Things I liked about it were:
- Um, Henry Cavill????
- The image of Krypton, great worldbuilding. Cool combination of sci-fi and fantasy in one world.
- Lois Lane wasn't just a damsel in distress, but a genuine heroine. She was smart and good at her job. She came off brave, rather than TSTL, and she affected the outcome of the story.
- The villain had strong motivation. It's been a long time since I saw the original Superman movie (I call the 1970's one the original...) and I haven't read the comics, so maybe this motivation wasn't new... but I liked this villain. Michael Shannon is always strong and his motivation was too. He was trying to save his people, Superman was trying to save humans. That's some damn good conflict, IMHO.
But some criticisms based on further reflection and scanning a couple of reviews.
- The fight scenes... Were a little silly and long and gratuitous. But I often think that... Fight scenes are rarely my favorite part of movies and, although I tend to have quite a few in my books, I like to keep mine short. And prefer them short in films too.
- As much as I did like the world-building in the prologue on Krypton and as strong as I think the villain's motivation was... I concede that for storytelling purposes, the film might have been stronger without the prologue, and the conflict in the story was really between Jor-el and Zod, not Superman and Zod...
The prologue really took some steam out of the hero's conflict. Okay, a lot of steam. The prologue explained important information that we didn't get to see Superman learning, so we never really knew how much of it he knew, or how he felt about it. Thus, his choice between saving his people or the human race was more clear cut than it should have been. As far as we knew, he could give a bleep about his people.
I read one review that called Superman a pawn in the story. I think that's going a little far, but I will concede that I might have been so distracted and impressed that Lois Lane wasn't a pawn, that I might have missed that Superman was... Hmmm... The more I think about it, Lois Lane and Russell Crowe are actually the heroes of this story. It's almost like the classic YA mistake of having the grown ups solve the kids problems... Jor-el, with Lois's help, solved all Superman's problems...
The whole film is basically a prologue for what I assume the filmmakers are hoping will be a franchise. I did notice the Luther Corp logo on a truck near the end... and someone told me that the satellite in one of the fight scenes (yes, there's a satellite in a fight scene) had a Wayne Industries logo on it. So clearly they're hoping to compete with The Avengers. Will be interesting to see if they can pull that off. But there needs to be more humor, and I have a feeling everyone's all Batmaned out these days...
So, not a perfect film. But I was entertained.
But not as much as I was at This is the End.
I loved this movie. I thought I might be making a mistake going to a film like this at noon, and not under the influence of anything but coffee... but I found it hilarious.
Was it silly? Sure. Was some of the humor juvenile? Of course. Is it Shakespeare? No.
But it was a tightly told story, with clear (if silly) character arcs, a lot of snappy dialogue and so many references and cameos I'm sure I'd have to see it a couple more times before I caught them all. Even Rihanna was funny.
And whether or not you like Seth Rogen as an actor: dude can write (along with his writing partner Evan Goldberg). And dude is willing to poke fun at himself, his friends, his job, his lifestyle.
Highly recommend this movie if you want a good laugh. And if you know anything about the actors, their films and their personas... My favorite actor send up was either Jonah Hill or Michael Cera. Both really let themselves be skewered in opposite ways and I found the film versions of them very funny. I guess the Michael Cera send up was a bit reminiscent of Neil Patrick Harris in the first Harold and Kumar movie... But it went a little further and was so, so, so funny... Oh, and Danny McBride, who I normally hate... His character version of himself was also very funny. So was James Franco's version of himself. Just remembering how obsessed he was with Rogen.
Okay. The more I think about it, the more things I remember. This movie was very funny. I could go on and on... These are actors who know how they are perceived, and are willing to poke fun at themselves.
As a Canadian I also appreciated the Jay Baruchel "character" who was so self-righteous and unwilling to sell out to Hollywood, which caused the main internal conflict between him and Rogen. And set up what was an almost sweet friendship story arc inside a horror/comedy film. (This movie is actually based on a short film from 2007 called Seth and Jay Versus the Apocalypse.)
Overall: I had tears of laughter much of the time. The dialogue was surprisingly subtle and smart. Would see it again.
Speaking of great dialogue, I also saw both Before Midnight and Much Ado About Nothing in the past couple of days, (I'm making up for lost time.) and enjoyed both.
But this post is getting too long.