Okay, so I have read and watched a lot of reviews about Man of Steel which has become one of my most favorite movies of all time. That's mostly because I'm a comic book fan and above that, a Superman fan. So when the movie came out, I was kind of split on it. Was it good, was it bad? When the criticisms came out though, I was flabbergasted at what others said was wrong with the movie. Maybe I was wrong and didn't know what 'action' scene meant.
At first, I loved the movie, simply because it was Superman. I mean, damn, isn't it right? But then I started to listen to others and instead of siding with the haters because of the problems, I wanted to defend the movie and because of that I had to came up with a lot of ideas and theories of how this movie wasn't wrong, but actually kind of cool. So here are the reasoning.
It was full of action! No it wasn't! When I first heard this I was actually shocked. When the fight with Zod was over, I wanted more! I thought it was a bit short and they weren't fighting enough. But let's look at the others then. Krypton was cool, although it had unrealistic fight scenes because Jor-El was waaaaaay to good at fighting. Yes that was an action scene with ships, flying around, shooting and beating stuff. I understand that. I think Krypton was a really good scene and it was shot pretty sharply too. Many had problems with the almost instant cut to Clark as an adult. I didn't have a problem with that, I think we are way above traditional origin stories. And guess what? Batman Begins did almost the same! Yet I don't hear complaints!
Then came the burning oil rig. It was a great scene. Clark actually saved a lot of people, which negates the criticism that Superman never saves anyone in the movie. So what did he do on the oil rig? And they also call that an action scene. I don't think it was one precisely. What was the action in it? It's almost like calling the scene in Superman (Richard Donner) where he caught Lois and the helicopter. It was just to show that Clark wants to help people and does everything he can, even if it's fatal to him. And remember, he's young, he's not a superhero yet so he doesn't know his limits. When he jumped to catch the falling rig, he didn't know he'll survive it! I doubt he tried it before and thought 'Well, I'll live through this. No problem!'
The scene at the ship where he saved Lois was a catalyst to her wanting to find him, to get to know everything about him which was an important plot point in the movie. I think it was a really great move to make Lois find out about his past and identity. This 'I have glasses and nobody notices me' shtick is starting to get really boring. Also, it showed how dedicated (and sometimes obsessed) Lois can be and how brilliant an investigative reporter she was. I admit, I don't really like Lois Lane, I'm much more satisfied with the New 52 Wonder Woman-Superman pairing, but in this movie I didn't mind her. She actually had a purpose.
And then comes the Superman suit. Everybody had a problem with that and yet I never understood why. Why was it there? Well duh, it's an explorer ship which was searching the stars! The House of El was clearly important in that expedition and to Krypton in general, as we learned in the small show Jor-El put up to Clark to show Krypton's past. We saw the explorers wearing the symbol of El. This suit seemed to be just a regular noble's attire or maybe an ambassador's if they would by any chance meet a civilization on another planet. It's an important attire that's why it was on display.
I won't even talk about the scene where Clark learns how to fly, that was one of the greatest moments in cinema for me and that's that.
Then the next action scene is waaaaaaaaaaay over in Smallville a long time after this when Zod attacks Clark's mother. Sure, I admit that there Superman made a lot of damage, but how could he contain two Kryptonians? He's only one man! How could he make the fight damage free if one punch can level a mountain?
I didn't mention Lois on the spacecraft because it was a great scene, clearly shot, excellent lines, it was just all around good. Also, she clearly states why they wanted her on the ship, for those who like to question that.
Then the questions. Why did Zod want to terraform Earth if it would take away his powers? Oh God, I hate this argument. Did I see the same movie you did? Zod was genetically engineered to protect and save Krypton! In this movie he is not an outlaw like in the second Donner directed Superman movie! He is not a psychotic criminal! He is a general and he rebelled when he saw that the council was not working for the best of Krypton! He is not a greedy a-hole who wants to fly around and shoot lasers from his eyes. He wants Krypton back, he wants to save his home and wants it to be as it was in it's prime. He doesn't care about powers, he specifically says that he does what he does to save and protect his home. He is genetically engineered to do it, it's not even his free will. He can't make an ethically correct decision like Clark can because he is forced by his genes to act as he did.
The last scene was a bit shakily edited and shot, that I admit. I'm not really an incredibly large sci-fi fan, so I wasn't that much into the tentacle hentai Superman had to fight or the military flying the planes into the World Engine, but I admit, it was a creative way to get rid of a bunch of powered up Kryptonians.
And then the last fight... so many criticisms and so little truth in many of them. 'They are both invulnerable, why are they even fighting?' Well, if you know anything about Superman you know that he is not invulnerable, he's only nigh-invulnerable. Damage from a magical attack, kryptonite or a being of equal or greater (yes, greater) strength can hurt him. The sunlight in his system protect him for a time but if he and Zod fight for a longer time, they will eventually wear it down and they will be hurt just as much.
And lastly, why did Superman kill at the end? This I never understood. I have watched a lot of cartoons, movies, and read a bunch of comics and many times have the heroes faced a situation where they had no other option, but to kill. Then came the Deus Ex Machina who saved the situation. It's cowardly, in my opinion. Superhero stories are great because we can see the characters face situations that they can barely overcome and, in the end, triumph. But even if they win, what did they lose to do so, what did they sacrifice to get to that point? How man times did Batman sacrifice others for his Mission? Yes, so Superman broke Zod's neck. When he was in that situation, he thought he didn't have a choice and it clearly pained him. Just look at his face before he does it, when he does it and how he yells and falls to the ground in pain. How Lois has to run up to him and they hug. It clearly pained him to do it. Yes I also have a slight problem with the next scenes where it doesn't seem that it affected him but seriously. have you ever heard of 'putting up a front'? I have been in situations where I was desperate and I felt like falling apart, but for the sake of the situation and others I had to smile and pretend that I'm strong on the outside. I know stories should be self-contained but maybe it will have repercussions in the next movie. This is a franchise and although I don't agree with Warner Bros. not letting it be self-contained, I want to check out the next movie to see if Superman is actually affected, or maybe the public is. Man of Steel was Superman's first act of heroism, saving the planet from destruction when he was literally an unknown to the public. We will see how they react to him in the next movie.
In retrospect, Man of Steel does have a lot of flaws, but what movie doesn't? There is no perfect movie, not even Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, The Dark Knight, or whatever floats your boat. I think that this Superman story was fresh, well made and in the end, left us wanting more from this DC cinematic universe. I loved it, despite his flaws and I hope that it won't go down as another Superman Returns in history. Thank you.