Man of Steel – On Action Scenes and Tension

MAJOR SPOILERS

Let me start by saying that I really liked Man of Steel. I think they did a great job giving Clark depth of character, the plot was fairly tight. I did like it. It was entertaining, it was a good story. I’ll probably watch it again at some point. I’ll probably buy it.

That being said, I still had a few issues with this movie.

First of all, I got bored in the middle. This movie felt really long. It was long, but a good movie shouldn’t feel like it goes on forever. You should be involved in the story and not want it to end. I wanted Man of Steel to end about 20 minutes before it actually ended.

I’ve discussed this phenomenon with someone else and he said he got bored in the middle too. The difference was he enjoyed all the fight scenes. Personally, I think that’s why I got bored. There was so much fighting that just felt all the same. Explosions, Clark gets thrown down, he gets up again, they’re never gonna keep him down.

Yeah, that just happened.

At the end, after the alien ship had been blown up and we all thought the movie would be over. That one guy, General Zod wouldn’t DIE! In the theater, I literally rolled my eyes and muttered to myself ‘come on! Another fight scene?!’

I think one of the reasons the fight scenes wore on me so much, was because nothing was at stake. We know that Superman won’t die. He wasn’t even seriously injured by any of the battles. There was no tension; it was just people punching each other. Even the scene where Superman was weakened and they took blood wasn’t really long enough to create worry. They took some blood and then Lois fixed things and he was strong again. They didn’t even get to torture him it was over so fast.

I loved Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Loved her. Her characterization was perfect. She took charge, she wasn’t afraid to get dirty or follow the fighting. She was relentless, but did the right thing when she found the truth. There aren’t words for how relieved I am that they did Lois Lane justice. She’s a badass all on her own.

There was one scene, before Superman gets on the ship with General Zod where Clark Kent and Lois Lane are holding hands and seem very intimate. I’m not sure what was going on, but I felt like I was missing something. How did they become so close so fast? Lois has seemed professional if not intrigued up until this point. Was there a scene cut from the movie between the point where she was ‘interrogating’ him and when they were standing in the desert? If so, I’d like to see it, because their ‘romance’ felt forced at that point. Though the kiss at the end was like FINALLY! And I’ve heard some complaints that the two had no chemistry, but I don’t think that’s true. I think the writing of their romance was a little stilted and uneven at times.

The flashbacks into Clark’s past were wonderful. Those were my favorite parts of the movie. The actors who played young Clark Kent were perfectly cast. I understand that as a superhero movie there needs to be action and fighting, but there can be development and fighting at the same time. In fact, at the very beginning of the movie at Krypton the writers managed to impart important plot information while fighting was happening.

That’s probably my biggest issue with Man of Steel. There was so much fighting and fight scenes that all felt the same. And maybe, if I took a timer, the fight scenes actually didn’t take up that much of the movie, but it felt like they did.

The problem is that we all know how powerful Superman is. When he is fighting with someone, there’s nothing at stake, he can’t get hurt, and so you’re not really that worried. There’s no nail biting going on. It’s just ho-hum Superman’s beating another baddie. If I could make a comparison to Iron Man 3 (I’ll give one for Batman in a moment because they’re both DC), when Tony is out of his suit, we know he’s vulnerable. He says it himself; he’s just a man in a can. He can get hurt, he can die. When he’s fighting people who shoot fire, or stuck in a house that is crumbling around him, there’s a certain amount of tension and worry going on in the audience.  Superman doesn’t have that. What the next Superman movie needs is something or someone that can be hurt. The tensest parts of Superman are when Lois is in danger or when Clark’s mother is in danger. Because they can be hurt.

What Superman needs is a scene like the one in The Dark Knight when the Joker rigged those two boats to explode if people pressed a button, one with convicts the other with regular people. That was intense because lives were at stake, and it wasn’t even Batman. The writers were on the right track when General Zod threatened to destroy Earth if Superman wasn’t surrendered, but the tension didn’t hold for very long.

In conclusion, Superman was good, it had its strengths, but there were some pretty weak parts. The acting was solid and enjoyable from all parties, the effects were good, the soundtrack moving (because Hans Zimmer is the best ever) and it’s an enjoyable movie overall, if not a bit long.

Any thoughts?

Next Post: Unnatural by Michael Griffo

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About themeg09

A reader and writer who has very strong opinions and is attempting to be a human and not stay up until four in the morning. A citizen of many fandoms. Come talk to me!
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