I went in with anticipation….I went in with hope for a great story. Yes, I know the origin of Superman and say what you will of origin stories being told over and over, I wanted to see it. Kids don’t read comics anymore. A new generation is born every eight to ten years…you DO need origin movies whether we like it or not….for the youngins. So had I my bag of popcorn and large Pepsi…and mini peppermint patties. I was outfitted with all the proper accoutrements for movie watching….phone off…I am not a dick….not any even a vibration from me….I was dedicated. I was in. Superman had returned….and it was about damn time. Well, until the movie really started…. First, I was assaulted via my eardrums….the movie was loud…I mean very loud…all the time….I mean constantly…it never let up….turn the volume down movie theatre…I don’t care how the movie came in.
Okay, so it was loud. Spoiler alert coming – I didn’t mind the little ten minute prequel story to Superman’s parents…I actually enjoyed that…loudness aside. It was new, it was refreshing for me…I was engaged…okay fast forward to the babe “Kalel” leaving the planet Krypton and arriving on Earth via interstellar rocket ship…quick cut to him full-grown as an adult out in the world moving from job to job as his secret of who he might be is threatened by his own actions. Whether acting through loss of self-control or acts of heroism…he must move on down the road. (kind of like the Hulk)
During this road journey as an adult, we get to see through flashbacks,his childhood (which I hated ..I thought his story should have been linear from start to finish because they did a crappy job of the flashbacks) We learn his origin and his relationship with his parents Ma and Pa Kent….whatever. This is where the story starts to go south for me…Superman’s Earthly father, Jonathan Kent, played by Kevin Costner was flat as a board can be called flat. This flatness started with Jonathan Kent, and carried over to the rest of the movie and characters. Case in point , when young Clark Kent asks his father if he should have just let the kids die on the school bus just to save his identity, Jonathon Kent’s great fatherly advice is “Yeah, I guess maybe you should have.” and ” You’re just too important” . This is the constant refrain through the whole movie including the phrase by Jorel, Superman’s biological father “The world may is not ready” Thanks dads….fountains of wisdom you both are.
The only saving grace is the character General Zod, played by the actor Michael Shannon.
He is the only one who remotely had any lines that didn’t come off the assembly line of dialogue and cliché things to say every five minutes or so. The whole movie read like a 1940s comic book of clichés and plot holes and continuity.., and just plane not making sense… Yes the action was good…but they relied way too much on things exploding and super human fantastical fights scenes to bring them through. And what the hell was up with Lois Lane appearing everywhere in every scene? The girl got around. Was she the Flash in disguise?
SO if you like mindless violence go see it.. At the core, this movie lacked heart. The characters seemed to be stand-ins waiting for the real actors or feelings to come through which never really did for me. I have heard this movie has gotten some favorable reviews and received well by audiences.. What that says about our expectations and our culture I don’t know. I do know my son, who is a teenager, thought it lacked any really character development as did my wife. They were flat, my son said. Yes, that sums it up. They were flat…you didn’t care if they lived or died. from Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Martha Kent, to Perry White. I was rooting for General Zod towards the end. He at least had a good back story and emoted what he was really feeling for me…everyone else seemed to be on a Xanax merry go around waiting to get off. I give it a grade of a B-.
DC Comics has failed me in this latest installment from their world. I WANTED to like it…I am not being a hard ass. I am not mentioning a lot of things which annoyed me…one I will say, is product placement…it was so obvious at times that it took you out of the story and wanted you to go to IHOP for pancakes. Mmmmm pancakes……Okay I’m done. Save the movie as a rental .
Don’t waste your money or your eardrums on it. Rest in Peace Superman. I hope not to see you anytime soon.