10. The ending is the best part. The closing sequence, in which Superman has a sense of humor, is handsome and charming, and actually matters as a person, was great. But it’s where the movie should have started, not ended.
9. The opening is the worst part. Twenty interminable minutes on a planet we all know is going to blow up. A three-minute “put the baby in the rocket” sequence that we know is going to end with a successful launch. Several scenes where Zod acts like a jerk, but we all already know he’s the bad guy. Because we’ve seen this movie before. Yes, it made for some nice set pieces, but it went on way too long and there was no suspense or payoff. And not only that, they tell you these things twice again during the movie. It’s like Shakespeare, who used to tell viewers the plots and themes of his plays several times during it. Only he did it because the people in the cheap seats often couldn’t hear very well. This Superman movie was loud as f—k. Hearing it wasn’t the issue. In fact, I’d like to unhear some of it. Note: It was nice to see the designs were Byrne-based.
8. We’ve seen it before. Nearly all the major story beats are the same as Superman 2, which, franky, just made me want to watch Superman 2 again.
7. Super Jesus. When he does the Nestea plunge out of the spaceship, arms outstretched like a martyr, it was not only dumb but it didn’t make sense. Is he supposed to be the son of God? If so, that’s not clear. Is he supposed to be a martyr? If so, what is he sacrificing? He trades a bland, anonymous existence for a hot girl, a flashy costume, and world recognition and gratitude. That’s a lot different than dying to save the world. (In fact, rather than die, Superman kills. See below.)
6. No Luthor. Superman’s struggle to be human, and his effect on mankind, is best exemplified by Luthor. Luthor wasn’t in the movie. Superman wasn’t much of a human in the movie, either. (See the next item, below.)
5. He’s a passionless pussy. Superman has no feelings, no emotional core that makes us care about him. No drive, other than that he’s mad when the refugees come around and want to take him away from an Earth that he really wasn’t doing a whole lot for anyway. We don’t feel any love from him for his mother. We don’t feel any of the sense of wonder or astonishment or awe that gave heart to the two Christopher Reeves films. We really don’t feel anything for this guy because he’d rather live in the shadows than save his own father’s life. In contrast, his father gave up his life for a dog. A freakin’ dog! Yeah, Clark was only following his daddy’s orders, but come on. Since when has following orders been considered noble or heroic? Oh, and that whole thing where his dad says he shouldn’t have saved a busload of kids because it meant he was revealed to Pete Ross as a superhuman? Again—nobility comes from risk, not playing it safe and letting kids die. Note: I was going to call this item “Henry Cavill doesn’t act.” But it’s not his fault. The script never gives him the chance. (Or at least it doesn’t give him anything until the last few minutes.)
4. Lois is easy. She’s supposed to be smart, independent, and sharp. But she appears to kiss Superman because he has big muscles and killed someone. There’s no flirtation, no development of a relationship. Those are the things that make for good Superman stories. But those things have heart. And this is a Zack Snyder production.
3. Perry Who? The supporting cast for this film is two nondescript army guys and a Lois Lane who, although played well by Amy Adams, doesn’t have enough substance to her to make a lot of sense as a character. We’re only asked to care about Perry White, Jenny the Girl Who Appears to be Jimmy Olson, and some older pervert named Lombard when the entire city is crashing around them. That’s too late. Make me care before you threaten their lives, not after. (Plus, isn’t he a reporter? Why the hell does he kill the most important story of Lois’ career??)
2. The “S” is for “Hope.” No, it isn’t. The S was designed by Clark’s mommy and represents Superman. That’s the whole point: This dude is proud of who he IS and what he REPRESENTS. He’s not just throwing around a reference to a lost homeworld that nobody will possibly understand, like some kind of gang sign on the wall of a South Central bodega.
1. Superman Kills Zod. I don’t say this is one of the worst things about the movie because it pretty much goes against everything the character stands for. That would be a reason, but it’s not mine. I say it’s the worst thing about the movie because I didn’t even care. I didn’t even notice, frankly, until afterwards when I read articles from people who were all mad about it. But it didn’t matter in the movie because Superman barely seems to care. He does a big yell, the last in a series of many big yells crammed into a fifteen minute fight that seemed to consist solely of Superman being thrown through building after building but never even getting so much as a hair out of place. But then Lois comes and presses her boobies against him, so he’s fine. He barely knows her, but he digs the affection. And then, in the very next sequence, he’s making some army lady’s panties wet. That’s how little he cares that he killed someone, let alone one of the few survivors of his entire race.