One Good Reason to Hate ‘Man of Steel’

So, where did Superman’s conscience go?

A battle between two nearly invincible superbeings is tiresome to watch. As General Zod and Superman crash into building after building, over and over, it’s a tedious exercise in CGI excess. This is where the movie the really lost me. I couldn’t help but wonder how Superman felt about the destruction he was causing โ€“ destruction that, if it happened in real life, would make 9/11 pale in comparison.

The key here is that director Zack Snyder never actually shows us the countless hordes of people that must be getting killed and maimed as Superman chucks Zod through yet another skyscraper. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. It reminds me of one of the most abhorrent action sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. You know that scene in ‘Bad Boys 2’ where Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, the supposed heroes of the tale, go careening down a hillside in Hummers, straight through a packed shanty town no doubt full of poor citizens living out their lives until getting squashed by a giant SUV driven by a couple of morons? Yeah, that scene.

A queasy feeling rose up inside me when I realized that not only is Superman destroying densely populated city buildings, but there are moments where he seems to enjoy what he’s doing, dragging Zod across the face of a skyscraper like a big brother rubbing his little brother’s face in the dirt. I think I checked out after Superman chucked Zod through the perfectly product-placed IHOP. I couldn’t help but think of the poor families, enjoying their morning hash browns, whose lives were certainly ended in an instant. Again, where did Superman’s conscience go?

Only once during his battle with General Zod (which reminded me far too much of the Peter versus the Chicken fights from ‘Family Guy’) is Superman the least bit concerned about human life โ€“ when they end up in Grand Central Station and Zod is about to fry a family with his heat vision. Didn’t this strike anyone as disingenuous? It’s a moment where the script finally realizes that, “Hey, people are in real danger here. We should probably acknowledge that somehow.” It’s a flimsy scene that hopes you’re too ignorant to realize how many countless individuals Superman killed before we get to that moment.

No amount of crash-zooms, frantic pans or needless shaky-cam can distract from the movie’s overall defunct storytelling. It’s all about layers of exposition. There are moments with Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon that feel as if greatness will finally sprout, but soon enough the movie devolves back into its punch-kick-and-crash-first/ask-questions-never mode.

Other topics worth discussing include the film’s ham-fisted way of shoehorning in a Christ analogy (Superman is 33-years-old, wink wink), its inane need to point out the completely obvious (“It’s because I think he’s hot.”), or its irritating habit of repeating story elements that don’t need repeating. (Thank you, Jor-El, for your pop-up book history lesson of Krypton.)

Yet, all of the movie’s other faults don’t come close to the fact that ‘Man of Steel’ reduces one of the most moral of all superheroes into just another city crushing Neanderthal.


  1. NJScorpio

    What I always liked about Superman wasn’t his super human strength, or super human speed, but his super human-humanity.

    The kind of reverence for humanity, and inherent drive to do good, that that is about as fictional as his ability to fly.

    His ability to hold on to this moral code is part of what makes him so super.

    After all, the most impressive thing about a being that could destroy everyone and everything is how he would instead use that power to protect everyone.

    If this aspect of Superman isn’t in the film…that’s like Batman not being dark and moody.

    • James

      He died saving a being that is not of his blood family, not even of his race. He died saving that dog because he loved the dog and did everything possible to save him even if it meant risking his own life. This is exactly superman’s point of view, and in sacrificing himself, jonathan paved the way for his son to do the same with humanity.

      You may have scoffed and said what a dummy for risking his life for the dog. But what if Superman did the same for humanity?

      • wraithkingprime

        Faulty analogy. Humans are always worth more than dogs. No dog is worth dying for.

        • Les

          Superman is also capable of super speed!!! Clark, theoretically, could have used super speed, saved the dog, and poof he is right back where he was and probably nobody would have noticed.

          I would assume that would have been a better result than his dad getting killed??

          • Pedram

            True, but wouldn’t Superman hitting the dog at super speed have killed it anyway? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Frankie

          Apparently you don’t have much contact with the human race, or you’re a cat person. Woof.

  2. movie goer

    would you have been happier watching Superman fighting land masses instead? this is by far the most badass Superman movie yet. perfect? no, but damn entertaining

    c`mon man, the movie still hit on Supermans morality. ALSO, if Superman didnt stop Zod, he would have DESTROYED THE ENTIRE WORLD. Superman was in the moment while fighting Zod, he couldnt just stop after every building collapsed to be sad at the fact that people died…if he didnt do what he he did, the whole world would have been destroyed.

    I am just glad I got to see Superman ACTUALLY fight someone for once (aside fromt the last time he fought Zod, what other fight didnt suck?)

    The movie was entertaining. get your panties out of a wad.

    • Thats my thought too, my friends and I discussed this all right after the movie let out so I’m sure most others didnt miss the fact that all that destruction probably killed people. But Zod was going to kill everyone anyways, if Superman didnt fight him then and now there wouldnt have been a world there at all, EVERYONE would have died in the terraform of the planet and even the people he did save knew that, he saved who he could and the major destruction caused by the villains wasnt something he could quite stop, he did his best and his moral compass never wavered IMO.

      Fantastic film and easily the best Superman to date, I love me some Reeve’s Superman from back in the day but this is what Superman needed to hit with people and to the numbers of $125 million, breaking all June release records means it finally did and I’m “SUPER” Glad ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • And the traditional Zod would have followed him, because he wanted to rule over humanity.

          THIS Zod, however, wouldn’t have fell for it…he would have let Superman go and trashed the city. Ultimately Superman realizes the only way to stop him is to kill him.

        • But that’s the point. This is not the traditional Superman. This version is a character learning how to be Superman, one who has never fought a super villain, so everyone holding him to past standards do so incorrectly.

          Also, the Grand Central Station isn’t disingenuous because it’s the first time Superman becomes aware of the humans around and the price they may pay during the battle. Though way too over the top, he doesn’t see anyone injured or killed in during all the destruction because he’s too focused on Zod.

          If the same level of destruction happens in the follow-up and shows Superman has learned nothing, I’d agree with you, but Supes anguish after killing Zod leads me to believe the writers plan on having the character evolve in this regard. Won’t be surprised if he doesn’t though

        • Darkchilde

          He can’t really lure the guy when his stated goal is genocide. Supes is stopping him from wiping out the city. And he is lucky (VERY lucky) that he managed it at all.

      • Except that Superman destroys the World Machine BEFORE his fight with Zod. His fight with Zod was purely personal, and therefore completely reckless the way he handled it, but hey, it made for good ‘splosions, right?

        • DannyV

          As opposed to what? Not fighting someone who’s as powerful as you, and actually trained as a warrior?

          Also, you mention the World Engine, but fail to mention that people were actually leaving the city because of it, making most of your point moot, unless you know people that think like “gee, aliens are destroying the city, let’s get some pancakes for the road!”

          • DannyV

            (looks like I have to reply myself to reply)

            I never said evacuation of the city would be easy, but you did assume people would stop for some good ol’ IHOP.

            Forty minutes of film time translates to much more time, enough to leave the area or at least take shelter. Maybe that’s the reason Supes took it to the air, since debris isn’t as dangerous if people are out of the streets.

          • DannyV

            Well yeah, there was that IHOP scene before the city siege, after the invasion of Ma Kent’s house. Notice how Supes never lands on a bystander. No bodies on the floor bleeding and twitching, รก la Robot Chicken skit. On media, fast-moving characters don’t seem to have accidents related to how fast they are moving. There’s probably a cool name for that trope.

            Of course, maybe that’s no excuse for the wanton destruction, but Supes is angry about them messing with his planet and his family, and he’s trying to take out a formidable foe, not a flying guy with a extreme V-neck. Better hit Zod with them insured buildings, than go to a far away farm and kill some poor farmer’s cattle or something.

            Pretty sure the conscience will be part of the character’s progression on the sequels.

      • wraithkingprime

        That is a very teleological view of ethics. ‘For the greater good’ is a line of thinking that can lead to inhumanly cruel actions.
        I always considered that Supes adhered to a much more deontological ethical paradigm. Practically speaking, those citizens might have died anyway, but the fact that Supes doesn’t even try to save them is what is so appalling. Whether they die or not simply isn’t Supes call to make. He has to try to save them or he is little better than Zod.

        It doesn’t matter if you can’t save everyone, either- a character like Superman still has to try. He is good and noble and not the sort of chap to write off the death of innocents with a shrug.

        That being said, I think a deep look at the MoS ethical system will be a waste of time, since Snyder clearly didn’t put much (if any) thought into it himself. The director seems much more interested in reveling in his own destruction porn.

  3. So The Avengers are allowed to destroy a city, but Superman isn’t? What about the Transformers?

    Bottom line is Superman has been part of city-destroying battles in the comic books for years, this is just the first time we’ve seen it in a movie.

    Yes, it would have been nice if Superman figured out a way to lure the Kryptonians to the North Pole or a corn field, but that doesn’t make for very interesting cinema, does it?

    • I don’t have any great investment in this debate. However, the thing that has always separated Superman from other superheroes is how moral he is, and how much he cares about humanity. Basically, he’s Jesus, and it seems that this movie makes that allusion pretty clear in other scenes. He isn’t just in it for the fight. He would give everything he had to protect each and every person individually. He’s also not a dark and broody revenge monster like Batman. It’s at the core of his being that he would never kill, or allow human beings to be killed if he can prevent it.

      Borrowed from a friend’s Facebook page:

      Thoughts on the movie from a former Superman comics writer:

        • Paulb

          Exactly. I’ve seen people cite the older movies but they seem to forget that he murdered Zod after he was rendered powerless.

          He also killed Zod in the comics in one of the story lines (I think in the 90’s).

          • If throwing people down a hole was the same as killing them, the comics industry would have died out decades ago, so I wouldn’t count those.

            Superman kills in John Byrne’s Superman #22, so not all Superman writers agree with Waid.

        • wraithkingprime

          That was stupid too. It isn’t ‘invalidated’ as a point, it is a notable deviation in the movies where the film makers just throw up their hands and decide that Superman’s ethics aren’t quite rugged enough to put up with Zod so the answer is to kill him.

          This approach was stupid then and it is stupid now.

      • DannyV

        Funny, because in that comic, he had just killed Mr MXYZPTLK. Not sure if it’s considered canon though.

        For anyone curious, it’s called “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” and it was written back in ’86 as the “last Superman story”. Probably considered an Elseworld or What If today.

    • Aaron Peck

      ‘The Avengers’ actually takes time out to show the people in peril, shows Captain America trying to herd people to safety and direct attacks away from them. They also show the blow back that happens after the fight and how the populace is mad at the Avengers for all the destruction. I’m not even going to defend ‘Transformers’ other than to say, ‘Man of Steel’ is ‘Transformers’ wanton destruction dressed up in blue tights.

      Interesting character development makes for interesting cinema. I wouldn’t call any of the overlong action sequences in ‘Man of Steel’ “interesting cinema.” The gross character conflict is at the center of this argument. You can’t have a movie that purports incessantly that Superman is the savoir of humankind and that he loves humans above all else and then on the other hand completely disregard all of that simply for the sake of big-budget action.

  4. Onslaught

    Interesting comparison to the Avengers. Whereas the character’s motivations do seem much more genuine than Superman’s in Man of Steel, it also establishes one of the lamest threats I’ve seen in a major blockbuster in quite some time. The Chitauri are shown to be hilarious inept at their job. Instead, they’re incredibly amazing at blowing cars up and some buildings and little more. Not once is a citizen shown to be killed or even hurt. Not that I couldn’t have imagined people dying or am a blood thirsty individual, but if you’re going to shot when Chitauri invade a building occupied by office workers, don’t show them COMPLETELY missing a group of individuals who are no more than 10 feet away. That’s one way to devalue your threat who is built up to be some amazing military force.

    On the other hand, Superman is shown to be hilariously inept at saving people in Man of Steel. It’s not that the character WANTS to hurt people, but he doesn’t really think about the consequences of his actions given the destruction of Smallville and later Metropolis. I chalk this up to Zack Snyder not thinking about the repercussions of this and wanting to show off a cool action scene. It’s as simple as that. I can buy it in Smallville, Superman merely attacked Zod and pushed him into harm’s way because his mother was attacked. After all, Superman is just starting out and he is shown to care very much for his mother.

    However, in Metropolis, it’s a completely different story. I do think people are over estimating the number of casualties in the fight. After all, there are enough scenes established showing that people evacuated the office buildings and were running for their dear lives….somewhere. Maybe I’m not remembering all that well though. But it probably wouldn’t have hurt showing Superman help evacuate some of those citizens. In the end, that scene with Zod and the family is shown to be woefully unearned. Much like most of the emotional moments in the movie. Not to say that I disliked it, it was decent, but it’s clear that Snyder and Goyer lack the deft touch of other directors/writers who have helmed Superhero films including Nolan, Whedon, Singer, etc.

    Also, the argument that Superman should have went to a more isolated area to fight Zod, I can’t buy it. Zod easily holds all the leverage. He wants to fight Superman, and he can easily just kill a bunch of people to draw Superman to him.

    • Aaron Peck

      I chalk it up to Warner Bros. over compensating for ‘Superman Returns’.

      WB: “Everyone said ‘Superman Returns’ didn’t have enough action. Get Zack Snyder.”

      Snyder: “Thin story? Depthless character building? Nonsensical action? Yup. I can do that.”

      It’s a gross over compensation. There are many ways to go about it, but here it’s all flash and bang without any acknowledgement of consequences. This is what the literal onslaught of endless CGI action has brought us to. It’s far easier to assume your audience doesn’t want to think, so just bombard them with a sensory assault and hope they don’t.

      Also, does it really matter if people are “over estimating” the casualties (which I don’t think they are)? Say Superman’s foray into IHOP took out a couple toddlers and infants (which in all likelihood it did, since I’ve never seen an IHOP without at least a half dozen families in there). The numbers of casualties are meaningless when thinking about it like that. The fact remains that at the end there is no remorse for his actions, no blow back for his careless decisions, no helping the dead and injured, just a smooch on Lois Lane’s pouty lips, and a stupid line from one of the generals, “He is not our enemy,” and that’s that. The movie is only interested in dangling shiny keys but never trying to figure out exactly what those keys can or should do.

      • Onslaught

        Honestly, I think the collateral damage thing is overblown in general, never mind the number of casualties. The real issue with Man of Steel lies more in its undercooked ideas and dramatically inert scenes. The two death scenes have zero impact because they are not handled nor written all that well. The idea of Superman’s place in society is completely dropped after he reveals himself to the military. Half the flashbacks barely connect to what’s going in context of the present day. Compare it to Batman Begins which used it as a strength to justify Bruce’s motivations.

        • If you’re going to start comparing Man of Steel to the Nolan Batman films – at least Man of Steel is clinging close to the comics reboot of the franchise, while Batman diverged so far from any source material they might as well have changed the costume and put a different name on the characters and it would have flown about as well.

          • Onslaught

            Well actually, I was only comparing Man of Steel to Nolan’s film from an execution level, not a matter of adaptation. There’s no doubt that Nolan’s films took a lot of liberties with Batman, but that’s not what I was comparing. Both movies take several liberties with the character, most of which I was okay with. It’s all in the execution. In which, Begins is a far better crafted film than Man of Steel is.

      • I totally agree with you. Superman Returns was not perfect, but it had a story, heart, and action. I much preferred it over this one. I don’t like to see the Superman story rewritten. Of course, I am 65 years old and this retelling of the origin story left me cold.

        If Time Warner had let Singer and Routh do their version of part 2, I think it would have been much better. However, today’s moviegoers want action, action, action and mindless destruction with no story. Well, they got it.

        I thought Brandon Routh embodied everything Superman is and then some.

  5. RollTide1017

    I haven’t decided which side of the argument I’m on, I see both sides points but, I just hope Metropolis is not completely rebuilt in MOS2 unless it takes place 50 years later. It felt like half of the city was in ruins and, if the next movie takes place only a year or two later there is no way it would all be fixed. Real life example: 12 years after 9/11 and it still isn’t completely rebuilt. I have no doubt though that they’ll pull a ST Voyager reset and Metropolis will look as good as new in the next movie.

    • What you missed the fact that they were in the Daily Planet with everything looking fantastic in what seemed like a couple days later after everything was over? It would take years and years to rebuild all of that but eh, whatever ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It honestly doesnt bother me that much, I had a blast with the movie and I’m simply glad Superman finally made an impact at the box office after all these years

      • Did the Daily Planet building ever get hit? Perry evacuated it, but there was no indication it got damaged. Also, there’s no way of knowing how much time passed between the battle and when Clark starts his job.

  6. Just like Batman Begins created a new Dark Knight, Man of Steel is creating a new Superman – one much better than anything that came before it. I’m ok with the destruction and death because this is what turns Clark Kent into Kal-El/Superman. This is a new birth of the character.

    On the positive side, at least in the Man of Steel sequel, we won’t see Clark having unbelievable panic attacks any time that some dumb kid mindlessly mentions the events of Metropolis. (Yes, I’m never going to let it go that Iron Man 3 was a piece of shit.)

    • I had more issue with Iron Man 3 in the fact that everything built so well to the Avengers and then magically Iron Man is the only person dealing with everything that happens in Iron Man 3, almost no existence of SHIELD, no Cap, Thor, anyone, they are all just missing except for the dumb comedic end scene after the credits. While I enjoyed Iron Man 3 those things pissed me off, its almost as if nothing really happened in the Avengers and Marvel has been all about stringing together everything to tie it in

    • But, Batman still had his core characteristics. His motives that drove him. It’s said that Superman has these motives, but he doesn’t actually practice them in the movie. It’s logic-defying.

  7. Sartozki

    It seems high-def digest (safe for one critic) is on a mission to bring down that movie… Not that whats being said is invalid but i found plenty good stuff in it and it was highly entertaining. In the end, thats why I go see movies.

    • We’ve published multiple reviews of the movie from multiple perspectives. Bryan K. loved the movie. Brian H. was lukewarm on it. Aaron hated it. Luke has commented on most of these posts that he’s with Bryan in loving it. Shannon acknowledges some issues with it but seems to be more positive than negative.

      I think we’ve been pretty balanced.

  8. John Burton

    I liked the movie. I thought all the elements were there to tell a great story, except for the storyteller. One part that really got me was the Perry White, Jimmy/Jenny Olsen, and a guy I have no idea who he was in danger. I didn’t care if they lived or died. These are iconic character that no time was given to make me care. Take 5 min. out of city destruction, and give me a reason to care if these people make it. I lay this and other problems with Zack Snyder. So many moments, wasted.

  9. Mark B

    I’m one of the people that like this movie immensely, but feel that they did overdo it with the hyperfast CGI fights. And it did bother me with the destruction of the city, but I think the argument that Superman could’ve taken the fight elsewhere is easily defeated when Zod himself states that he’s going to kill as many humans as possible. However, I would’ve preferred it Superman attempted, or at least mentioned it to the one General that he was going to try to lure Zod away so they could evacuate as many people as possible. Then have Zod focus his attacks on the military and/or civilians thus forcing Superman to fight wherever Zod took the fight to.

  10. Mr Apollo

    This is a repost from the poll:
    I donโ€™t understand why people keep saying that Superman would never kill anybody. In the comics heโ€™s given the right to kill by the president at times and itโ€™s justified to him because he doesnโ€™t have to make that decision. That order comes from someone else in power and not once does he hesitate to do it. For instance, in The Dark Knight Returns, heโ€™s told to take care of the Russian nuclear warships and he kills A LOT of people. No big deal for him. he even warns Batman that he will kill him if he does not surrender.

    Also, there have been multiple times in the comics when there’s collateral damage and he makes the choice to save more people. Even in Superman II he kills Zod while he has no powers. I don’t understand the logic of some people.

    • Soxtrot

      It was an overall conservative message behind the movie.

      Fans of The Family Guy are going to organically reject this.

  11. Chris S

    I guess everyone would just be happy if he had the all out knucklefest brawl with Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor. Ultimately, it’s a comic book movie. No one actually died in those buildings. It’s a movie for entertainment purposes. Not to rewrite history.

  12. David S

    I would also argue that if the people in Metropolis were smart they would have vacated the moment the terraforming machine was activated. The city was already being destroyed while superman was half the world away. In that time frame I am sure that anybody in the right frame of mind would have left, and if not well then that would have been their choice. Also another thing to point out is that this is not quite the same Superman that everyone knew. He was tormented and bullied throughout most of his life by the people he eventually fought to protect. Him killing Zod was the equivalent to him destroying any hope for any other kyrptonian being born again, and he did it for the human race. It obvious that he did not want to do it, but what do you do when you are fighting a solder who gives you almost no choice. It was kill Zod or let him kill every other human being on the planet because it was not they had the ability to contain of banish him. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.

    • In any real-world disaster scenario (hurricanes, floods, volcanoes, etc.), many people choose to stay in their homes rather than evacuate, because either they have nowhere else to go or they just refuse to believe that anything bad can happen to them. Look at how many people died during Hurricane Catrina because they wouldn’t leave.

      It happens. It’s inevitable. The notion that an entire metropolitan city could be fully evacuated is even more far-fetched than watching a man in tights and a cape fly through the air.

  13. If Zack Snyder had directed the same movie, with the same action sequences, but it was called ‘Hancock 2’, people wouldn’t be defending it NEARLY as much.

  14. If it were Hancock 2, I wouldnt have gone to see it (even if it got good reviews). Thats not a good argument. Sometimes people just don’t like movies, no big deal. But, I didnt read anything in this article to make me think back to the movie and dislike it. The only issue I had with this movie was the lack of chemistry with Lois and the way Jonathon Kent died. I also have an overall dislike when superheroes pants seem fireproof, but I understand why directors do this.

  15. If I wasn’t clear, I liked the movie and look forward to the sequel. It was no “Dark Knight”, but I actually liked it as much as any of the Marvel movies.

  16. Spoon Feeder

    It’s amazing that everything in today’s world has to be “over the top”. To this post argument, yes the CGI fights were way to heavy…understandable but no “Super” fights would have made a Superman movie dull and boring.
    Speaking, again about “over the top”, everything today has to make sense. Need it be the way Batman’s cape turns into wings (electrical impulses through a special fiber in his cape) or how he got the blades on his gloves. (ninja armor in training) I mean, come on, anyone remember the Superman “S” shrink wrap in Superman II? Or the multiple Supermen in the same scene? Everyone still thought that movie was great though. Half the movies of the past were great just because we accepted them for what they were. (As long as there was no stupid acting)
    With that being said, what if Supes used his x-Ray vision to probe buildings before he launched Zod into one? Remember when they were in the building and NO ONE WAS THERE? Then Zod has a “Heat Vision Headache” and takes out the floor beneath Supes? As for the iHop thing, I’m not completely sure but that was all the other persons fault slamming Supes into the iHop. It was Faora if I remember correctly.
    Either way, no movie will make sense anymore if we all rely on being spoon feed everything that our imagination is suppose to take care of. Get the main purpose of this film, a COMPLETE reboot of Superman with darker tones, and enjoy it. If it was a follow up to a previous incarnation to Superman then complain but this is just the beginning of a new franchise. Everyone keeps bringing up Batman but even in Batman Begins no one gave a shit about any one other than Batman…

  17. Spoon Feeder

    Yeah, a human (Iron Man, Batman) trying to become a hero is a lot easier to tell than a story of an alien trying to become a hero. More relatable and believable. Especially with today’s audience. It’s just like in the plot of Man of Steel, “it’s hard for people to accept him”.

    As for the “this film is for conservatives” comment, your point definitely makes sense, especially with lines in the movie like “if we’re done measuring our dicks” and so on… Your just using decades old allegorical outlooks people have had on Superman.

  18. Muttley

    Here’s the thing…he’s NOT Superman yet!

    He’d spent his childhood being told that he had to hide his abilites, even at the cost of his adopted father’s life. He’s spent most of his adult life as a drifter working odd jobs, only displaying his abilites in secret and then moving on. He hasn’t necessarily developed the strong moral code that will make him Earth’s mightiest protector…it’s only after encountering the ghost of Jor-El and hearing Jor-El speak of his potential for good that he begins to develop into the Superman he will be.

    This is as much a coming of age story as it is a superhero flick IMO. We get to see Clark find out that he’s actually Kal-El and how he adjusts to that. Then we get to see Kal-El both flaunt and have to harness his powers and come to grips with making the ultimate decision..his reaction to that decision will ivariably influence his evolution into Superman. By the close of the film, we’re starting to see glimpses of the Superman that most of us know…but he’s had to go though some learning to get there.

  19. WOW! So… finally someone thinks about the bystanders in the production of a fictional fight/conflict of fictional characters?

    May I refer you to Damage Control by Marvel (I know, it is not DC…) back in 1989

    Maybe the public is catching up with those sensitivities that Will Eisner introduced us back in the 1950’s with The Spirit, where the story actually happened to normal everyday people who got entangled in the adventures of the hero. Then the fighting, the colorful costumes, the superheroics were part of a the tastes of a child-like audience. Maturing brings the question “What happens to the people who are watching the fight?”

    Congratulations. 50 Years too late for Will Eisner, and 20 to late for Damage Control, and the such…

  20. I thought about this alot, too. But I remembered Jor-El’s comment(Russell Crowe) that something is happening that is bigger than a handful of lives (paraphrase). That seemed to be an important line in the film that should explain the tone. Doesn’t make it right or make me feel good but I think that provides some level of continuity in the film.

    It’s still excessive for my tastes but I enjoyed the film, maybe a 3 star review out of 5

  21. Michael

    In Superman II, he cared about the people and realized the destruction that was happening and left. You would have think in this movie he would have taken the fight out of the city. Don’t forget too…why did he fly to the Indian Ocean to destroy that machine when the one in Metropolis was destroying buildings and killing people in them and in the area?

  22. Acerbic Wonder

    The article and your review are baseless. On more than one occasion, you conveniently switch roles. Superman didn’t throw Zod through an IHOP. It was Superman who was thrown into the IHOP by the female kryptonian, Faora. Are you sure you actually watched this film? Then there is the subject of “Superman chucks Zod through yet another skyscraper”. Again, the roles were reversed, Zod doing the “chucking”. And I love the fact that you left the part out about Kal checking to see if people were ok, and to take shelter. You might be seasoned, but if you’re going to talk about scenes in a movie that you are reviewing, please be at least accurate. I honestly just think that you wanted to sandbag this film. Prove me wrong.

  23. Les

    Wait until Pacific Rim, lol. It looks like a crap load of people are going to get wasted in that one with the big Human Bots and Monsters thrashing it out!!

    We will see how they handle that!!

  24. Phil

    Yes people died when he fought Zod, but Zod was literally trying to kill everyone on the planet. Frankly I was glad to see Superman sacrifice the few for the many for once. How many thousands of people died over the years because Superman refused to kill Lex Luther? The reality is Superman could never save every person in a city as big as Metropolis.

  25. Darkchilde

    For God’s sake I am sick of these posts.
    First, the damn city was evacuated! You didn’t see many people in the buildings because they were gone. And if they were there, they are tragic casualties in a WAR. Superman, who has never been in a fistfight in his LIFE, is struggling to stop a perfect warrior who wants to genocide us. We are lucky he was able to win even IF it was at a great cost.
    Second, in Superman 2 he does NOT KILL the trio, he sends them back to the Phantom Zone. The crystal is just a portal!

  26. Luke

    … everyone is completely exaggerating and overeacting about this fight and the “damage” superman caused. the city was being destoyed for hours in movie time before zod and superman’s fight.. does no one realise this?
    obviously there would be no one in the towers. You don’t here the world is being taken over by aliens and starting with your city then just stay in your office and go back to work.
    if you are trying to find a flaw in the movie, it’s that they let people assume people wouldnt have eveacuated every building in the first 20 minutes of the invasion. so that’s the problem, not superman mindlessly destroying buildings. it was his first fight, his first challenge as superman, he is obviously not gonna do it perfect, and that’s why i liked it