Even though I really enjoy watching superhero films, I'm not a fan of them and I don't read the comics as well. So I don't know anything about them at all, except from what is being depicted in the films. A couple of days ago I watched Man of Steel in the big screen and I felt somewhat whimsical watching it. The trailer is giving pretty good impression, but unfortunately the film is not. I was going to watch a blockbuster film so generally I expected it to be just so-so, entertaining or even 'bad', those typical summer blockbuster film. But sadly, this film surpasses the 'bad' expectation I had, it's slightly worse. When I write this, IMDb gives it 8 and Rotten Tomatoes gives it 56%. I have to agree with Rotten Tomatoes.
This film has a huge potential to be great and amazing but here are the bad things:
Bad writing. Maybe not a giant plot hole, but tiny plot holes everywhere. What's with the back and forth story telling? It's unnecessary, hasty and hampering the characters to develop.
Also it lacks of emotional atmosphere or attachment. As we can see in the scene where Clark's mother were persuading little Clark to get out of the room? They're talking private conversations in front of the whole class. Now that's unlikely and strange and makes me can't really relate to the characters.
The other emotional thing that is missing is the chemistry between Clark Kent and Lois Lane; it's zero chemistry. Whenever the scene just depicting the two of them I prayed for them not to kiss, because it'll ruin the film even more. And yep they did kiss in the end. Duh. No chemistry or romantic background whatsoever. It seems to me that both Henry Cavill and Amy Adams acted their parts appropriately, but the script is just forcing them to kiss.
And the other scene that is strange for me is when the Daily Planet's officers (one of them is Laurence Fishburne) were trapped in the ruins of the building and seemed so desperate, so what? The writing is so poor, that I can't feel any emotional attachment to the characters, I just don't feel for them. Everybody just feels like cameos.
The Christianity notion also quite disturbing. I don't mean the church scene, just the overly stated fact that Clark Kent is not human, he's not from this world, but he feels for the humans and willing to sacrifice himself to save the humans' lives. And plus he's 33 when doing all of this, that before showing himself as Superman, he's lost, wandering here and there, looking for himself and just unknown to the rest of the world. A little bit Jesus-y but maybe it's just me. Hehe.
Overload fighting and destroying buildings are unnecessary; it belittles the lives of the humans/civilians around in my opinion. What's so superhero about that?
The story that Lois Lane looked for Clark Kent and found out about him and his past is also odd. Is it that easy? If Clark Kent was helping people and disappearing here and there plus there were witnesses, why didn't the other also tries to find out the truth about him?
The other ridiculous scene is when Clark's father died because of the tornado, sacrificing his life for a dog and banned Clark to save his life (and Clark agreed). Overall, the story telling is lack of soul, warmth and reality. It blended too many themes to one film, like superhero, sci-fi, alien invasion, disaster, etc and sadly not succeeding in doing so. The story doesn't really flow. There isn't any 'peak' of the story that left me breathless and gaping.
Great cast? It is actually a great cast; Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne among others. except maybe for Amy Adams, who is talented and lovely as she is, maybe appears a little bit too old for Henry Cavill's portrayal of Superman. I can't say whether Henry Cavill is a good Superman or not because this is the first time I watch him acting and I never really watch a superman film before. Great cast but destroyed by the writing of the film.
Great music score by Hans Zimmer, but unfortunately and disturbingly overplayed throughout the film.
Many and obvious brand replacements.
I enjoy Zack Snyder's 300, but for this one, it's just too much CGI and too many zoomings. The fighting doesn't look real.
Finally, the good:
The starting scene with the destruction of the Krypton is quite nice, also for the whole concept of natural birth, absorbing the earth, trying to dominate the earth by placing the machines in the north and south of the earth, etc.
The human side of Superman is properly depicted, even though a little bit dull. At least Henry Cavill can deliver the act that makes me realize that Superman/Kal-El is really not a human, he's an alien. And I guess one of the decent scene is when he let out a scream after killing Zod. At first I didn't understand why did he have to be that sad. After a few readings, people said he was sadly screaming because he had to kill his own kind, his own people, that was not much left in the universe. I also agree that Kal-El's best moments were when he was portrayed as human/Clark Kent, not as Superman in the film.
Michael Shannon's portrayal of Zod is great too. He's not only evil and powerful but he had a background; his loyalty, determination and ultra-nationalism for Krypton made him like that.
The ending. A couple of minutes before the film ended is in my opinion, one of the best parts. It feels like the film found its grip and started anew. When the film ended, I was partly disappointed by it because it feels more like an absolutely dragged-trailer than a film, like the whole film is only an introduction, and right after the ending, it should be where the film begins. The ending is partly makes me can't wait for the sequel. I do hope they'll have a better script and everything for the second film.
Of course I need more viewings of this film, but that's all I have for now.