While “Man Of Steel” will unquestionably be a financially successful reboot of the Superman franchise — in ten days it has passed the $200 million domestic take of “Superman Returns” — opinions are still split among critics, general audiences and fanboys as to whether or not the superhero was done justice. We weighed in extensively with our Best & Worst Of ‘Man of Steel’, and one of the criticisms we had came in regard to the punch-fest/9-11 evoking showdown which pretty much found Superman and General Zod leveling an entire city. And another voice is joining the chorus — which includes “Superman: Birthright” writer Mark Waid — of those who had issues with this modern retooling of Supes, and the carnage he allowed happen before saving the day.
“Chronicle” writer Max Landis recently stopped by Trailers From Hell to record a segment, and once he wrapped that up, he gave a nine minute breakdown with this thoughts on Superman as a character, and in “Man Of Steel.” While he has no particular issue with the hero killing anyone, as some have bemoaned about his neck-snapping end to General Zod, Landis does take issue that before it happens, Superman basically allows Metropolis to be destroyed and thousands to be killed or injured.
“That scenario where he basically allows Zod to destroy all of Metropolis, where he attempts to beat him in a punching contest? And then he’s forced to kill him? I have to believe Superman would kill Zod immediately if the alternative was 100,000 dead people,” he comments, adding: “It shouldn’t be a city-destroying sequence. It should be two guys fighting in space, or on the moon…”
But Landis doesn’t just see this as an issue with “Man Of Steel,” but blockbusters in general, which all seem to be falling back on an all-too-familiar finale.
[“Man of Steel”] reminded me of “Transformers 3,” or the end of “Avengers.” Everything ends in the same city-destroying, pandemonium, terrorist attack from space. Everything gets leveled and all of these people die and then the next scene it’s like “Hey, you want to go to a baseball game?” No! The teams are all dead! Why are we in this office?
I guess what I’m saying isn’t so much an opinion on the “Man of Steel.” It’s more about the way superhero movies have become… at the end of all of these movies, all I’m seeing is fire and death. And that confuses the living sh*t out of me, because everybody’s going to these movies and they’re all making so much money. And at the end, a hero stands tall as all of society crumbles behind him. That isn’t a superhero to me; a guy who stands there when everyone else is dead. That’s like a rock star. I don’t want to see movies about rock stars. Put the hero back in the super hero movies, because I think “super” might have taken over.
And, it’s an intriguing point — can someone be a hero if an entire city is laid to waste before they can save it? Undoubtedly, this will only spur more discussion, so watch what Landis has to say and then tell us what you think of his analysis. [FilmDrunk]