EDITORIALS

Discuss: Does 'Batman v Superman' Fix Some 'Man of Steel' Issues?

by
July 14, 2015

Batman v Superman

After years of speculative buzz, Zack Snyder finally unveiled a complete look at where the future of DC is headed at Comic-Con with an extended trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Technically speaking, this is a sequel to Man of Steel, but Zack is adamant to remind fans that this is the beginning of something new (meaning: Justice League and other DC movies) and not so much a sequel to Superman's re-imagined origin. That said, it's clear with some of the footage in the trailer that these two movies connect directly. There's a shot of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) on the ground in Metropolis watching Supes fight Zod as buildings collapse around him. This changes everything about Man of Steel. Or does it?

Editor's Note: almost everything that is being discussed in this is purely speculative, as we've only seen barely three minutes of footage between two different trailers. Zack is known for being very particular and extremely talented at showing scenes that cause an immense amount of excitement before release. So, while yes all will be revealed when the movie hits theaters next March, for now this is just a fun discussion.

Batman v Superman

To jump right into this, I will admit that I like Snyder's Man of Steel. A lot. I loved how gritty and real his take was, and since I have no connection to the comic book character, I was fine with the changes. But the critics really hated Man of Steel. They tore Zack a new one over many problems, but none greater than the wanton destruction in Metropolis. And, of course, Zod's death. Mostly because it seems like such a potential betrayal of the character of Superman, but upon further examination it actually is a very complex moment. Similar to the way Batman lets Ra's al Ghul die at the end of Batman Begins, it's a more deeper and genuine examination of how an actual person would handle the choice between the death of many or death of one.

Well, it turns out that apparently Batman saw the other side of this. He saw all the destruction, the mayhem, he watched Metropolis crumble around him. Zack revealed during the Hall H panel that Metropolis and Gotham are neighbors (in his world), across the bay from each other. From there, we can only assume (at this point) that Bruce Wayne is very affected when Metropolis (and other parts of the planet) are destroyed and this "Superman" behind all of it is utterly irresponsible. He let these people die. That's the thing - from what we see, this idea is the beginning of the new Batman v Superman storyline. And I think it's brilliant.

A fan already cut together the action sequence from Man of Steel with the new Batman v Superman shots:

Batman v Superman - Man of Steel

The question at hand, however, is whether or not these "retconned" fixes make the complaints about the wanton destruction moot. During its lashing upon release, Man of Steel received the most criticism for its final third act, which is when Zod and Superman battle and Metropolis is destroyed, and lots of crazy things happen. If, as it seems, Batman v Superman explains rather nicely how other people were affected by this destruction, does it make those criticisms obsolete? We don't know the answer to this question yet (and won't until Batman v Superman is released) but there's actually another big question to ask as part of this.

What if Zack Snyder, and the team at Warner Bros responsible for developing the new DC universe, actually planned all of this out? Again, this is pure speculation, but what if all that destruction and death actually plays right into the Batman v Superman storyline which then plays right into the Justice League storyline, and even connects with Suicide Squad? What if they actually had the foresight to plan an extended multiple-movie story that examines these themes about destruction and death and morality. And what if it wasn't actually a betrayal of the Superman character, but rather an astute telegraphed exploration of a new Superman, one that must actually deal with the weight of morality as its presented to us in the "real world."

It's basically the whole "consequences" argument - someone does something that should have consequences, and if they don't have consequences, it seems odd. But there are consequences to Superman's "betrayal", we just don't learn about them until the next movie in this series. If that's true, and this comes to light when Batman v Superman is released, then all those criticisms would be obsolete. But here's another idea to consider - what if what we're seeing in Batman v Superman is a response to those criticisms. What if Zack, and the DC team, heard all of that and said "you know what, we'll address all this in the next movie." Does that still achieve the same effect? Does it change Man of Steel at all? Does it make it a better movie, or not?

I'm sure many will say "but there's other problems with Man of Steel". Yes indeed, everyone has their own opinion about it, but I think the truly objective issues might actually be addressed down the road (whether that's in Batman v Superman or Justice League or other movies). It's a very interesting idea to think about: what if they really planned this all out? What if we're all being too critical of one movie when we should be appreciating a storyline (and all the consequences that come with it) continuing across multiple movies? (Just like in TV!) Yes, I know that a movie should speak for itself and stand on its own, but it just makes you wonder. What is Zack really up to? And can a sequel make up for some mistakes made in the original movie?

Batman v Superman

In the new footage from Batman v Superman that we saw, there are a number of really surprising moments. From seeing Bruce Wayne watching Superman fighting Zod, to the things Martha Kent tells Superman about "be their hero, be their angel… or be none of it", to the senate meeting and shot of the Superman protestors outside the courthouse. What I appreciate about Zack Snyder's version of Superman is that it's no longer a comic book character, it's a real person, a real being on a real planet. It's the idea of what if this really happened on Earth today. What would a being like that think about, what kind of issues would he struggle with, if there was someone (and many others) that were that powerful. And if he lets people die, knowing he can save them, how can he really cope with that? Does it create enemies? Does he lose all the goodwill he earned from the people of the planet he's not even from? Does it matter if there are answers in one movie?

The answer to some of these questions is yes - because we've seen glimpses in the new Batman v Superman trailer. We see that people don't like Superman anymore because so many people were killed in Metropolis. We see Zod's dead body being brought in by the government. We finally see the consequences of his actions. Does that make up for Man of Steel? I'm not sure. But it sure does make you think. And I love movies that make you think, that ask challenging questions that might not have straightforward answers. Thoughts?

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  • Snowmanfloza
    Good article to calm the haters down a bit. That scene with Bruce Wayne watching his building get destroyed in the trailer explained a lot about what happened, and what is to come. I cannot be more excited.
    • Ben
      I was a hater. But whether this story was planned from the beginning or is a response to critics, I think it's genius. The audience should be mad about what happened. Once I saw this trailer, all that bottled-up disdain I had for Snyder changed to respect. They're playing the long game and we're part of the story. We're the bruised and beaten city of Metropolis.
      • Carpediem06
        Loved your comment and I too felt the same; I think wet have Terrio to applaud for it ?
        • Ben
          Ah yes, you're right. Goyer and Terrio.
  • If they planned it all along to have all the movies correlate beforehand then that might be a game changer for DC vs Marvel. Making "MoS" a flawed movie as a stand alone but along with Justice League, BvS, and Suicide Squad it would merely be a chapter in the new DC universe book. I like where they are going. I think Batman v Superman is gonna determine whether DC is going to do well with their movies. Marvel has a giant head start but the way its looking, DC may catch up.
    • BNN667
      I don't know if DC will ever truly catch up with Marvel at this point, but while I thought MoS was a decent film I'm REALLY looking forward to Suicide Squad and Dawn of Justice! Why Not have Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in the same film!? It's fucking awesome! And while I feel studios were trepidatious about doing such things in the past they've now realized we love that shit! All in all I'm just glad DC has decided to just go for it and give us the live action comic gold we've been waiting for, and now just like in my local comic shop I can have both DC and Marvel at the theater as well!
  • garrett
    I think the complaints about the destruction were justified but not worth the attention they were given. In all "super-hero" comic books destruction happens regularly. What else do you expect when people/beings with extraordinary powers go toe-to-toe in a large city? Things are going to break. However, whether planned or merely as a response to the criticisms I think that addressing it is important, it is what helps flesh out not only super-heroes but the world they live in. I for one am excited for the direction Snyder is taking. It reminds me (in a way) of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Make the world hate their super hero, make them question him and then make that hero take the punishment and rise above it. In the comics superman is a hero who is rarely criticized by his public, he is seen as majestic where as other Heroes are not, they are seen as vigilantes (criminals) usually hated by cops or others who believe we should leave it to the "professionals". With that in mind I find it interesting to put that spin against Superman. Just my thoughts.
  • David Diaz
    Good read. Personally I never thought Man of Steel had to apologize for anything. Like you, I really enjoyed it. And I responded to friends who made those criticisms regarding Metropolis and Zod immediately by saying I'm sure there would be consequences in the sequel and that is how they were going to bring Batman into it. Guess I was right. I even remember reading an article where Snyder said he was going to use the destruction of Metropolis as a catalyst for people being against Superman. I think it was planned all along and having Wayne be present for the destruction was brilliant.
  • filmtogo
    It would be pretty cool if Zack Snyder would do a "Guild - Consequences - Redemption" storyline out of it. But yes. You definitely have to think about the new storytelling. It's not always one film anymore. It is planned in advanace. It is a storyline like you see on tv shows. In the golden age of television with shows like House of Cards or Game of Thrones these programs almost become cinematically. So it is no wonder that the movies take something from the tv. That's the point. You have to watch these movies not with your old understanding of a 90 minute movie with a start - middle - and ending. It is a planned movie series. It's a bigger storyline. And as much as we complain about all the sequels...consuming a lot of tv shows is a sign for the movie studios that these continuing stories are much appreciated these days. So I don't know if Man of Steel was planned or not that way. But I'm pretty sure that Zack Snyder will do everything he can do make it plausible and more likeable with the second episode of the Warner Bros/DC movie show called "DC Cinematic Universe" now.
  • David Diaz
    And those two scenes cut together was great! I wondered what part of the fight that would match and now I do.
  • Ricardo_PT
    I never really understood the criticism concerning the destruction in MoS. Two superstrong flying aliens fighting each other in a populated first world city, how in hell did people expect everything to be fine and that there would be no colateral. I'm not so sure about this being all part of the plan though (as opposed to a reaction to that criticism), but I'm glad DC is trying to mix the different movies into the same universe. The thing that surprised me the most so far was the robin suit with the Joker's graffiti in BvS.
    • Snev De la Fontaine
      The problem (at least for me) is not the destruction, it's that the whole sequence was directed in a manner so boring and distant that it doesn't feel like Superman is trying to save the world, but more like it's collateral damage in a dick-measuring contest with Zod. There's no shown attempts of Superman to save people or relocate the fight and thus no tension outside of fists hitting or missing. Compare that with the third act of the second Avengers, which seems to nearly explicitly tell MoS off by giving people-saving its deserved focus.
      • Rob Potter
        I agree. I had the same feeling of no emotional weight to all the death and destruction. Then when it's over, nobody seems to care, and there's the awkward "he's hot" joke right when we should all be thinking "wow, that was a tragic loss of innocent life."
      • Robert James Watkins
        "There's no shown attempts of Superman to save people or relocate the fight and thus no tension outside of fists hitting or missing" Superman explicitly tells Zod that he's going to stop him. He's not fighting out of pride and stopping Zod is saving billions of lives. Superman saved plenty of lives in the film outside of stopping the Kryptonians. He saved the kids in the bus, the oil drillers, and the soldier from falling out of the copter. Clearly he cares about people. I don't know how people forget that. You can't compare it to Avengers where it's an entire team of superheroes. Superman is one man fighting a group that's as strong as him.
        • Snev De la Fontaine
          I'm not really doubting Superman's intentions. What I mean was that the way the last sequence was handled by Snyder fell short of making me feel it. It would have felt much more tense in action and noble in character if he attempted (though not necessarily succeeded) to save people while fighting. If he doesn't want Zod to notice, then he might have to take extra care not to make it too noticeable, trying to trick him to fight elsewhere. It's weaknesses and near-hits or misses like this that build more tension.
          • Robert James Watkins
            But when, the fighting is really quick and any diversion risks a lot. For every second that Superman is trying to save one person, he risks not only his life, but Zod could use that time to kill 10 others at least. Focusing on the fight was the right course of action.
          • Snev De la Fontaine
            Though I do believe he could have at least attempted to subtly relocate the fight, I can get why fighting might be the best course of action. But my problem is not so much with Superman as it is with Snyder. Because simply focusing on the fight makes for a boring sequence if we don't sufficiently feel what is at stake (and that Superman feels it). Compare it with a cliche (because it works): Nearly every film where a character is at a dangerous height, you can be damn sure something's going to fall down, be it a hat or rock or otherwise. Technically, just telling something is high up might do to rationalize "It's dangerously high, the protagonsit must be scared", but showing the danger along with the fearful response, clutching to safety is how we relate to it and feel the tension of the scene. What's more, taking the right course of action (not looking down, in this example) is not always best to make a tense scene.
          • Robert James Watkins
            I had no problem feeling what was at stake - the world. We see what Clark is fighting for when he saves the family by snapping Zod's neck, thus ending the threat. In your analogy, when you say "the fearful response" are you referring to the protagonist or the onlooker? Why do we need to see the onlooker's response? Focusing on the hero and his response should be sufficient enough if we care about the character.
          • Snev De la Fontaine
            I did mean the protagonist's response. It's those moments, emphasising the stakes, intentions and problems that I feel is missing from Snyder's action scenes. To me, they just feel like empty choreography more than anything else. If you felt engaged in it, I don't mean to dismiss that. I wish I was too, but I wasn't and I hope I've given a bit of an insight into why I think I wasn't, even if we disagree.
          • Robert James Watkins
            Why don't you think the stakes were emphasized? On the personal level, we saw that Perry, Lombard, and Jenny were going to die until Superman stopped the world engine, AND we know what Zod plans to do if he's not stopped. I have no idea why you think the stakes weren't emphasized.
          • Snev De la Fontaine
            I shouldn't have used "missing", because those moments do exist. The best one, I think, is when Superman feels forced to kill Zod. What works about that scene is that Zod realises Superman's intention to save people can be used to force his hand. We see Superman struggling to keep Zod's laser from harming the people around them. Realising the limit of his power, he realises he will have to sacrifice an ideal for the greater good and kill Zod. I think that's a great and tense moment, because we see the immediate danger of innocent people, feel Superman's struggle and worry with him about how he can handle it. But moments like that are far and between in a lengthy sequence that focuses on Superman and Zod hitting each other and little else. If I watch short parts of that whole fight, I do enjoy it because it is creatively done. But when I'm watching the full film, it gets boring. Furthermore, it starts to feel decadent (like watching destruction-porn) because the horribleness I'm seeing on screen doesn't get acknowledged by the main protagonist outside of his persistence in fighting. I think I would have been more engaged if he witnessed more of the consequences and kept on trying to find ways to alleviate it and failing to. Especially since it's hard to ever feel Superman or Zod are in real danger by being hit through buildings, powerful that they are.
          • Robert James Watkins
            I wouldn't call no killing an ideal. Sometimes taking a life is the just thing to do if you are saving an innocent life, otherwise i agree that it's a great moment in the film. Yes, the sequence went a little long, but it wasn't "destruction porn". Him fighting Zod was alleviating it. Superman would have to know that if he takes his eyes off of Zod for a second, it could be fatal or could result in someone else's death. What more consequence can you show beyond what was shown? Plenty of people were already killed and Zod was knocking Superman through buildings. I get what you're saying, I just don't agree. What baffles me though is that Man of Steel got crapped on for a fight that is probably less than 10 minutes, but Mad Max Fury Road is getting praised even though it's the most boring repetitive action ever. Talk about not caring about the protagonists.
  • TheOct8pus
    I'm positive that DC and WB wanted these stories (MoS, BvS and Suicide Squad) to lead up to Justice League, hence all the connections. It's no coincidence that Suicide Squad is coming out before Justice league....it's about time DC fleshed out their cinematic universe.
    • All this time that Marvel has been creating its universe DC might of just been planning all along.
      • TheOct8pus
        True....although I think at this point DC is just playing catch up to Marvel. They realized how successful The Avengers was, and how successful all the follow ups (Capt 2, Iron Man 3) were and they're finally doing something about it.
    • DAVIDPD
      Agreed. When we finally see The Flash, The Green Lantern, and Aquaman, I will cry.
      • TheOct8pus
        One thing I'd like to add is that Marvel took all the risk back when they started connecting Iron Man, Captain America and Thor with the Avengers...it could have gone terribly, but they pulled it off. I think DC and WB now know that it's a winning bet, but they wouldn't have known had Marvel not paved the way for them.
        • dan
          how did marvel take a risk? these movies already have an insanely rabid fanbase due to the popularity of the comics - so they had a pretty good idea that they'd move a lot of tickets . and besides, LOTR /star wars movies/Indiana jones movies showed how much cash was to be made by doing films in this manner long before marvel did it.
          • TheOct8pus
            Here's how Marvel took a risk (or two): 1) They essentially broke away from the studio system, opting to create their own studio so that they wouldn't have to pay any rights to other studios, essentially taking on all financial risk in the process. 2) After realizing that their hottest properties (Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic 4) could not be used, they decided to make Iron Man - a much lesser known character to those outside the comic-sphere - their poster boy. Before the first 2 Iron Man movies, Iron Man didn't have the star power of Batman or Spider Man. Somehow (with a little help from Robert Downey Jr) they made Iron Man a household name. 3) Banking on the success of Iron Man, they decided to assemble the Avengers by making 2 movies that would lead up to the big team-up event. They didn't know if The Avengers was going to be a commercial success - most Hollywood superhero team-ups were not terribly successful at that point (Watchmen, Mystery Men, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).... Also, they took a risk making 2 feature films starring Captain America (a divisive hero in the US, and a unknown hero outside the US) and Thor (a Norse God?? What?) hoping these two features would do well....luckily for Marvel, Capt. America and Thor did well and we all know how well the Avengers did. LOTR, Star Wars and Indiana Jones DID NOT do what Marvel did. Maybe if Indiana Jones tied into a Star Wars sequel you'd have a point, but what you're referring to are just sequels. Marvel makes standalone movies that somehow tie in to other standalone movies and often crossover. No-one succeeded to do this until now. So yeah. Marvel Studios paved the way for DC/WB, showing them how to build a successful shared universe, and essentially assumed all the initial risk of finding out if such a thing would work on film in the first place.
  • Jon Odishaw
    I cant believe the third act was critically panned. It was my favourite part, CGI has evolved to the point where they could realistically have these two super beings fight. My jaw was on the floor the whole time. So the city was destroyed? its just like every other comic book movie. Its not like Superman could have politely asked Zod to leave town. perhaps Im biased because Man of Steel is one of my three favourite comic book movies.
    • Brian Sleider
      "Excuse me Mr.Zod I do believe our fracas is causing large collateral damage, mayhap we move to a less populated area?" "LOL THATS THE POINT KAL!!!"
    • Jesse
      AGREE! Also, Zod said (multiple times) Superman would have to kill him if Superman wanted to save the world.
    • txJM
      Maybe quit being a little bitch.
  • IamSlave
    You know I really don't understand the hate for the "destruction" in Man of Steel. Do people forget or just ignore that in the first Avengers giant buildings were being destroyed by massive worm alien ship things? You think lots of people didn't die then? I don't understand why we ignore one but give so much hate to the other.
    • JCA
      I think many find it's easier to forgive Marvel movies because they are fun and make us laugh. It's strange because I would think that cracking jokes in the middle of destruction and loss of life in Avengers 2, Winter Soldier, etc is more inappropriate than what MoS showed.
    • Brandon Paul
      NY's destruction was a major focus in the TV series, Daredevil.
      • IamSlave
        okay and? That doesn't erase the fact that just as much if not more destruction was in The Avengers.
        • Brandon Paul
          Annnd it demonstrates that there were consequences. I feel the same about the errant banter.
          • IamSlave
            Okay and we see theirs consequences of MoS in BvS. Just because they went a different route in the story explaining it doesn't make one "less destruction"
    • R3last
      i think, in my opinion anyway, is that the Avengers addressed it. Cap talks about containing the damage and working with the Cops and firefighters to get people clear. That's in film, not having to be retconned later. Even though Daredevil talks about it and the redesign of the Stark tower shows the after effects as well. The "Destruction" in Man of steel feels like the throwaway carnage from a Michael bay movie. At the time BVS wasn't even on the table to address how everyone else dealt with it. It feels like the gripe is more about what's contained in the main film narrative without extra "stuff" being needed to flesh out the plot.
  • Jason Scarpelli
    Saw that on Twitter 2 days ago. Plus heard about the continuity between the two films months ago. So I knew the film was going to be kick ass in one way or another. Negative comments don't bother me because I judge films when I see them. Can't wait for this movie.
  • brian hughes
    Read on imdb plot synopsis for suicide squad basically gives away ending of batman vs superman is a pretty big spoiler
    • Josh W
      That has to be wrong given Sups is in Justice League
    • Brian Sleider
      Yeh no way they kill off Supes...I mean lol just no.
      • brian hughes
        Maybe clark kent is ok be interesting twist just public persona of superman gone
        • Brian Sleider
          Just not going to happen. NO WAY they kill off supes in any fashion.
      • brian hughes
        yeah.... good thoughts... on both counts...ha
        • Higgens
          Yeh, Im reeling, I was wrong about something from TEN MONTHS AGO.....lol.
          • brian hughes
            lol just watched it sorry sad i know
  • Snev De la Fontaine
    It all depends on how they're going to criticise the destruction from the previous film. I can't tell from the trailer, because Ma Kent seems to be hinting that it's the people not appreciating what he was doing rather than Clark losing himself in a fight he could have handled much better. I hope Bruce Wayne's motivations are going to be smarter than "He's a powerful alien, I don't like him".
    • I agree, but the fact that there are protestors outside the courthouse means there's obviously a growing movement of people on Earth who are not happy about him (whether it be the way he saves people, or lets them die in the destruction of Metropolis).
  • Nash
    Could it be that Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad are basically two parts of the same movie but told from different perspectives? And You have to see both of them to understand either of them.
    • Nash
      OK, my ego is a bit out of control since I am responding to myself. But the more I think about my own insane theory, the more it makes sense. Batman shows up in Suicide Squad. Why and on whose side is he fighting? Teaming up with some shady government agency that forces outcasts to work for them? Not likely. Is the Suicide Squad after him? Maybe. But why? Because he is taking on Superman? But that's part of the storyline of BvS. Is the Suicide Squad hunting down Luthor? The Joker appears to be showing up in BvS. Why? Is it because of something he did in Suicide Squad? The movies are released very close after one other. So could they basicially be the same story and a new way of launching two franchises at the same time?
  • Andre Betita
    Even on my first viewing of Man of Steel, it was obvious to me that the destruction was meant to be harrowing and excruciating to watch. That was the point, and that was why Superman had to do what he had to do to Zod. He CAN'T afford to let it go on. I think people criticizing that part are just confused and think that Superman caused a great deal of that damage -- a misconception easily fixed by, well, actually watching the damn fight. Besides scraping Zod against the side of a building ONCE (and only in reaction to Zod tackling him the other way), all of Superman's moves intended to disable Zod or get him away from people and property. It was Zod throwing Superman against buildings and dropping a satellite on his head and whatnot.
  • Payne by name
    The reasons for the criticism of the final destructive battle was that it just felt so empty and pointless. Buildings were toppling etc but it was utterly irrelevant and consequence free free. Once one building had toppled over, what difference does another one make. You didn't see the human consequence in bodies being strewn everywhere. It was just noise and frenzy. This was none better shown than when Superman flies to the other side of the world to take out that tentacles robot machine. An utterly pointless set piece of mechanical teeth snapping at Supes and him avoiding them. We all knew he wasn't going to die, so there was zero feeling of peril or tension or involvement. Just meandering noise and a waste of a couple of million. The only city battle displayed what was wrong and how with ultimate super powers there is no sense of danger. Once a character has flown through a building or had one fall on him with no noticeable impact, the scenes are rendered moot and uninvolving. The directors failure to grasp this concept is none more evident than when he shows his two combatants realising that another building is about to collapse and hurrying to get away. Why would they be acting like they were fleeing in peril when you've repeatedly, and boringly, shown that they are impervious to any damage. A director creates a scene or world with certain guidelines for the audience to use as a point of reference but then wants to discard them to generate some lazy peril. And this was just one failure in film that was lazy, uninvolving, unlikeable and incredibly vacuous.
    • You realize this is EXACTLY what I talk about in the article above. Did you even read the post? The fact that it shows Batman, and other people, being affected by the destruction means that (at least in Batman v Superman) there ARE consequences, and it was not lazy filmmaking, because people were affected. In very huge ways, like Batman. Seeing Superman cause this destruction is partially (if not mostly) where his rage comes from. It just wasn't shown in Man of Steel, but will be addressed in Batman v Superman. And I think that means something.
      • Payne by name
        Yes I did read your post but there is no point in talking about the consequences that will be explored in a later film, you have to talk about how you are feeling watching the actual film. That's just like writing an excuse of "it's all explained in the book if you read that". You assess the film from how it made you feel at the time, not the companion notes that are revealed later. The action just had no meaning, as in the fights neither character seemed to get an advantage from all the wanton destruction. It was like you hit me with a train, I'll smack you with a building but there was no feeling that you were wearing the other person down or gaining the upper hand. I like action as much as the next person but there has to be a reason behind it other than it looking cool or because special effects now mean it can be done. The buildings falling down had as much resonance as the destruction in the latter Transformers films and that's why people criticised the film, along with other reasons. It's not because they don't understand it, it's not because they can't see the bigger picture which some arrogantly claim to do, it's simply because they didn't feel anything. Did you read my post because the World Engine was a classic example of the 'excess' of the film? There was no tension, there was no high stakes. He might have dodged some swirling tentacles but it was shot by the numbers and we all knew that nothing would happen, hence it was just pointless noise wasn't it? It would have been better if he’d flown to it and right through it, like Thor did to the big monster at the beginning of his film to showcase his power. And the lazy film making doesn’t just apply to the final action scenes. The trailer created this intriguing vision of a film exploring how Superman would cope in a world of short sound bites, Twitter and low attention span. How would the public deal with him when he made the 'right' decisions rather than the 'popular' ones and whether there would be an endless crusade to get him to have a Facebook page. How would he find his place and bother to actually care for a race that on the surface can seem pretty damn selfish. How would he deal with a surrogate family who were desperate to keep him secret and protected, especially following the accusatory tone from the woman in the trailer 'my son was on that bus'. Unfortunately, we didn't get that film. Just a mess of bits from the trailer (practically all of Costner's comments in the film were in the trailer), characters you didn't really care about despite how much you wanted to, hollow writing and tiresome, bombastic and consequence free action scenes. So in answer to you discussion topic, Sup vs Bat may well deal with the issues in MoS but it certainly won't be capable of improving the original film or allow it to be re-evaluated in my opinion.
        • Brandon Paul
          "You assess the film from how it made you feel at the time, not the companion notes that are revealed later." But you can't necessarily judge an entire book on how the opening chapter made you feel. Alex's point is that BvS has seemingly turned the DC universe into a long format story. I agree with you on the CGI destruction going too far; it felt overdone.
          • Payne by name
            I see your point but accepting a sub standard film, that is later excused by the notion that it was part of a bigger story doesn't wash with me. Star Wars 1-3 are part of a bigger story yet that doesn't lift them up in anyway. The medium of film is not like reading a chapter. You can't accept it as okay that people will have to wait three years to see that your mess had a purpose. Pulling that in the first chapter of a book or the first act of a film is fine, doing that three years later to retro fit the holes in your original film is not. A film maker should concentrate on putting out the best film he can at that time using the talent and resources that he has to make a film that can stand alone (as well as be the start of something new) rather than expecting people to paper over the cracks with a post film rationalisation programme. All that does is kick the ball down the field and exploit people for their money on an empty sell.
          • Robert James Watkins
            "Star Wars 1-3 are part of a bigger story yet that doesn't lift them up in anyway." No, but you can't end Empire Strikes Back like that without knowing you are going to pay it off in the final film. "A film maker should concentrate on putting out the best film he can at that time using the talent and resources that he has to make a film that can stand alone" Says who?
          • tree
            I agree with the other guy right on this one. A film should stand on it's own and shouldn't need a companion piece. The question at hand, is do these "retconned" fixes make the complaints moot? No, the complaints are in the past, have already been made, are a part of the original film, and this is clearly addressing fan issues, which is a practice everyone calls "fan service". The original film, if it stands on it's own, which it should, still doesn't address the issue. Do I give a fuck? No. Admittedly, I don't like the super hero genre, so I'm pretty damn biased. I'm still okay with people enjoying whatever films they do enjoy.
          • Brandon Paul
            But some of the problems with the original are seemingly borne from ignorance, e.g. We didn't know that Metropolis' destruction would actually have consequences. Btw, I don't really care either. I wasn't a fan of MoS, and I firmly believe in what others are saying about story modules needing to be self-contained. I just thought the OP was a bit harsh, and Te the article author's point has merit, a the "retconning" (if it's that), actually has me interested in watching MoS again (although nothing will change my loathing for the time jumping narrative structure).
          • tree
            That's fair, thanks for sharing your thoughts, you definitely clarified your view point and I dig it. My opinion of Snyder, the director, is that he can cut one hell of a trailer, yet every movie I've seen of his has left something to be desired. I'll pass on this film.
          • Snev De la Fontaine
            This is mostly personal taste, but isn't it better if you can do both? Admittedly, sequels will depend on the previous ones, but I do think it's more satisfying if each "chapter", though not finishing up the larger story, can stand on its own. Otherwise, it just kind of becomes a TV-soap.
          • Jason Yeung
            He's not "judging an entire book on how the opening chapter made him feel." He's judging THE OPENING CHAPTER based on how the opening chapter made him feel. So if the opening chapter was a mess, the rest of the book being good is not going to change that.
    • Andre Betita
      It seems like a lot of your issues with those things you mentioned are due to misconceptions. We DIDN'T know that Superman wasn't gonna die against the World Engine, because the thing was actually hurting him the same way he got hurt and even lost consciousness aboard Zod's ship. (And if you're talking about knowing that he won't die because we know he'll save the world in the end, well what movie can't you say that for?) And they're not as impervious to damage as you seem to think. By the time of this fight, the movie had already established the limits of their sturdiness by having already shown Clark get knocked out by an oil rig, Faora knocked out by a missile, and Clark and Zod experiencing pain and/or being knocked by impact at various times. And even IF they were impervious to damage, the stakes were still high: what with the movie repeatedly going out of its way to show the humans on the streets who are affected by all this -- when the building was collapsing, when Superman and Zod were fighting above the city, when, you know, Zod tried to burn them to death. That was the point of all this: Superman wasn't fighting Zod to save himself, and therefore HIS safety was pointless to threaten. He was fighting Zod to save the humans, so THAT'S where the movie focuses the stakes. And before you go and tell me that Superman caused the destruction, go watch that fight again. It was Zod doing all the building-throwing and tanker-kicking and satellite-dropping. Superman tackled him upward to the sky, kept punching him ABOVE the buildings (until Zod himself flew back down and hid amongst the buildings), threw Zod out to space, pinned him to the ground at the station, and put him in a headlock, among other moves that were obviously meant to disable Zod and minimize collateral. Why didn't Superman stop to save humans along the way? He was too busy getting punched in the face by a rampaging maniac who, if not stopped as soon as possible, would kill all these humans anyway. Superman didn't have time. Could the filmmakers have made time? Sure, if they wanted to make Zod look incompetent and just not do anything while Superman goes and saves the very people Zod promised to kill.
  • DAVIDPD
    I also really liked MAN OF STEEL and did not understand why so many other people felt the need to piss all over it. I really am curious to see how they show Metropolis's destruction through the eyes of Bruce Wayne.
  • Jesse
    Yes, there was a ton of destruction. However, I don't know why so many "critics" are so overwhelmed by this? Anyone remember the Justice League animated series? The Unlimited one as well? SO MUCH DESTRUCTION EVERY EPISODE. Yet, no one said anything and the show has had great reviews. The Avengers + Age of Ultron went through so much destruction... yet that's okay because it's the Avengers. I do love that if the writers felt the Man Of Steel battle was a little much...I'm glad there is consequences for Superman that was made in the next movie. Genius idea. By the way, Superman was only really Superman for like two days or so hahaha! Give him a break. I know I'd mess up lol. As a fan, why would I not wanna see destruction in a super hero movie? I don't wanna see a SUPER-hero just fist fight an alien, robot, nemesis or whatever you wanna call it, and that's the end of it. I wanna see s*** happen.
  • Memorian
    I love this article. I never understood the big criticism 'Man of Steel' got for the destruction of Metropolis. People made it seem as if it was on levels of Transformers. How else do you expect a battle to go between basically two gods where there is one of them that literally DOES NOT CARE and has decided to make it his duty that he would see every human Superman loves die in retaliation of stopping his plan to bring back Krypton?? Also the devastation was scary, especially the part when Jenny was trapped in the rubble, it was suppose to make you feel a certain type of way. Also I just love this post, cause it sums up all the thoughts I had as I watched the new trailer and it made me excited because I already love 'Man of Steel' but now to be able and go back and watch it and point at spots and say "Bruce Wayne is just over there", it's going to make the film so much more awesome on the next viewing.
    • James STanley
      Yeah, but audiences have a limit to how much carnage they can stomach on-screen. I admit they were impressive initially, but as it dragged on, the carnage became tiresome and overblown. nothing but a cesspool of twisted CGI that made the whole experience desensitizing with a horrible colour filter. By the time he was fighting Zod, I was too visually exhausted to even get invested. And also Superman is a god-analouge not an ACTUAL god!
      • Memorian
        I don't know I just didn't see it that way and even when you time the action it's not that long. I didn't feel exhausted or anything, it was kind of exhilarating. It was how I always imagined Superman and a villian going at it along with great CGI and well-done fight choreography. I found the wreckage from 'Age of Ultron' that the Hulk caused in Wakanda more long and drawn out after a while, even though I knew it was there for a purpose.
        • James STanley
          Transformers films are like cinematic McDonalds. Enjoyable in the short run but lethargic and unhealthy in large quantities. I just feel the fight would have held up better if they toned down the initial terraforming a little, so that the former would have had more resonance. Oh, and Transformers might still be going strong, but already audiences are starting to get sick of heavy CG-driven films: Battle of the Five Armies, Terminator Genisys, even the MCU started to grow a tad weary. Given what's coming in the DCCU with BvS, I can only wonder how WB is gonna pull this off visually after blowing most of their cards on wrecking Metropolis without coming off as visually tired.
  • ari smulders
    the critics liked birdman, and everyone I spoke hated it . So the critics we can't trust for a normal opinion, because they preach for a other church than nor
    • Jason Yeung
      The problem is, Superman is supposed to "care about the suffering of humans." He didn't seem to after the end of the movie. Honestly, I don't see how anyone can root for Superman in the BvS fight; Batman has every right to be angry.
      • ari smulders
        yes it's the right angle to start a movie...
      • sumit prakash
        There's a major point you are missing here. Superman was coming of age throughout the movie.his ideals and principles were not in place then. It was more like the super hero was getting to know himself. There are always the blunders that happens during the time when we grow up.
  • lyona5
    I recently read an article on Entertainment Weekly that Zack didn't really plan BVS when he was making MOS. He was just lobbying ideas of a MOS sequel when he thought let's have a batman/superman story.
    • well that shuts down Alex's fan discussion article now doesn't it?
      • Not entirely. There's also the idea that maybe they've crafted Batman v Superman around the complaints/criticisms (to answer some of the issues), which is also a very interesting discussion.
        • see my latest comment above = )
        • ProjectionistHP
          In any case. They came up with a pretty nice premise to BVS.
  • I liked the "terra forming" aspect to Man of Steel storyline where the aliens wanted to morph Earth to a more formidable planet to accommodate the "new & improved race" I thought that Jor-El returning from the dead in a hologram portrayal was weak. Terribly pointless and didn't make me feel for his character nor was his dialogue important. I am one of the many that thought the third act of Man of Steel was overkill with SFX and destruction, destruction, destruction. I don't believe that Zack Snyder thought out how the destruction of Metropolis was going to "set off" Bruce Wayne into becoming an even more pissed off Batman instigating an all out war between the two superheroes - hence the following installment BvS. I don't. I think when the backlash came with audiences & critics hating the third act for the overblown actions scenes, he had to come up with something QUICK to get that to make sense and somehow make up for it and blend it into a hotly anticipated follow up movie. I want to be excited for BvS but
  • Maggie M
    I really loved MOS! After the first viewing, I was short of words but after the second viewing I concluded that that's how a Superman origin story should look today. I had zero problems with the destruction and loved how big the battle was because it makes that event very mythological and an unforgettable time in this DCCU.. Continuing the story in BvS is genius... I can't wait to see to see Batman try to take down Supes!! I'm pretty sure he won't beat Supes physically but he will look extremely badass trying!! I can't wait to hear Superman's speech in the Capitol building, I hope it is inspiring.
  • Boiler Bro Joe
    I don't have a problem with all of the destruction in Man of Steel. I have a problem with the fact that Superman had no problem with it. It's a betrayal of the character and the sequel will do nothing to improve that, except to make me root for Superman's demise, which is obviously not going to happen.
    • Steven
      I don't get this argument. He didn't have time to show his feelings because he was fighting for his and humanities life, plus the ending wasn't going to have him weeping over the destruction as that would be pointless. It's like the outcry over the death of Zod, yet it's not like it wasn't done before.
      • ProjectionistHP
        They will likely spend a lot time in this one to show that He actually has a big problem with the havoc he caused with Zod...
        • Jason Yeung
          The problem is though that he didn't react in MoS at all. They BETTER spend time on it in BvS because it was a huge flaw of MoS.
        • Steven
          That's the impression from the trailer
        • Wheez Von Klaw
          That may be true, but should have been dealt with in MOS. It's bad editing/writing.
      • Jason Yeung
        The problem is, right after he kills Zod, we don't see any scene of him even caring about the destruction. Instead he makes demands for the government to "be a hero" on his terms and takes a job to "continue" being a hero. It's choppy and lends to the idea that Snyder didn't really consider how much lives must have been lost, as if Superman and Zod's fight was a "battle of the gods" that made the collateral damage irrelevant. BvS seems to be "retconning" this, but MoS topples in its last act (not that it wasn't already a mediocre film before).
        • Steven
          Isn't really needed IMO. He's just saved the entire human race and the scene in which he killed Zod shows his anguish in having to kill most likely his only connection with Krypton to save a family. In regard to making demands I guess he's the most wanted man in the world at that moment, for good and bad, so can't really blame him for saying its on his terms. I understand your POV now, and maybe Snyder could of reduced the fight scenes to put something in. In retrospect he was wrapping the ending up maybe a little quick.
          • Wheez Von Klaw
            Also in regards to MOS having a lack of empathy- The Death of Pa Kent. Bruce Wayne couldn't save his family from murder. In Snyder/Goyer's "vision" there are no psychological ramifications for Kal-El in his absolute cowardice in saving his Father from a Tornado.It's just bad writing. The audience I saw it with burst out laughing. In other words, Pa Kent thinks it's better to not save people and let them perish. Sorry, but it makes Clark look like a coward and slightly stupid.
          • Steven
            Pa Kent didn't want to be saved in order to keep Clark's secret, didn't you get that? Pa Kent thinks its best to make sacrifices for the greater good, or in the case of a father, anything for his son's protection.
  • Steven
    I think the idea of films no longer be pure stand-alone and using sequels to answer fan questions of the previous film interesting. If only more studios would take this stance we might not have to put up with the mess of the Terminator franchise
  • Robert James Watkins
    Someone from rotten tomatoes said they didn't understand the low scores. Given that IM3 got high scores, I wouldn't use RT as a rebuttal.
  • ari smulders
    maybe so....
    • backwardsprogress
      No worries, I also liked MOS, felt some scenes could have been left out or redone... like the kiss Lois Lane gives Superman... where did that come from? I would get if there was chemistry before hand, but there wasn't time for that.
      • ari smulders
        overal it was a 7,5 and I thought the flashbacks where nicely done. The destruction and fights I liked also, but Kevin Costner played a key part in it....
        • backwardsprogress
          except why did he have to die going after the dog... seriously?!
          • Rijowhi
            Tell me about it. That was the worst part of the movie for me...just dreadful and something that can't be fixed. They should have stayed with the 'Heart Attack' story in my opinion. I have no problem with the destruction of Metropolis and Zod's death...what would people expect in that situation?
          • Jonathan Ng
            Dude zack snyder want to do the realistic approach on relationship between pa kent and clark kent. They want to show something different regarding about superman character instead of always using heart attack. There is this one guy comment who provide the excellent insight regarding the the controversial tornado scene. Here is his following comments statement: """One thing I haven’t heard anyone bring up in regard to this scene is the first thing I thought when Jonathan leaves them to go get the dog – he wanted Clark to stay and protect his mother. It seems like a pretty easy and logical Dad calculus: Dad protects everyone, Mom protects little kids, adult kids protect Mom. I mean, you’re absolutely right that he wants to protect Clark and his secret, and, truly, that’s the meta point of the scene. But imagine this scenario – Clark speeds off to save his Dad from the tornado and meanwhile the bridge collapses, killing his mother. As much as Jonathan was willing to sacrifice himself to protect Clark’s secret, you gotta believe he was willing to sacrifice himself to keep his wife and the mother of his child safe as well. It’s funny, as a kid (raised on superheroes, of course), and even as an adult, I always figured I’d risk my life to save my parents – they have always been the most important people in my life, even when I didn’t get along with them. But, now, as a father to young children, I would be absolutely mortified if either of my kids risked their lives or safety to protect me. Honestly, I didn’t go through years and years of changing diapers, pushing strollers, midnight feedings, wiping noses, wiping butts, treating fevers, etc, to have my kid die for me to live. That’s not the arrangement. I’ve already sacrificed my health, sleep, sanity, youth, most of my hair, and the proper alignment of my back to get these kids to this point, so giving what’s left of my life for them wouldn’t be that big of a leap. But for them, even as adults, to risk their safety for mine just flies in the face of everything I’ve already sacrificed for them. I’m here for them to live, not the other way around.So, as shocking as this scene was to witness for the first time as a Superman scenario, at the same time it made perfect sense from a Dad scenario. I never once questioned why he made that decision. And, not to be a jerk, but I would guess that most people who have a problem with this scene probably don’t have kids. If you meet someone without kids who has a problem with the scene, suggest they just go ask their Dad what he would do and they’ll understand.""
  • ff
    I wish Affleck would stick to behind the camera where he actually has talent
    • ProjectionistHP
      He's solid when he has a part he can work with...
  • sumit prakash
    Bro - there's a difference between being a character of a movie and watching a movie from the audience. Throughout the last 50 years, each movie has developed these super heroes in the way they saw fit. We have to understand that they'll have differences from the comic book stuff. If all of them were making everything based on comic books, then some folks would have said that its getting too monotonous or predictable. BM and SM are already established characters in terms of movies. For your point that MOS didn't establish the valid reason for the tussle between BM and SM, it wasn't meant to do that. It's whole purpose was to establish the Man of steel in the DC movie universe. You can hate these movies in peace. What I'm saying is, the concept on which you are hating is not a valid one.

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