Took the kids to the movies last weekend to see Man of Steel, which tallied $125 million at the box office, so we weren’t the only ones seeing it. As a girl who was completely captivated in 1978 by the original Superman movie, I was interested to see what the differences between the two films were going to be. I had a colossal crush on Christopher Reeve back then. Could the overhyped Brit Henry Cavill fill the red boots?
- Yes, he pretty much could. As I heard one CNN reporter gush in her “news report” on Friday, "he’s smoking hot." It’s distracting. Really, don’t ask me too much about what happens in the movie.
- The outfit. Apparently it’s been determined by every superhero movie costume designer that the bright, apparently vintage primary colors of the original heroes (Batman, Spiderman, now Superman) need to replaced by sleeker, shimmery, darker suits that also for some reason have a lizard scale appearance. Whatever. Still hot.
- Mama’s boy The addition of the backstory of Superman is one of the main differences between the films. Cool childhood stories are one thing. His Freudian relationship with (the fab) Diane Lane as his earthly mother? A little odd. Also, in the first scene where they show the man of steel with his dad in a farm field, I thought Kevin Costner (who looks great) was going to ask for help building a baseball field.
- Kryptonite Never once mentioned. The Man of Steel gets weak around the villain randomly once in awhile, but the substance that was a real pain in the ass for the 70s Superman doesn’t even show up in the modern day edition. Nor does Lex Luthor, except in a reference on a truck going by.
- Ghosts and Shit Spoiler alert: Man of Steel’s Krypton dad is Javert from Les Miserables. Fortunately, Russell Crowe doesn’t sing again. But he does show up throughout the film to give advice and annoy the bad guy (Michael Shannon is fantastic as the evil General Zod).
- Lois Lane I kept waiting for the part where Superman was going to fly Lois Lane from her cool rooftop apartment around the world while “Can You Read My Mind” played, but all the adorable cheesiness is gone from this version, and unfortunately the romance, too. The most we get is a lame kiss at the end, and it’s a complete mindfuck that Lane knows Clark Kent is Superman.
- Clark Kent and the Daily Planet Amazing the print newspaper Daily Planet is doing so well in “modern day” Metropolis, and it’s funny when Lois Lane gives her Superman story to the blogosphere. But the fact that Superman doesn’t become Clark Kent until the very end of the film, when Lois has already made out with him, is really bizarre.
Anyway, Cavill is hot as the Man of Steel (and maybe is a tad more ripped in the suit), but my Christopher Reeve crush as Superman (he brought more humor and unapologetic sex appeal to the role), as well as the camp of the original version, remains superhero strong.
Did you have any issues with the movie's tone? Everyone kept yammering about how he's a symbol of hope, and Superman is supposed to be the best example of humanity by his very nature, but without giving away too much, the ending kind of winds up being the opposite of that. Chris Sims over on ComicsAlliance went so far as to say Superman "proves the villain right" which is not what should happen in a Superman movie.
Ah, Sam. I was actually hoping you would write the *real* movie review for Man of Steel which is why I avoided commenting too much on the plot. It's hard to discuss the ending without spoiling it. It was definitely controversial. I heard mixed reactions to it in the theatre. I thought, at the very least, that it was an interesting choice.
I've been telling myself that I won't see it, but dammit, I'll probably cave and write some sprawling analysis of all the live-action Superman movies eventually that will force me to watch this thing. I'm just burned out on "modern, grim, edgy" superheroes. Nothing's playful or wholesome anymore.