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9.2 16 10
FanFix February 27, 2014 5974
(Updated: December 29, 2015)
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You can like it if you want, but that doesn't change the fact that the original Man of Steel is a terrible film. It's poorly edited, poorly blocked, poorly directed, and, in some scenes, very poorly acted (by otherwise talented people). And the story is threadbare. While many complained, I never minded the "Superman kills" aspect of the film -- I think the screenwriters show very clearly that this Superman is one lacking a moral compass. I felt, technically, it was a bad movie, and the writing incredibly juvenile.

This edit rectifies much of that. However, in doing so, it highlights several problems with the film one just cannot escape.

In telling the story of Clark more linearly, more classically, the early scenes of his life just become tedious. This isn't the fault of the editor (and, apparently, I've viewed a version where these scenes were cut down some). However, at least now they make sense -- in the original, these flashbacks were plopped in pretty randomly, with nary a connection to anything happening "now." So this edit alleviates that.

But there are still things which simply make no sense -- for instance, Clark's father going into a tornado to save a dog that Clark could've saved before anyone noticed. It didn't make sense in the original, and there's no way for it to make sense here. Is there a way around this nonsense in editing? I don't know. But it's a shame that it had to be included.

I had also forgotten how much of a retread the scene with Clark meeting his Kryptonian father was. In cutting the laughable scenes on Krypton at the start of the original movie, and inserting some of them as flashbacks in the "son meets father" scene here, it made Krypton more easy to digest. Sadly, things like the Codex, the flying dragons, and Jor-El inexplicably being an action hero were NOT dropped from this edit, and, as such, you're reminded of just how lacking in concept and direction the filmmakers were when it comes to Krypton, which is more than a little reminiscent of scenery from a 1970s issue of Heavy Metal.

After that, I admittedly lost interest and began skipping around. The story still holds together as well as it could. The death of Zod is in tact and, while it never bothered me that Superman killed Zod, the scene, like so many others in the film, just doesn't make sense (Superman had several options -- like flying upwards with him tow, covering his eyes, or perhaps the screenwriters could have had him discover his super-breath here). But the very last moments of the movie seemed more satisfying here, but that could be b/c I had zero recollection of them even happening in the original.

Narrative is a real problem spot for most fan edits in my opinion, and the fact that the narrative is still in tact, and even improved, says a lot about both the original film and the work of this Fan Editor.

Overall, if you're a fan of the original, but didn't like the willy-nilly storytelling, this edit'll work for you. Technically, it was VERY strong. IMO, it's far too much like the original. Hence a lower score on "enjoyment." Good work overall however.

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Owner's reply December 29, 2015

Hi Phlegmbot, and thanks heaps for your review. I understand some of your reservations in the original - I would like to provide some feedback around them. Jonathan Kent wanted Clark to protect Martha, he says that in the scene, and obviously no one would be able to protect her like Clark so he chose to instead save the dog. Not perfect, and not strong reasoning I admit, but under stress with little time it was the decision he made and does set up his death, which is required in the story. On Krypton, I also disliked the flying dragons and I reduced their screentime in this edit. I'm also not a fan of the codecs being spliced into Kal-El's DNA - I think putting them in the Command Key would have been a better idea. I thought about trying to change it but obviously didn't go down that path - perhaps I should have? The Zod murder is an important part of a longer story arch. Clark will be troubled by committing this murder moving forward, setting up Superman to be the "good boy scout" who does no wrong in Batman v Superman. Yes he could have flown away etc. but the murder will have a purpose in making Superman the moralistic hero he will become. I certainly don't expect these explanations to improve your enjoyment of the film, but I hope they make sense in terms of why some scenes played out the way they did :)

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December 29, 2015
Hey, Avid! Thank you for the reply.

I understand the whys of it all. But the blocking of the tornado sequence (that is, Snyder's direction of the people in the scenes related to the tornado) make it so that Clark could've saved the dog before anyone noticed while ensuring Ma and Pa got to safety. That's the fault of poor directing.

In the script -- which I've not read -- it may have made perfect sense. But in the 6 seconds Clark and Pa Kent argue, Clark could've saved the dog and nobody would've noticed. The only time he couldn't save Pa w/out people noticing is in those very last moments when he waves goodbye to Clark. Before that however....

In regard to BvS: That was never the plan. The filmmakers had no designs on a sequel co-starring Batman when making MoS. That was something WB pulled out of their butts after they parted ways with Legendary and after MoS under-performed in theaters and took a critical drubbing by pros and many fans.

The original plan was to do a sequel intro'ing Green Lantern -- seeds were planted for this in MoS. (I met people involved in the production who told me all this -- one of those people was the actress who was going to be Star Sapphire.) So, my point in stating this is that you cannot judge a film based on what MIGHT be in the sequel. (Just like you cannot judge a film based on what you see in the comic. A film is finite. The only story that exists is what is seen, said, or implied on camera.) More importantly, one doesn't have to kill to learn to be moral. This is something that's popped up in a couple of DC-based adaptations (Arrow, MoS, and I think one of the animated movies), and it's insanely senseless and juvenile.

All of that said, YOU did a great job...and, if you look at my other reviews, I don't often say that.

In terms of your question about the Codex; if removing it doesn't change the story then, yes, I would recommend removing it. Since I skipped around, and found the original less than memorable, I can't recall what effect the Codex had on the Zod on Earth story. So, if the Codex doesn't carry over, and if Zod's attack on Earth can be couched simply as revenge against the house of El and/or an out-and-out attack on Earth just b/c he wants to terraform it into a Krypton-like home, then removing it would likely strengthen the story you're trying to tell about Clark.

Take care!
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