Man of Steel: A Hidden Message?

Disclaimer: May contain spoilers on scenery and technology used in the movie

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In the midst of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel’s  awe-inspiring imagery and fast paced action, there was one scene that hinted at an interesting message. “How do we know that you will not act against America’s interests in the future?” says a skeptical US general as Superman, who had just finished saving the world, approaches him. This is after Superman has said that he is in league with the humans, and the general acknowledges that. This scene seems a bit out of place, and does nothing plot-wise, but seems like something the director decided to put in simply to make a point. First off, the whole world knows that Superman is on their side, and he had just saved the world, so the least humankind can do is give him a “thank you.’ Secondly, Superman saved humankind, not America. But no, the general is not interested about humankind, only about America. Doesn’t this kind of remind you of Noam Chomsky’s “fighting terror with terror” point of view?

This post is actually going to be a review of the movie, so if you’re interested in reading that, continue :

Zack Snyder’s film Man of Steel, which opens with the highly slicked metal-built world of Krypton, first and foremost stunned me with the amount of work which had been put into its imagery.

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The movie’s  highly developed, very alien (and yet believable) looking Krypton landscape and the scary, yet smooth way Jor-El, Superman’s father’s, robots’ screens moved to fit different surfaces definitely show the director’s choice to move the franchise from character and drama development (of its predecessors) into the more scifi realm.

The small touches distinguish the imagery such as the grainier and finer texture, darker shading, and wise removal of red underwear from Superman’s original suit (which had been a fake-looking, cartoonish one in the earlier Superman movies due to lack of technology) and the slightly extraneous and crazed edge in General Zod’s voice and eyes when he yells, “I will find him!”

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The second point goes to acting from all the characters. Two scenes particularly stood out. The scene where Superman finally becomes confident in his use of powers for the greater good  and first dons the famous suit, with Jor-El’s words of advice and Hans Zimmer’s powerful music serving as a background to Clark closing his eyes to the sun, putting his hand on the ground, and finally….flying.

The second were the “World Engine,” which are Kryptonian machines used to transform a planet into a Krypton-like place, complete with its center of gravity, terrain, and atmosphere. They are made up of two parts, which attach themselves to opposite sides of the Earth. They both play on the planet’s gravity, creating more and more sound and gravity waves which destroys everything. It was the sound effects that got to me. A brief pause, a suction noise, and then the sound of a machine hitting the earth. It was unnerving, seeing Earth being transformed to Krypton.

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The acting and imagery almost makes up for the cliches present ,which are understandable as every movie has its flaws. While some may enjoy the moment when Superman says, “Because you believe in me,” when he kisses her, or when of course, there’s a key to the ship’s system in the jail where Lois is locked as a prisoner to General Zod, I am unfortunately not one of them. I mean, of course, the Kryptonians would lock its human prisoner in a cell with a machine that would eventually allow her to escape right?

And not to mention some film mistakes, such as Superman’s strangely receding beard, his almost-instant shift from a man afraid to use his powers and reveal himself to a confident Superhero, and the fact that Krypton, which was stated to have a few weeks before the core completely destroyed it, was destroyed in what seemed like a day.

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This movie is definitely not for the faint hearted; It spares no gore or emotional trauma, from the unforgiving scenes of a Kryptonic-like, bleak patch of Earth expanding as it transformed into Krypton, to General Zod’s general possessed and crazed tone of voice.

All in all: 7/10 (pros, imagery, acting, and score, cons cliches,plot holes, and lack of character development).


Pictures from, flickr, and google.


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