I've tried to keep my thoughts to myself regrading this movie. From online forums to Youtube, all I keep reading is a lot of comments on how terrible this movie is with fans trying to desperately to defend it. I've had a few civil conversation with a some folks about the movie as I tried to cloak my own opinion while I listened to theirs', hoping not to run into any arguments if I dare say the movie was good or bad on any online forums that, respectively, loathed or lauded the film.
The rotten tomatoes score for was movie was awful and I kept on reading mixed reviews for this film. So, when I went to see this movie on June 15, nearly four weeks ago, I was not expect much, I even went in thinking I'd hate it and left utterly confused as to why so much ruckus had been made about this movie. In a short, nonspolier response, I thought this film was the most pretentious, overly-complicated movie I've seen in quite awhile. And I haven't seen many. Plain and simple. The movie is a roller coaster, and not in a good way. It starts off okay, then the giant hill comes, and BAM! Nonstop turning and flips and shit all over the damn place. Like a child high on sugar.
SPOILERS IN 3...2...1
The films starts on Krypton as we see Kal-El (Superman) being born, then we get Zod and his coup for about 14 minutes before he's stopped and the baby is sent to Earth. The coup is just there to have some kind of action sequence and for the most part I liked it. It's also at that moment I realized the movie wasn't gonna get any worst or any better. Ya see, this sequence starts things off but doesn't really accomplish much in terms of plot. Krypton still blows up and Zod and his coup are set to time-out for 40 years (i.e. they were sent to the Phantom Zone for 40 rotations. At least I think it was 40 rotations... whatever).So, in this version of Krypton, everyone is genetically engineered to fill a specific role in society and Kal-El is the first natural birth in centuries. The people of Krypton have completely used up all of the planet's resources for space exploration and these leads to their downfall. Krypton is slowly, but surely dying. -sigh- The storytelling in this movie is not subtle in the slightest when it has something to say. Oh, and this genetically engineered society still believes in evolution.... what?
So Russel Crowe sends baby Kal-El off world with the codex (the MacGuffin that decodes the genetic makeup of the artificially incubated babies on Krypton. It translates a child's genetic attributes before his or her birth) to avoid being killed by the planetary EXPLOSION! Aaaannnd, the simple Superman story of "Planet exploding? Send baby away from exploding planet. Baby grow up on Earth and become superhero under yellow sun", has now been turned into some overly-complicated sci-fi mess. Though I liked the beginning, the movie feels the need to explain every bit of Kryptonian society to us, down to the last details.Now onto Earth, where the roller coaster hits the hil. All of young Superman's days are told in flashbacks, spliced into the main story. The flashbacks are just random. They stop them for a few and hit us with them again in 10 seconds flat. The best one by far was the first one when Clark is at school and uses his x-ray vision for the first time (on accident) and he can see everyone's skeleton and organs and him freaking out until Diane Lane comes and claims him down. After that I thought they were all tedious and they get grating. There's one when Kevin Costner dies in a tornado after going back to save the family dog and before he dies he tells Clark not to save him because then he'd have to reveal his superpowers to the human race. I guess it was a lesson about keeping your secret identity secret, though all throughout the movie Clark careless lets everyone know who he is. He even tells a military general who was actively looking for him that he was raised in Kansas.
Now the part that really gets me is the whole big destiny thing. All throughout the movie we're beat over the head that Clark has a choice about what he wants to be and how he has some big destiny to fulfill. Now, ignoring how that makes no sense, let's go back to the beginning of the movie. Russel Crowe sends Clark off-world to hide the codex and survive the big planetary explosion and he explicitly tells Zod that his son will have the choice to choose his own destiny and do with the codex as he pleases. Though now, when Clark activates his Space-father's hologram, Crowe tells him that he must give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards along with tons of lengthy speeches and than hands him the Superman suit and tells him to save the Earth. The whole movie (or so I thought) is about Superman choosing what he wants to be. What he wants to do. Face the human race or stay hidden. But, now his Space-father makes the choice for him. He forces him to be a superhero (for some reason and please note that Zod has not reappeared yet), though the whole point of sending him to Earth was for him to hide the codex from Zod and survive the explosion.Why must he help us? The Earth is doing just fine, a few problems here and there, but we're doing just fine. I guess he read the script in advance. We're not allowed to see Clark make up his own mind or find out things on his own. He does NOTHING unless he's told what he has to do. When he gets the Superman suit, he does nothing with it until Zod shows up. He doesn't help anyone, he doesn't introduce himself to the human race, he doesn't do anything really. It just feels like they went to a lot of effort to get Superman to actually do something at times because he just wouldn't act unless told to by Space Dad or Zod. Clark is a puppet in this movie. Completely dull and bland, and while I liked Henry Cavill in the role and he does try he's clearly hampered down by this poor script.
The only time the audience cheered is when Superman learns to fly. It's like how a normal person would act if they could fly. He's excited, this is the best moment of his life. The movie needed more scenes like that. We only get to see him save a few people in this movie and that's in the beginning and in the flashbacks. We never get to see Superman BE Superman. We just see him moping and brooding all while being told to keep his identity a secret and how he has an epic destiny to fulfill.
And soon enough the action starts. The big giant action! The movie starts with big explosions and ends with even bigger explosions. It's like the film is at war with itself. The CGI in these scenes are really something to look at, but after 10 minutes it loses any type of wonderment and soon it turns into "9/11 2.0". Buildings are falling over, smoke engulfs Metropolis, destruction is everywhere. And all while this is going on, Superman, who for the last hour of the movie learned about how every single spark of life precious, doesn't save not one person. You'll find yourself asking, "Is this real? Are we really seeing this in a Superman movie?" Yes, folks, your eyes do not deceive you. America's greatest superhero is actually knocking over buildings while leveling an entire city and doesn't a shit about many American people are killed. In all this chaos and destruction, the movie really needed a few scenes where Superman at least attempts to save civilians or at the every least not overbloat the movie with this shit. It is because of this, that when Superman breaks Zod's neck the scene resonates no emotion from audience. Except for confusion. We're all like, "Oh, now he's gonna save some people?! After everyone in Metropolis is dead?"
With all these advancements in movie technology, we can now make Superman do anything, but the stuff that happen in this movie are things we'd never wanna see him do. There is no aftermath at all. Everything just goes back to normal and Clark now works with Lois at the Daily Planet. When I heard that this movie was gonna be 'realistic', I thought it'd be that way in terms of characters, but apparently it's that way in terms of everything, so why isn't the horribly awe-stricken Earth's reaction to this alien invasion not present in the film? Hm, might be in there for the sequel
(what a BS excuse for shitty writing).
All in all, the film is CGI over substance. Bland characters, flashy action, sloppy writing and lack of subtly, though please note that it isn't as bad as Superman Returns or Green Lantern. The movie fashioned itself like it could really be about something, though that's not the case in the slightest, hence where I draw the conclusion that it's pretentious. Movies that are downright horrible are easily remembered for being so. This film walks a very, very thin line though it falls somewhere in the middle. This film will appeal to the demographic who wanna see these "dark", violent, "mature" interpretations of comic book characters. Now with all this said, I thought Iron Man 3 was better.