I watched Man Of Steel on Blu-Ray last night. In my original review, I gave the film 3.5 reels out of five, but wow, I don’t know if the home viewing experience tainted me or if seeing it a third time resulted in viewing fatigue, but I had far more problems with it than before. The word that kept coming to mind was “dreary.” Way too weighty for a Superman film. And far too much violence and destruction. What kind of a world do we live in where I have to think twice about letting my seven year old watch a Superman movie? Again, I don’t know if it was the smaller confines of a 46″ flatscreen vs. the theater screen, but the wanton destruction by the hands of Superman was far more off-putting on this viewing. And so many plotholes in regards to Superman’s secret identity that I must have simply overlooked before, but they’re gaping. If this were any other superhero character, I would drop the 3.5 down to two, but for those who read my original review, you know I’m biased when it comes to Superman onscreen, so as a result, I’m yanking just a half reel. 3/5 reels
Near the beginning of this movie, Jane Foster is interrupted on a dinner date by her intern Darcy (Kat Denning) who begins to ramble on about something or other pertaining to the film’s plot. Whereupon Jane says, “Is there a point to this? There needs to be a point to this.” Little did I realize so early on in the film that Jane was speaking for me.
J.J. Abrams can rest easy knowing that Star Trek: Into Darkness has a worthy challenger for worst film of the year. By the time I arrived at my car to head home after seeing this, I reflected on the movie and nothing whatsoever stood out for me. Nothing memorable came to mind. I reflected on how Tom Hiddleston deserves his own Loki movie because he was one of the few interesting things about this production and also how, if I were into guys, Chris Hemsworth would be near the top of my list, as he is damn good-looking. And there you have it. A movie so boring and uninteresting that I as a straight man, am ruminating on the hotness of Hemsworth. Wow.
The story involves a race of pale white beings called “dark elves” (how’s that work again?), led by Malekith (Chris Eccleston) who leads the pack as the most uninteresting villain in a major motion picture to date. The lazy convention of a voice-over is employed at the beginning of the film to exposit on how Malekith was beaten eons ago by Odin’s dad while trying to attain the Aether, a…liquid thing that is made out of pure evil (?) and will grant omnipotent power to its possessor, such as the ability to destroy all the Nine Realms during the Convergence, when all Nine Realms apparently come into alignment and create a cosmic portal, allowing access to all of them. Jane Foster comes into contact with the Aether and it enters her body, so Malekith hunts her down to retrieve it.
Stay with me. Malekith’s motivation for destroying the universe? I guess because it’s there. That and because the writers need a villain with evil intentions. In the first Thor film, Loki discovers that he is not an Asgardian, that he was adopted from an enemy race by Odin and that he will never gain the throne; see, those are compelling and dramatic motivations which add to the dimension of Loki as a villain. Malekith just is not compelling at all; 1) the beginning of the film sets him up as a loser as he is defeated by Asgard’s army; 2) no reason is given why he wants to destroy the universe and 3) if Loki is in your Thor movie (as portrayed yet again flawlessly by Tom Hiddleston), then you better make sure your main villain is interesting. Which the writers fail to do.
All the characters from the original Thor are back and are given hardly anything to do. Kat Dennings is a study in comic relief overkill, Stellan Skarsgard is pointless and apparently insane as many of his scenes are filmed in the nude or in his underwear. New characters are introduced that are completely pointless, such as an intern who seems to be a leftover character from the juvenile Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Just as I wonder why S.H.I.E.L.D. would employ some of the characters on that pathetic program, I found myself wondering why a scientist such as Jane Foster would hang around these annoying losers. Time is wasted setting up plot points that are undone minutes later, leaving you wondering, as I mentioned Jane did in the beginning, “What was the point?” As one example, why give Idris Elba such a cool action sequence if the results are negated in the very next scene?
I was plainly bored through the majority of this movie. I didn’t care about anything or anyone onscreen. The scenes with Loki and Thor escaping Asgard were entertaining, if not weird. Why try to introduce elements of Star Wars into a Thor movie? If Asgard has laser cannons and high tech defense screens, why are the main characters fighting with swords, spears and hammers? There was a moment during one of many scenes of interminable dialogue that I decided to go to the lobby to get a drink and I didn’t care that there was a small line. When I got back into the theater, it was clear I had missed a good ten minutes, but I was able to pick up quickly. And that’s not a good thing.
Once the film reaches the climactic battle, I was just too far gone. Listening to other critics, I was expecting the last act to save the film, but it didn’t. It was just confusing and disorienting. It’s always cool to see Thor swinging his hammer and throwing it at the bad guys, but that won’t sustain me for an hour and fifty-one minutes.
This Thor is a bore. 2/5 reels