Pop quiz time. What do X Men: The Last Stand, Spiderman 3, and Watchmen have in common? They all have the same or better aggregate critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes when compared to Man of Steel. For those of you who have seen the film, ask yourselves if that is truly a fair judgement because after seeing it yesterday, I 100% disagree. In fact, as far as origin, story, and content, Zack Snyder provided me with the most interesting storyline in Superman since he died. Fanboys and film critics will rip their hair out when I say this, but this film is the perfect embodiment for Superman in the 21st century.
To The Critics:
Let's start with the simple problems most critics had with the film; pacing and story development. If you're searching for someone who doesn't know the origin of Superman, you're going to be searching a while. The film saved us the time of going through the nuances of Clark's life that we've read, seen, and recanted a thousand times over and showed us new scenarios and the people affected by them. I met the fathers of Clark/Kal-El, and while I didn't spend too much time with them, learned which parts influenced him and the decisions he makes.
Speaking of character development, how about this being the first film in which Superman openly admits his Christianity? Opinions aside on that, that scene showed more of Midwest Kansas than the entire city of Smallville could provide, and it was true to the origin.
Probably the most frustrating and ignorant criticism I've heard is "action for no reason"...seriously? The world is at stake. It's going to be destroyed, and it all happened within a few hours. As much as I would love to see Superman go incognito as Clark for 30 minutes, I don't really think he has time for that.
To The Fanboys (Spoilers):
Let's transition to the fanboys and fangirls who are still spewing their rage over the concerned half that cares (themselves and us other geeks) and address perhaps their biggest issues. From smallest to large let's start with Lois. Who cares if she knows his secret identity! Ask yourself this. What respect can you possibly have for a woman who is an award winning journalist and still can't figure out the identity of a man who has saved her several hundred times? Of course she's going to figure it out. It's time to stop pretending glasses make that much of an impact on the face.
Alright that was just a warm up, and in all honesty the majority of you who found a problem with that was small at best. The real issue was Zod, and 100% why you are reading this to either throw your hands up in agreement or flame the hell out of my email address (MickJoest@Geektyrant.Com). Superman killed Zod. Who Cares?
First off, let's remember that Superman has killed before, Doomsday of course being the most common example. Although its canon has been disputed, (because in comics it's seemingly impossible to keep a storyline consistent) Superman also killed 3 rogue Kryptonians that had eradicated that universe's human race in Superman: Executioner.
He wasn't happy about this, and nor was he with Zod in the film. What did you expect? He was going to trick them into removing their own powers after an epic foresight on the actions of Lex Luthor? Perhaps he was to peel a magic logo off his chest and incarcerate him with it? Please, let's keep this based in reality. Superman did what Superman would really do in a tough situation, protect the human race. That's his end game, every time. It was kill, or be killed, and he was left with no other choice.
Seriously there was no other choice. Having just discovered certain powers, he couldn't go to the Fortress of Solitude, he couldn't wipe Zod of his powers, and he most certainly couldn't get Zod to kneel. This is a key element I think most fans are blinded by.
Let's not forget that this was, in fact, an origin story. He took on Zod...in his origin story. It doesn't get much tougher than that. This is his Batman: Year One scenario, and it was a hell of a task to take on having just learned how to fly.
Superman. That's What They're Calling Him.
Ultimately, who is Superman? A man of two worlds. This film was the perfect origin as it showed his clear decision on which world he wished to be a part of. Of course, you knew which side he was going to choose but it showed you why it happened and all the reasons why he shouldn't. For this reason, I list this at the top of my favorite Superman films.
I look at the comics. I look at the cartoons. I look to the old films. When I look at Man of Steel, I see the Superman for the 21st century, a current and accurate representation of truth, justice and the American way. His transgressions are what keep him human, and his sacrifice shows his true love for humanity. In terms of heroes, I would expect nothing less.