Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Man Of Steel: The Franchise: The Train-Wreck

Man of Steel One: There Should Be Only One

Okay, so I stand by about one thing I said in the discourse that occurred between Me, Harvey and Simon when Man of Steel first came out, Man of Steel isn't a terrible film. It might be a bad film however. It might be the worst film of the year in the same way Frozen might be film of the year; despite not being technically, artistically or structurally the worst (the latter is being generous however). But as every film is partially defined by the context it is released in, then I can vouch that no film was as crushingly disappointing, bland, mediocre, a waste of significant amounts of talent, budget and time as Man of Steel: Henry Cavil Chest Hair Edition.

Get it, because the Sequels suck? This took 45 seconds in Paint, be proud. 

Zack Synder, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer put their heads together backed by the substantial economic backing of Warner Bros/DC with what should have been a clean slate and THAT is what they manage to do. 

You assemble Henry Cavil, Amy McAdams, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe together and the best you can make them do is deliver line after line of exposition, trailer-bait, pseudo-philosophical babble and stock sci-fi/fantasy phrases?

I wanted to like Man of Steel, I even convinced myself I did for a while. A stage of denial I also went through with that Ryan Reynolds movie, though that took several days to break down whereas this took several months.

The actions scenes weren't bad, Henry Cavil looked the part, Amy McAdams wasn't too bad. Russell Crowe as Ghost-dad was “Okay” (though Ghost-dad himself makes no sense). But god dammit, this film wasn't supposed to be acceptable, or okay. This was supposed to be the Batman Begins for Superman. Remember how fucking hype you were after Batman Begins finished? Remember how completely not hyped you were after the tedium of that 3 hour slog was done.

 Two of these are cool symbols, one is a bullshit plot device that makes no sense and brings to life ghost Russell Crowe. Guess which is which for prizes.

Sadly the reason might have been already stated, this was the Batman Begins of Superman...and that just doesn't work. Trying to apply that same formula half-assedly (probably not a word, don't care) turned it into the Batman and Robin of Superman...Yeah, I went there. I guess in a way I understand, I was even convinced by the lie, everyone knew Warner Brothers wanted Nolan to “oversee” the rise of Box Office Superman the way he had Batman, and we all assumed that they'd want the easiest, safest way to do that...AKA the same thing again because that is what Hollywood loves.

Harvey has a running joke that David S. Goyer is a terrible writer; it comes complete with its own stupid little accent, which is sort of a mix between my Jewish accent and his accent for retarded pedestrians. I used to passionately resist the claim that S.Goyer couldn't write basically on the onus of him being the only person out of the three creative talents behind the Batman trilogy (two Nolans and him) who was related to the comic industry at all. However, considering he alone out of the three had involvement with the script....and the script is fucking awful, so then I may have to eat my words there as well. 

He might just genuinely not be able to write conversations between two regular people, as Harvey second guessed even before Man of Steel and its incredibly painful interactions between a mother/father and son. They sounded more akin to what an alien would think a family relationship is like if he only watched Saturday morning cartoons, Disney Films and Westerns.

Pictured: Goyer: Surprisingly buff.

But that is the weird thing; Man of Steel isn't horrific, despite what some critics have said. It is just bad, really bad. Not Superman Returns bad, or Superman III bad. It looks good, suit and filters aside which I still think is dumb, but there is nothing going on. Characters don’t develop, the only person who has anything close to an arc is Zod, and that is because he keeps losing and so consequently adapts. The entire movie is like one giant exposition exercise telling me about a LESS INTERESTING version of the comic book universe I already know.

 I won’t even get started on the science and rules they give to Superman and the Kryptonians. Safe to say they are bullshit.

I was going to go more in-depth into the suck but Harvey sent me this half way through writing which basically states every issue I have with the continuity of this movie better than I can. So I give you the controversial but this time completely correct: Confused Matthew

Man of Steel 2: The Suckening.

Which brings me neatly onto the sequel. Now maybe not possible slightly delayed to 2016, I guess because they don’t feel like they can take on the Avengers 2. Also maybe because Ben Affleck got injured skiing but no-one cares enough to check.

Speaking of which, isn't it mental that we have had two Avengers movies, containing Hawkeye and Thor, before we have had not only one Justice League movie, but one Batman and Superman movie. How do you mess up that badly when you hold the two biggest super hero properties on the planet?

Pictured: Not playing Lex Luthor. (Every other site is doing this trick right now)

Seemingly Warner Brothers, realising that this state of affairs is horrific have decided that while they are making Batman and Superman fight for no reason like a child with two action figures, it also makes sense to add in everyone else.

Now keeping in mind that this is a Superman film, specifically, Man of Steel 2 as it is still known official. We have, Ben Affleck as a less grimdark Batman being introduced as a rival it seems to Superman. We have Lex Luthor apparently also being thrown into the mix as a setup for a villain. On top of that it is hinted at a second villain. Not to mention the return of the prior cast it is assumed, Laurence Fishburne and Amy McAdams.

Still only 5 lines of dialogue like MoS 1, but now dressed and acting like Morpheus.
Why? David S. Goyer and Zac Synder. That's why!

Now that is the Superman universe. Then we have Gal Gadot, Israeli born actress confirmed to be playing some form of Wonder Woman, who may or may not have a complex back-story about being from a race of aliens that crash-landed on earth and are only female (Oh boy). We also have rumours of Aquaman and Green Lantern being on the cards for cameos, which is insanely unnecessary. To boot we also appear to have rumours of the entire of Batman’s entourage coming along for the ride, I believe we already have a confirmed Nightwing/Robin, not to mention hints at a Batgirl/Oracle and an Alfred Pennyworth.

I guess this is as close as I'll get to my dream of Sarah Silverman as Wonder Woman...

Ten characters I have mentioned there, and that isn't including Superman, his alien dad who will invariably show up for no reason, his non-alien dad that will invariably appear in flashbacks for no reason. This film is going to need to be five hours long to communicate all that, and even that wouldn't remove the problem that this is A Superman Film.

Irrespective that Henry Cavil is probably feeling slightly annoyed at the fact he isn't the biggest headline star in his own franchise anymore thanks to Batfleck, he is probably even more annoyed that every day an announcement comes out about this film pertaining to a character that isn't him. It isn't even like the original cast in Man of Steel received a significant amount of characterisation so as to be able to focus on a second set of only half related characters in Man of Steel 2.  

Pictured: Probably the next rumour we will get. (See Addendum for irony)

I'm going to wrap this up because I realise that I'm probably going slightly rantier (MSWord is telling me that is a word) than I intended, and I had already accounted for this being pretty “ranty”. I’ll end by asking the simple question.

“What do Warner Bros expect to get from this?”.

It will have to be one hell of an advertising campaign and a miracle of a screenplay if we even get a Batfleck film out of this train wreck, let alone a Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Justice League one.

No Words: Only Tears

And that they even made this situation possible makes me sad.

Addendum: I just moments before posting this read that Stephen Amell of Green Arrow fame is ALSO in fucking talks for this movie.  



  1. Aaron, your articles positively glow when you are upset about something. In this case rightly so.

  2. FYI Ben Afflick broke some ribs in a skiing accident, originally it was 'died in a snowboarding accident'. Perhaps he'll have a heroic limp.

  3. How can it hope to succeed with Dale Wilmarth as the mold shop supervisor?
    I mean, come on guys.