Whatculture.com has come up with a list of 10 things that Zack Snyder's Man of Steel must avoid from Bryan Singer's 2006 production of Superman Returns. We present itmes 6-10 of that list.
10. METROPOLIS: Superman Returns tried very hard – mostly successfully – to establish Metropolis as a city that is in every way a match for a real-life metropolis like New York City. (Something that Tim Burton famously ignored by creating a shockingly empty Gotham City for his 1989 Batman). What the movie forgets to do, is to populate this Metropolis with real people. People who react to the events around them in a believable way. That doesn’t just mean running away from a gas line exploding underneath your feet, screaming in terror, and managing to only come across as either victims or apathetic. Other than for a few newspaper articles and a nice standing ovation at a ballgame, Metropolis hardly seems to acknowledge or care that the hero of their city has returned. We have to know what it is that Superman spends his life protecting, if we’re going to be asked to care about the outcome. A hero is nothing if he has nothing worthwhile to save. Man of Steel owes us a Metropolis with some character.
9. A SELF-OBSESSED SUPERMAN: We understand that it’s a difficult thing to take an extremely long flight to your home town – a distant planet, that you thought was destroyed in a natural disaster, but then heard that something might have survived – only to find nothing there. But you don’t need to take a whole movie to mope about it. Superman takes a rather amazing amount of personal time to look pained and feel very sorry for himself. He goes as far as to explain to Lois Lane what it feels like to be a god-like figure who has to constantly hear the pleas for help from the citizens below. Unbelievably , he chooses to sadly fly around with no clear purpose, instead of getting his hands dirty and helping out the citizenry a little. There’s nothing particularly heroic about caring more about yourself than people who need actual saving.
8. CLARK WHO?: There has always been a certain amount of looking the other way when it came to accepting the reality of a world where Superman and Clark Kent are never in the same place at the same time, yet somehow nobody ever successfully puts two and two together. Superman Returns went one step further by having Clark and Superman disappear for long periods and then reappear at the same time. Still, nobody ever gets clever enough to even wonder aloud why that is. And yet, all of that would have been forgivable, if not for the fact that nobody with significant screen time seems at all concerned about Clark Kent. If they all assumed that he was at home with the flu while Superman was lying in a hospital bed recovering from a nasty Kryptonite stabbing, they could have clued us in. The lack of concern for Clark isn’t help by the absence of memorable character moment. In fact, I can’t remember even one.
7. CREEPY SUPERMAN: The problem with a Superman that is having such a hard time emotionally, is that he gets up to some fairly ethically questionable things while he’s trying to work through his issues. For a character with such a traditional set of values, he doesn’t seem to struggle too much with taking another man’s fiancée for an entirely inappropriate romantic spin in the clouds. Worse than that, it gets downright creepy when the Man of Steel hovers outside of Louis and Richard’s home to spy on their family. A squeaky clean portrayal of the character would probably alienate audiences, but a Superman that gives in to some very basic of human vices so easily is difficult to admire.
6. NOT-SO SUPERMAN: Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, vision and intelligence. Those are just some of the abilities that Superman possesses, but are never shown in a satisfying way. The most impressive show of strength in Superman Returns is the slow push towards space of the landmass Lex Luthor creates with the Kryptonian crystals that he steals from the Fortress of Solitude. But not only do we have to wait until the very end to see this, but we’re teased by the fact that this is a Superman weakened by the presence of Kryptonite. We never get to see Kal-El be spectacularly and destructively powerful in any sustained way. For a super-intelligent being, Superman comes across as slightly confused by how the action unfolds and not able to anticipate anything. He seems equally clueless about the unraveling of his personal life. Nothing about that screams genius.
5. ACTION: It took half an hour for Superman Returns to get to its first big action sequence. In a movie that should never have been concerned with retelling origins and didn’t need a lot of setting up, this is far too long. Considering how light on action it is for a story about a super-powered alien, it is especially unforgivable. Superman has to fight. The recent successes of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises showed us that smart audiences are not only okay with epic and frequent action set-pieces, but when they are done well, they accept them as legitimate narrative devices. Despite Zack Snyder’s unsuccessful toying with the idea of a music video-inspired genre of film making in Sucker Punch, everyone of his other films gets the action right. I do not expect him to drop the ball in the same way as Bryan Singer did.
For the rest of the list, click HERE. And please sound off below on your thoughts regarding the above and what you're hoping for from Man of Steel.