By Kealan McCormack (kmccormack97)
If there is one superhero that is as familiar to the big screen as The Dark Knight, then that would be The Man of Steel himself, Superman. The modern day super flick, “Man of Steel” is a modern take on the titular hero; an attempt to envision Superman as a brooding, dark, gloomy hero so Warner Bros could cash in a few billion simoleons just like they did from Christopher Nolan’s gritty and more grounded take at the caped crusader, “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” It doesn’t work for Superman though.
It’s fine to do a darker take on Batman because his stories (from the 80’s anyway) where serious affairs that dealt in conspiracies, murders and other dour circumstances. Nolan’s take on Batman was an attempt at a more realistic story, one that could happen in our world. Superman, on the other hand, does not need to be dark. It never was as mature as Batman. His source material was never as dark as Batman’s. Superman was, in my eyes, always a symbol of positivity and relativity. In my childhood I always found more appeal with the Son of Krypton, a good man with a heart of gold and is always prepared to help others. His friendly nature and use of power for the benefit of others and not for his own agenda’s is another strong point of positivity. Sure, he has super-strength and can fly but all of the best Superman stories focused on his relationships with others and his humanity. Batman (who I also like, don’t worry Batman fanboys!) on the other hand is always associated with as being relate able because he’s human. That may not be as true as you’d think considering he’s extremely wealthy, driven by an insane amount of both vengeance and drive, pathologically broody and preferring to work and live in complete solitude. I mean, you’ve a guy who’s basically a god, with incredible strength and a strong sense of justice who hides as a mild-mannered reporter or an orphaned magnate who dresses up as a bat and uses insanely expensive, extravagant gadgetry in a one man war for revenge against crime who also puts on an act of being a stereotypical rich lad? I for one, would relate more with Clark Kent.
Which now brings me to my main point (I was going somewhere with this brief rant don’t worry!): Zack Synder’s depiction of Superman is terrible and he should be punished for it. You want to know why I don’t like it? To name a few problems; one would be that Superman isn’t a dark character, I’ll admit I liked certain aspects of Man of Steel such as the typical backstory for Clark, liked the conflict with General Zod, thought the villains weapon and schemes were a bit out there alright but I didn’t like how gloomy, how batman-y Superman was. He was NOTHING like he SHOULD be. The Warner Bros. execs really wanted a change with Superman anyway. A complete character assassination. Now I know you can argue characters change, but Superman was always used as a symbol of hope and strength, of positivity, against oppression, with a devil-may-cry attitude to him, a cool and collected customer who would never stand down from the face of evil. I don’t think Cavill so much as smiled once with the costume on (he probably did but let’s pretend he didn’t). I won’t fault Cavill, he’s an adequate actor and I do think he’s a great casting for Superman. I just think they should leave him to be as he was rather than changing him to be more “modern”.
Next point against the movie? Why it’s mentioned in the title, where’s the superman theme?! A song eponymous with the character, (even a cartoon from the 90’s had it, for shame Snyder), it is known for it’s positivity and the great feeling of triumph that it creates. I watched Christopher Reeve playing the character in Superman and Superman II countless times as a child. Sure the movies are odd and campy now, but, that theme is ageless, an important aspect of the character’s history. It’s like Jurassic Park without it’s theme, or Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, Indiana Jones and countless other films or tv shows. Man of Steel and Batman v.s. Superman needed this song. If they both where amazing films that scored 9 or 10’s everywhere I’d still demand the theme should be part of it. I mean they didn’t.. because they where pretty iffy.. but they’ll catch up to Marvel…hopefully.
Here’s the song in it’s entirety for you to bask in it’s wondrous glory!
Now listen to this theme cut into Man of Steel footage,you’ll find it all over YouTube, many different videos, edited for a certain reason! Now, I don’t dislike Hans Zimmer’s work within Man of Steel, he’s a favourite of mine, great music in the film that works with the tone and feelings created within it, in fact some of the music within it is on my phone it’s just that good, but I think because I’ve been ingrained with the classic work of John Williams (I’ve done an article on him too if anyone’s interested!), I cannot see Superman without this theme popping into my head. So… Sorry Zimmer!
Long story short: Superman is a figurehead of optimism, hopefully Snyder rectifies this in Justice League or Man of Steel 2 or something (Superheroes never stay dead; simple, yet stupid, fact of the comic book industry that I argue is leading towards the stagnation of said industry but alas that is an argument for another day, and, for my own blog!) and puts in the John William theme for one damn scene. Also one more complaint but… his pouting, “realistic”, “grounded” and “human” Superman couldn’t hear a bomb in a courtroom scene of Batman v.s. Superman: Dawn of Justice that leads to lots of drama and the two duking it out (eventually) but my problem is Snyder had Clark Kent say he didn’t hear it because he was holding back his powers or trying less to interfere with mankind (can’t remember which one) but that is so wrong. Superman would not do that. Not because it’s against his character or anything (it really, really is) but because he has a heightened sense of hearing, so him missing a bomb would be like us missing a fire alarm: we’d pretty much be trying to ignore it as it goes off in the background. Character Assassination! Don’t you love it?
Write down below what you think of my views, maybe give it a like or a share? Why not read another post either created by myself or fellow blogger Steven Casey? Hope you enjoyed!
I’d also like to thank KIDCOM for permission to use his video of Man of Steel with the John William’s Superman theme. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3dy-Vu30HU) If your a fan of computer games and films have a look at his channel!: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU-hgmHigDd-tdTfKAz056Q