Okay, I’m prepped for ridicule. I know people say you can’t judge a film without having seen it, but if a trailer acts as an advertisement to entice viewers to pay to watch the full thing, I knew I wouldn’t be watching Man of Steel early on.And not solely because it just looked so bloody depressing.
Now I’m not a stickler for fidelity to source material, and I realise a lot of film adaptations -regardless of whether they’re comic book movies or not- can be with merit, and good, interesting movies in their own right, but when you have a huge, iconic character like Superman and lose all essence of what he is about, what he epitomises, and what defines him (and *spoiler alert* I’m not just talking about killing Zod here), then I think you’ve failed in making a Superman movie.
There’s realism, there’s taking a different approach, and then there’s completely losing sight of the entire facets around which your character and the world he inhabits is built.
It’s also why I think Marvel movies tend to work much better, by ignoring DC’s stringency for ‘realistic superheroes’ (c’mon, there’s no such thing!), films like The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor etc. function better both as comic book movies and in service to their characters because they contain and convey the bombast, humour and spectacle and essentially uplifting tone of the pages from which they’ve been taken.
Max Landis sums up my feelings on Man of Steel pretty well: