Reviewed by: John Decker
|Featuring:||Henry Cavill … Clark Kent/Superman
Amy Adams … Lois Lane
Michael Shannon … General Zod
Russell Crowe … Jor-El
Kevin Costner … Jonathan Kent
Diane Lane … Martha Kent
Antje Traue … Faora
Laurence Fishburne … Perry White
Christopher Meloni … Colonel Hardy
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Sequel: “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
I am a little mixed on how to label the cleanliness or lack thereof with this film. That’s because most of it is clean, like 90% or more. However, there are some portions of dialog which are potentially very offensive. It should clean up real well on your word censoring home video player. There are no sex scenes and no nudity. There is little gore. There are some theological issues, sort of, which I’ll get into.
According to Wikipedia: “Superman’s flight from the planet (Krypton), with exact details of its destruction (varies) by time period, writers and franchise.” Guess why today’s Superman’s planet is destroyed? It is due to the “over harvesting of the planet’s core”. Add a coin to the environmental indoctrination bucket. Next subject.
The profane language in this movie is somewhat limited, but strangely an outlet for creative juices. While I found the dialog in general to be lacking quality and poignancy, the profanity was on contrary, somewhat elaborate and provocative. The terms are:- dumb…, … wipe, and some so colorful I won’t mention. Think ‘Fifth grade school yard bully kind of stuff’. Side note: I wonder what a homeschooled Superman would be like? Lois is strong, liberated, a bit crude and foul mouthed, trumped by that so familiar redeeming backbone, fit with a semi-cherubic face.
Super theology: It’s not likely that one would go to see Superman expecting it to line up with Christian theology, but I’ve heard there are some Bible studies and such coming out to go with this film. There are some over the top religious references, like a stained glass image of Christ in the background, while Clark gets council from a preacher. There is a leap of faith statement and some of the like that hold some merit, but they have little context in the movie, so applied with a modicum of thought, they are kind of weak. I would guess someone wanted to make some Christ replacement references in an even stronger manner and someone else suggested that by doing so they were bordering on offensive to the orthodox crowd. I would guess that, were I a guessing man. As it stands, the references are simultaneously highly present yet vague, obvious yet undefined. The “officials protecting the public from knowledge of aliens” thing is so old. Even “officials protecting the public from the truth” is old hat when not applied properly.
A short rant: Executed violence should make sense. Bullets fired at close range bounce back and hit things. Sure, we expect some unrealism from superhero films by nature, but I heard this was to be the “down-to-earth” Superman. It didn’t turn out that way. As for the explosions and the way the violence is executed, I found it to be less than unique, unoriginal, and it’s getting pretty old. Unimaginably enormous machines, put in place to kill our heroes are, well—yawn.
I’m blowing the whistle on movie characters being unphased by mass casualties across the street, simply because the unknown stranger to their left is fit and healthy. It’s not just that the massive explosions are getting real old, or because we all know they’re fake, and I’m not saying they look fake—some do, some don’t. It’s this: how unimpacted can a character really be when scores of unknown people across the street are pulverized in falling skyscrapers? It’s silly. It could be a directing marvel to get so many people to express the emotions inherent with watching multiple 60 story buildings fall, but if you can’t figure out how to accomplish it, you’re going to put us to sleep. Some of these new directors promise realism and deliver marvelously. This movie missed that mark, in my opinion.
On the quality of things: Certainly this is a quality production. I would expect nothing less of a $225 million budget. The Superman costume up close is amazing. It looks like some kind of wearable carbon fiber weave. It is believable and not overdone. Though I wasn’t as impressed with the rest of the costume designs.
I have a problem with some of the dialog. Enough so that I looked around more than once to see what kinds of reactions might be coming from other audience members. I honestly feel like much of it was 15% off, and by 15%, I mean a lot. Strangely seeded words change everything. In American movies, we are used to better “apples of silver,” even if they are shallow.
In conclusion—as I stated, the dialog will clean up for a censoring player quite well. The theology is not extremely offensive—more on the side of confusing, and inconclusive. I didn’t care that much for the film, but it’s okay, as far as shallow action flicks go, and it’s not clumsily, silly or awkward, that’s for sure. It’s pretty well done, but not what I expected from the influences of Director Snyder and Producer Christopher Nolan. If you’re looking for an amazing new take on Superman, set your goals a little lower before going to see this film.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Moderate—OMG (2), “damn,” “hell” (3), f-word (1), *ss (4), d*ck (2) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate—passionate kiss, cleavage, shirtless man, very tight fitting clothing
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.