Man of Steel (Zack Snyder, 2013)

Being what it was and still is, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns had its wits about itself, opting for a continuation of Superman’s legacy following a reasonably long absence – one that mirrored his literal absence from the realm of cinema. The film was a mild success for all intents and purposes, maintaining its divisive reputation among comic and superhero fanatics and remaining a heated topic of conversation as such. In choosing to retell a 75-year-old character’s origins story, the next go-round with the Man of Steel’s mythos made me a skeptic from the get-go, and for good reason. Unfortunately for Mr. Snyder and the powers-that-be, Man of Steel‘s natural inclination to make me hate it stood tall and firm even following my doomed first and hopefully only viewing of it.

In not unashamedly bashing this particular reboot effort, if you’re going to attempt to reinvent the wheel via the glaring alteration of important details, you should do so tastefully. Needless to say, Man of Steel‘s opening Krypton sequences chronicling the doomed planet’s final days kick things off admirably, the ensuing flip-flops between Clark’s past and present remaining steadily lukewarm at their absolute best. Whether its due to a blatant sense of emotional vapidity or my general distaste toward familiar character-driven elements, the narrative as a whole is embarrassingly devoid of character altogether despite it being a game of faces.

From Lois Lane’s forced involvement to Clark Kent’s bizarre if necessary instillation of faith and trust in her, Man of Steel‘s core relationship mechanics are a fucking mess. In the end, everyone – regardless of their initial involvement – is rendered a negligible insect as Superman, Zod and the latter’s lackeys beat the ever-loving piss out of each other, leaving a barren wasteland scarred by wanton chaos in their wake. Put even more plainly, it’s strange for this devoutly moral superhuman to wholly disregard the beliefs he and his father spent two-thirds of the film establishing and standing firmly by, if just to recklessly defeat a foe in an amateurish fashion.

I thoroughly disliked Man of Steel. From Clark Kent’s peculiar honing of his superpowers to an overwhelming coldness projected by its intendedly heartfelt flashbacks and bouts of self-discovery, Snyder’s reboot falls gloriously flat everywhere it counts. Lack of chemistry abound and ignorance through continued chaos and borderline genocide continually plague the production, the performances even proving to be mediocre at best thanks entirely to a cripplingly incompetent script from David S. Goyer. It’s a bit too late to forewarn anyone still on the fence about it, but for those who’ve simply not had the time to frequent the theater as of late, please make sure your next venture isn’t on behalf of Man of Steel.

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