The first 20 minutes or so of Man of Steel, minus the birth scene, were the best 20 minutes of the film. Those treasured few minutes took place on Krypton and focused mostly on Russell Crowe as Jor El and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Oh, if only the entire movie had taken place on Krypton, maybe then it wouldn't have been the colossal disappointment of film it turned out to be. Once the story made its way to earth, any glimmer of hope that the opening of the film provided was quickly quashed. That might come across as overly harsh, but the film comes across as overly ambitious. I mean, clearly a great deal of effort was put into making the CGI look "cool," AND creating fight scenes full of excessive destruction with almost boundless collateral damage, AND having Superman be a Christ-like figure (and sometimes a Wolverine-like figure). It's a pity that all of this effort to make a good film stopped there. The time spent on these important things must have taken away from trivial things like writing decent or even passable dialogue.
There were so many lines that made me cringe and so much room for improvement that I could go on and on listing off examples, but I would rather not relive 80% of the film right here, right now. I'm sure many would disagree but, for me, the focus on making the film a Jesus allegory was likely the main reason the script was so lacking. The writers cared more about making Superman be the messiah than they did about writing the dialogue that didn't have anything to do with 'Jesus-man.' I've already seen a movie with a Jesus character who wore a big "S" on his shirt, the 1973 movie Godspell. The two most striking differences between Man of Steel and Godspell are 1- Godspell knew the sort of film it wanted to be and 2 - Godspell had likable characters. These are not small distinctions by any means.
|Victor Garber in Godspell|