So before seeing “Man of Steel,” even though I was cautiously optimistic based on the trailers, I created a mental checklist of things the movie must/must not do in order for me to enjoy it. Let’s see how it did.
Must not present Superman as a deadbeat dad: Check
Must not present Superman as a creepy stalker: Check
Must have a Krypton that is more interesting-looking than some frozen desert with weird-ass magic crystals everywhere: Check
Must not have Superman spend more than a decade locked in the Fortress of Solitude being home-schooled by his father’s disembodied head: Check
Must not feature Lois talk-singing some bizarre poem cribbed from a high school student’s study hall notebook: Check
Must not have the villain’s central plot involve some sort of real estate deal: …this one is tricky. It didn’t do it in the way that “Superman” and “Superman Returns” did, but one could argue that yes, the villain’s central plot kind of did involve a real estate deal, in a way, but it’s kind of a stretch. So…three-quarters of a check on this one. However, while it didn’t get a full check on this one, the next one makes up for it…
Must feature amazing super-powered fight scenes: ALL the motherfuckin’ checks
So…yeah. It wasn’t without its flaws (went way too heavy on the Jesus symbolism…well, it’s Zack Snyder; nothing he does can technically be called “symbolism”), and there are a lot of complaints I’ve seen that I either agree with or at least completely understand the perspectives of the people complaining, but holy shitballs did it have action.
And seriously – he did not knock up Lois Lane, completely wipe her memory of having had sex with him, and then leave the planet for five fucking years only to come back and be miffed that she moved on while he was away and secretly stalk her at night. That alone made the movie worth the price of admission.
Also, Jor-El was pretty goddamn awesome.
And Faora…oh, sweet, deadly Faora. Better than that pale shadow of a Faoro called Ursa in every conceivable way.
Ultimately, I can see most every complaint about the movie – unless it’s couched in Donner-worship, because seriously, fuck Donner and the horse he rode in on – as being valid, but I don’t care. If you didn’t like it, suck it.
Was it the Superman movie I’ve been waiting my whole life to see? No, not even close, but I know I’ll never see that anywhere other than the movie theater inside my head, so this one will do nicely.