyed Man of Steel. It’s flawed but serves as an excellent jumping point for the Snyder Superman. The scene where Superman has to kill Zod is so excruciating…it humanized the character a great deal for me.

  9. Despite a good cast, I didn’t care for it at all. The bits with Pa Kent implying Clark should have let his classmate die rather than risk exposing himself left a particularly sour taste in my mouth. It just doesn’t work for Superman.

    • Nick Kush says:

      I do think it came off as a bit of a shock. Most people have this idealistic view of Superman so that grit just doesn’t work

  10. I enjoyed reading your positive spin on ‘Man of Steel’ and compared to Batman V. Superman it is a masterpiece. Yet, that is not saying much. MoS is not just one terrible movie but two stuck together badly. Here’s ten reasons I hated it so much:

    https://paulraylaight.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/ten-things-i-hate-about-you-1-zack-snyders-man-of-steel/

    • Nick Kush says:

      I’ll have to check it out!

    • I had a very similar view originally when it came to Man Of Steel. I felt there were more negatives than positives. Recently I had heard a few respected critics talk about how this movie was brilliant which made me wonder if i missed something. When I revisited it I saw the movie in different light for some of the decisions Snyder made. It is no where near a perfect film but watching it with fresh eyes definitely helped.

      • Nick Kush says:

        I think it’s such a different film than many expected so they quickly dismiss it altogether before simply weighing the pros and cons

      • It’s not a bad origin story but compared to Batman Begins it doesn’t really hit the lore in the same way. But Batman Begins is my favourite Comic Book movie so maybe I’m biased.

      • Nick Kush says:

        Totally agree with you there. Personally I think Batman Begins is the best origin story for a hero put to screen so when you compare the two its pretty difficult to give Man of Steel much credit lol

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