The detritus of a Button Monkey

04 Aug

Man of Steel

I like Superman. Whether it is the comics, the Christopher Reeve movies or even the Smallville TV series.

I must admit I don’t like some aspects of the comic character. Too often a situation is resolved by flying faster or punching harder. This seems to suggest that to succeed, you need to be the strongest or fastest. It would have been nice see issues resolved by reasoning.

This film is trying to relaunch the Superman franchise after the relative failure of Superman Returns. The plot is basically an origin story plus a villain. For me, the upbringing of Superman is the key to any version of him. The moral compass instilled into Clark by Martha and Jonathan has to be believable. Superman has the power the planet as a god-like being, so you need a convincing reason why he hasn’t abused his power. In this version, Kevin Costner plays a very good Jonathan Kent.

For me, the film worked best when working as an origin story. When the film move into the villain part of the film, it just became a bashing film. The villain of the piece is General Zod. In the setup of the film, I found that I felt some sympathy for General Zod. Superman works best for me a straight good and evil story, the grey areas in between are better served by Batman.

One of the key elements of the Superman universe, like most superhero’s, is his secret identity. The struggle to maintain this secret is often the source of tension in the stories to protect family and friends. I feel in this story, the identity is compromised too easily and therefore will limit dramatic tension for future stories.

As this version has done quite well at the box office, I hope it opens up the DC universe in a way that will allow it to rival the joined up Marvel universe.

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