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Is Man of Steel a Bad Film?

Written by Josh Sammons

Man of Steel has been one of the most talked about comic films in recent history. The 2013 film directed by Zack Snyder received mixed to negative reviews and split comic book fans opinions down the middle since its release.

The film has been placed in the same category of films such as Catwoman and Batman and Robin by some, but is it really THAT bad? Or is it misunderstood? I personally believe it belongs in the latter category. Sure the film has its problems… but which film doesn’t?

Ok let’s start with the positives and work our way down to the negatives. Firstly, Henry Cavill delivered as Superman; he differed to what had been put on screen before. He gave Superman an edge that brought the character crashing into the 21st century. Michael Shannon was great as usual as Zod, bringing enough ruthlessness to the character and making sure not to swing too far into the campy villain of which often happens to villains in a comic book film. The same goes for sidekick Faora played by Antje Traue.

Zack Snyder brought his knowledge of comic characters to the screen, adding plenty of Easter Eggs to entertain eagle-eyed fans. The film also took a different turn to previous films, adding fights galore, showcasing the Man of Steel’s true abilities.

Now to the negatives. The script in all its glory wasn’t perfect. As with most scripts by David S. Goyer, the story was strong but the dialogue was a bit clunky at times, highlighting the need for another writer to deal with the writing side of the screenplay. This worked so well for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and thankfully looks to be the case for the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as Oscar-winning writer of Argo Chris Terrio was shipped in to write the script.

The cinematography, although not terrible, didn’t belong in this type of film, especially the long camera zooms. But again, it looks like they have learnt from this and brought in the reliable Larry Fong who has worked with Snyder previously on such films as 300 and Watchmen.

Most of the complaints come down to the third act of the film and the endless destruction caused to Metropolis by Superman and Zod fighting. But isn’t this a true representation of what would happen if two god-like characters fought it out? There wouldn’t be enough time to evacuate everyone, and the damage and destruction is an unfortunate result of which looks to be explored in further films.

Superman vs Zod

Another complaint that has cropped up a few times is the tone of the film, with some people suggesting the film is too dark and moody and that it doesn’t fit with the Superman character. In truth though, the updated version of the character fits with several recent versions of the comic form, ranging from the Earth One series to Superman: Birthright, in which this film took some influence from. It seems that some people couldn’t get passed Christopher Reeve‘s classic take on the hero.

Taking all of this into consideration, is Man of Steel a bad film? Of course, it comes down to opinion. Me personally, I don’t think it is a bad film. I may be a little biased being a big Superman fan, though. Whether people liked it or not, it has kickstarted DC’s new film franchise in which they hope to rival Marvel who has taken large strides on the big screen recently. Should this film be placed with films such as Batman and Robin? “No!” is the simple answer. No part of this film is anywhere as bad as the dreaded bat-nipples worn by George Clooney.

What do you think of Man of Steel? Is it a stinker or do you agree that it wasn’t that bad? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.

About the author

Josh Sammons

1 Comment

  • Its not THAT bad, but it sure as hell isn’t “good”. A wasted opportunity, along with a misconception of the character’s essentials.