Not a review!
Also there are probably spoilers ahead.
So, Man of Steel. So desaturated! I felt like I was watching an early episode of Supernatural. Which I guess is appropriate, since both are about Kansans saving the world.
Actually, the film did pretty well by us Kansans, although I’m not sure why Smallville had a 7-Eleven, a Sears, and an IHOP. One of those I would believe (probably the Sears), but not all three. But the Kent farm looked beautiful and perfect, and Kevin Costner, while a lot more ambiguous than you’d expect from Pa Kent, did a fine job. And they worked in a tornado and never once used the word “twister.” Well done, writers.
I appreciated especially the line: “I grew up in Kansas, General. That’s about as American as it gets.”
The artsy way in which the flashbacks were shot and edited had the effect, I thought, of distancing the viewer from Clark. Now, Superman must be the hardest character in the world to write, because none of the screenwriters who have ever tackled him, have ever succeeded in making him seem human, sympathetic, or relatable. He is a distant figure, opaque and unknowable. This I believe is the greatest weakness of Man of Steel and any other Superman film. (I don’t read the comics, so I don’t know how he comes across there.)
Nice seeing some old friends from geekland, though: Harry Lennix and Tahmoh Penikett from Dollhouse (yes, I know Penikett was in BSG too), along with Alessandro Juliani also from Battlestar, not to mention the ever-wonderful Laurence Fishburne, and Richard Schiff, whom I recognized from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Good times.
Amazing that a film with so much chaos and destruction could have felt slow and over-long. I think, again, that the alienating way in which it was shot contributed to the problem. We never feel invested in the characters. At least not the main character. (See above. Though, as the mother of a son, seeing him interact with his mom gave me all the feels.) One can’t help but compare it with last summer’s Avengers, which was much brighter both in color and in tone, also levelled much of New York City, and yet had a care for the random unnamed civilian population in a way Man of Steel didn’t. Oh, except for that one family. Who knows how many people died in those buildings Clark and Zod were smashing up, but letting that little family die was somehow over the line? Filmmakers, I do not understand your brains.