Review: “Man of Steel”

Man of SteelWhen I first saw the trailer for Man of Steel, I was hooked. I wanted to see Superman beat the shit out of bad guys and leap into flight for the first time. I wanted to see Kevin Costner fill Clark’s head with homespun wisdom that we all know is bullshit. Most of all, I wanted to see Amy Adams nude. Spoiler warning: no such luck. (Curse you for that, Man of Steel!) Yeah, don’t even pretend you weren’t thinking it. Since the trailer looked so good, I had plans to go see it even before the reviews came in.

I’ve been fooled before. I remember the trailer for The Phantom Menace. It looked awesome, yet part of me died when I saw that movie.

So was a lack of Amy Adams’ nudity my only disappointment with Man of Steel? Excellent question. Click the link to find out.

Let’s all give a round of applause to the person who edited the trailer together. He or she is a freaking genius … for making me give a damn about this suck-butt of a movie.

It didn’t make me want to kill myself like the Star Wars prequels, but holy shit-burgers, it was pretty bad.

An Overview (With Spoilers)

Krypton battle sceneThis movie starts on planet Krypton, which is more of a sewer infested swamp like Dagobah, or the state of Delaware, than I would have thought. I was picturing a thriving metropolis like Coruscant. Here’s a puzzler for you: Aren’t these people supposed to be thousands of years more advanced than we are? So why do all the interior shots on Krypton look like people are living in caves? Based on these opening shots, I’m pretty sure everyone here just shits in a bucket without thinking much of it.

After Kal-El is born (I felt nothing … but that’s probably because I have no soul.), Jor-El goes to the Loser Council and begs them to give him control of the codex that contains all Kryptonian DNA. It seems that Kryptonians are all grown in test tubes using something called the codex. You just know the Loser Council will make the wrong call here because they’re wearing ridiculous hats. That’s not just my opinion. That’s science, dammit. Don’t dispute me!

Then Zod breaks in and starts making dull speeches and shoots some old lady in the chesticle region. Her hat falls off, but it survives, so we know that Zod is evil.

He and Jor-El get into an argument that exaggerates the differences in the acting styles of both men. Russell Crowe is emoting, waving his arms, spouting off lines like, “What are you doing, Zod? This is madness!” It’s grandiose stuff. Meanwhile, Zod looks like a man who’s taken a handful of Lunesta and has to keep shouting so he won’t lapse into a coma. Reminds me of my old book study back when I was a Jehovah’s Witness. You know how it feels too if you’ve ever stood in line at the DMV or been to church.

Caville

That special moment when Superman looks over his shoulder and says, “What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”

Soon, we see Jor-El riding away on some winged creature amid a battle with CGI spaceships with lasers and shit. Jor-El goes home, which turns out to be a 40 story building that still looks like a cave on the inside (???) and has to convince Lara to give up Kal-El so they can send him off in a rocket ship to Earth. She’s clearly stalling so Zod can get here and punch little baby Kal-El in the face.

The best part of the Kryptonian shots is the fighting, especially when Zod and Jor-El make with the fisticuffs. Mostly because both men have to stop acting. Hitting is always better than bad acting. Nudity is better than hitting and hot sex is way better than nudity. It’s sort of a hierarchy is what I’m saying.

Note that Jor-El, who has been biologically engineered to be a scientist – not a fighter – has clearly been taking TaeBo classes on the side because he kicks some serious ass. Right up until Zod stabs him dead. Sorry if that revealed too much just then. You know the basic story of Superman, don’t ya kids? Trust me, none of this matters. At all. If you make it this far into the film, you will be completely dead inside.

Caville shirtless

You’re welcome, ladies.

Fast forwarding to the real movie, Zod shows up on Earth 30+ years later demanding that we hand over Kal-El within 24 hours. Superman turns himself over to the human government because he decides to trust humans more than his own people. We screw him, of course, by handing him over.

Then Zod takes Lois Lane up to the ship because … the script said so, maybe? There just doesn’t seem to be any point to this. Maybe Zod wanted to be there in case there was a nudy scene? Yeah, that makes sense.

We soon learn that all the Kryptonians instantly get Superman-powers just by being in our atmosphere, yet persist in maintaining a Kryptonian atmosphere in their own ship because … I can’t think of a good reason for that, either. We clearly see them breathing Earth’s atmosphere later on.

But Superman hasn’t adjusted to their air yet, so he gets sick and passes out on their ship, then has some weird dream about Zod that they didn’t really explain too well.

Don’t get excited, ladies. There’s a bunch of skulls, but nothing homo-erotic.

Amy Adams

Not a three-way. Man, this movie sucks.

Lois has Superman’s memory-crystal thingy, which has Jor-El’s A.I. installed on it (I don’t know how she got it … did I miss something?) and uploads it into the ship’s computer, allowing Jor-El to change the ship’s atmosphere to Earth normal so Superman can bust out of his bonds. You’d think this would leave Supers in pretty much the same predicament since Jor-El not only gave Superman his powers back, but gave a shipful of renegades those same powers, too. But you would be wrong for some reason. Just try to imagine all the plot holes I’ve skipped and you’d be amazed!

Soon, the ass-whipping comes to town as the Kryptonians fight Superman right here on Earth. That’s one way to maximize the casualties, I guess. Wait, this is Superman’s chance to shine and finally kick some Kryptonian faces in. Only Superman is more crying and sad than he is a bad ass in this flick. Even the girl Kryptonian pretty much kicks his ass at every turn. Snicker. Ow! Please stop hitting me, ladies!

Eventually, the Kryptonians learn that Kal-El somehow contains the codex they’ve been searching for in his very cells. Realizing this, they “Unleash the world engine!” (Clash of the Titans, anyone? “Release the Kraken!“) This machine can terraform Earth into a planet with the same gravity and atmosphere as good old Krypton. Does anyone else remember that Kryptonians can live on Earth just fine as it is and that our normal atmosphere gives them superpowers? Why not leave it as it is and live as gods, instead? Yeah. I think Zod might be stupid.

A bunch of government egg heads rig up the ship that brought Superman to Earth so it can somehow send Zod and his evil minions away from here … or something. Can’t they just come back? I’m not sure about this part, really. I don’t think you’re supposed to care. I sure didn’t.

Finally, Zod gives some more speeches and Superman kills him and stuff. Yawn. Oh, and Superman wrecks a multimillion dollar satellite because the military was using it to find out where he “hangs his cape.” Stop spying on us, NSA! I mean, stop spying on Superman, military! Then he gets a job at the Daily Planet. The end. Now give us our money back.

Superman is Jesus

Jesus is Superman

I admit that Superman punches a lot more people in the face than Jesus probably did.

In case you didn’t know, Superman is Jesus. He didn’t start out that way. The guys who created the character were Jewish and more or less imbued Superman with golem-like powers. Those powers got bigger and better as the character was slowly stolen by Jesus-loving Christians. Anyway, Superman is Jesus. Don’t believe me? Let’s see what you think after this.

Like Jesus, Superman can hear our cries for help and can save us from harm. Like Jesus, Superman was sent here by his dad. Like Jesus, Superman (on TV and in the movies at least) is part of a trinity. There’s Jor-El, his father. There’s Jor-El’s holographic A.I., the holy spirit. And of course, there’s Superman himself, the son.

Superman is treated with a lot of disrespect by stupid humans and even attacked by those he means to save, just like Jesus. Both can see through solid objects. You can’t hide from Jesus or from Superman. (I grant that Jesus probably isn’t hindered by lead. Or is he? Hmm… Remember to line your bedroom ceilings with lead if you don’t want an audience, kids.)

Jesus watching youBoth Jesus and Superman died and came back to life. (Anyone remember Doomsday?) And both were raised in poor neighborhoods by poor parents. In the movie, Superman chooses humanity over his own kind, just as Jesus, in a sense, chose humanity over his own kind, the angels. (Some Christians believe that humans are God’s favorite creations and that Satan rebelled out of jealousy because he wasn’t dad’s favorite anymore.) Note that Superman was 33 in this movie, right around Jesus’ age in the Bible.

Zod is Satan

General Zod

Word to your mother.

Some of you may already know that Superman has been twisted into a Jesus metaphor, so here’s something you probably didn’t know. Zod is Satan. Well, in this movie he is anyway. He might also have a touch of the anti-Christ going on as well. Here are some details to think about.

Zod shows up in an attempted coup of the Loser Council. Similarly, Satan wanted to take God’s place as master of everything and led an insurrection of angels against God’s authoritah in Heaven. Both Satan and Zod failed and were exiled for it. As Zod says, “You won’t kill us yourself! … But you’ll damn us to a black hole for eternity!” That’s right. The Loser Council damned them to a black hole … kinda like some interpretations of Hell, which is seen by some as a cold place of no light that’s been cut off from God’s love instead of a fiery pit.

Both Satan and Zod threaten to destroy mankind, forcing the hero in both stories to save us at great cost to themselves. Zod also tempts Superman to betray us by asking him to help restore the Kryptonian race (which would lead to the destruction of humanity) just as Satan tempted Jesus by offering him mastery of the world without being crucified. Then the Supes and Zod have an Armageddon-like showdown leading to the inevitable death of the baddy. That’s Zod, in case you weren’t paying attention. I suppose the widespread destruction caused by that battle and the world engine could be likened to Armageddon as well, but unlike the Watchtower version of Armageddon, this one was brought on by Zod/Satan instead of Jesus.

Personally, I find these comparisons way more interesting than the movie itself. Your mileage may vary.

Evolution always wins

Stupid atheists! Wait. That’s us!

Here’s something else worth thinking about. There’s a somewhat infamous line in the movie, something like “evolution always wins!” I’d like to think the creators of the film weren’t smart enough to realize how this might be taken. But then, they did make this film.

This line was spoken by one of Zod’s soldiers at a time when she was fighting Superman. Remember, Superman is Jesus. Zod is Satan. And this woman is on Zod’s side.

Get it?

Lots of (overly religious) people associate evolution with all sorts of bad things, ranging from the supposed arrogance of science and even eugenics. For fundamentalists, this often includes the most heinous of all people: atheists, like me. [Shiver!]

So if Superman is Jesus, Zod is Satan, and this woman – an “evolutionist” – is fighting on the same side as Zod, who is against Jesus… Hmm. I wonder which side we atheists are on in this metapor? It would seem to leave little doubt which side evolution falls on. Assuming the writers knew what they were doing when they wrote that line, of course.

As I said, I hope the creators of Man of Steel are too stupid to have deliberately put this in the movie. But this isn’t an outrageous interpretation given the subject matter, either.

The Verdict

Rent this movie. You’ll hate yourself a lot less if you do. Maybe Superman VS Batman will be better. But don’t hold your breath. Here are some other reviews you mike like as well.

Man of Steel sucked

Movie Review – Man of Steel

I wanted to love this movie.
If you’ve been following my Twitter, you know that. I was so ready to fall in love with Man of Steel, I almost asked it to marry me. Of course, before the wedding, you have to buy the ring, and I bought mine, only to find out the diamonds were fake.

Favorable Video Reviews

This guy liked the movie. Try not to judge him too harshly.

These dweebs also liked it.

OK, someone may need to hit this guy. He’s way too happy about this flick.

Unfavorable Video Reviews

I’m with the fat guy.

Steve Shives has a lot of good atheist videos. Despite the fact that he actually liked Superman Returns (???) he did not like this movie.

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah's Witness turned secular humanist. He's a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.
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