I want to teach the world to sing...

Not sure I can go into the mental perturbations leading to that title, but a friend and I saw Man of Steel yesterday, and it was quite interesting.

It's a reboot (re-imagining, perhaps) of the entire Superman mythology.  The arc of it is pretty familiar to anyone who remembers the old Superman movies, though the vision (and technology) are quite different.

I've never been a huge fan of Superman (liked it, but never followed it closely), so I was never wedded to any view of Krypton, and liked what was in this movie.  It was not without flaws (I'll get back to this), but it was quite interesting.  The flight sequences (especially the four-winged steeds) seemed a tribute to Avatar (though I didn't see it in 3D, so I can't compare them in that way), and Russell Crowe (as Jor-El) did a very good job.

I also liked the way the story was told via flashbacks; those were blended in quite well without bogging down the story.  And the way they showed Clark having problems adjusting to Earth was quite interesting.  Similarly, the handling of the "Fortress of Solitude" was pretty neat, and I liked the back-story they came up with for that.

And as action, it was fast and furious for quite a bit of the movie, but I was glad they didn't feel the need to make that the entire movie.

The ending, where Superman confronts the general about a drone, was a pretty cool scene as well.  I think the dialog could have been improved (the captain giggling about him being "hot" was particularly lame, but also making Superman sound a little less stuck-up seemed appropriate to me), but it was a good sequence.  The friend with whom I watched it said that came out of a graphic novel; I'm minded to look up the original.

Despite the problems I'm about to mention, I did end up liking the movie overall.

But here are some of the problems.  On Krypton, Zod says he wants the Codex, but tries to kill Jor-El a couple of times to get it.  Problem there?  He would have destroyed the Codex in the process, if he had succeeded.  He also tried to destroy Superman's ship, which also would have destroyed the Codex.  Secondary, the Scientist (Jor-El) outfights the Warrior (Zod).  Extremely unlikely at best, given what we find out later about Kryptonian genetics.  Also, the process to get the Codex seemed awfully easy, for something so valuable.

Less important, but Zod's rebellion seems to have lasted no more than an hour.  For one which resulted in killing one of the ruler's, that's an awfully brief insurrection.  And, thinking about it now, he gave up awfully easily.  I can't see how he knew he was defeated.

More important, Krypton's leaders seem not to have believed Jor-El about the planet dying, despite the amazing technology to which they had access.  Also despite the fact that it seemed to blow up almost immediately.

Similarly important, why let Zod live, when you know the planet is about to die (as seemed the case at that point)?  It seems more like rewarding him than punishment.

The sequence where Superman is coming into his powers was pretty cool; I mostly liked it (the sonic booms were especially cool).  But the animal fly-bys were not a good idea; the wind of his passage at that altitude and speed would have killed them.

There was also the ghost of Jor-El taking up residence in Zod's ship; he took a lot of control when Lois was there, but never showed up again.  It seems like he could have done a lot of things to subtly hose up Zod.

But the biggest flaw gets back to the Codex.  They had Superman's blood, so what need did they have for him after that?  And yet they kept chasing him.

Anyway, despite all that, I did end up liking it overall.  I'll probably get it when it comes out on Blu-ray.

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