IT TOOK me a while to write about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (MoS) because I was trying to articulate what it meant to me. And I think I’ve got it: MoS is our generation’s Superman anthem.
Let me explain. The Donner movies* were an anthem of the previous generation: Clark Kent as the Everyman, Superman as the benevolent big Boy Scout. Snyder has reimagined Clark as an outsider trying to find himself, someone who’s a little lost in the world. And a lot of us can relate to that, especially in this post-recession age.
With MoS, Snyder and Zimmer have quite literally given us an anthem for this era: brash, bold, perhaps worlds-spanning. And with it, there’s the wild element of of danger and uncertainty because Clark still doesn’t have full control over his powers, his emotions, and his moral compass yet.
Speaking of moral compass, I honestly don’t have a problem with the way it ended with Zod. There’s precedent for it in the comics, and I felt it was a nod to that. My problem was with the way they used Metropolis as the Kryptonian battleground. And maybe I’m being overly sentimental here, but I would’ve thought that Clark would try his hardest to keep those things happening to densely-populated urban centres, especially Metropolis. But then again, maybe it just goes to show how we’re not in Kansas any more, in terms of who and what this Superman is. It’s a brave new world.
* I count Superman Returns as one of the Donner movies because it explicitly tried to follow that continuity and approach to Superman/CK.