I’m Not So Sure About “Superman: Man of Steel”
My first exposure to Superman came in the form of black and white reruns of the 1950’s television series. Even though I was just a kid, I still knew they were cheesy and dated, but fell in love with Superman anyway. He was the consumate good guy who saved the day from the bad guys. That will always be Superman for me, which is why I’m a little nervous about Man of Steel.
The actor they’ve got playing him, Henry Cavill, has been one of my favorites since I watched his amazing portrayal of Charles Brandon in The Tudors. One of the saddest moments in the whole series was when he died because he’d made me feel like I really knew his character. I was thrilled when I heard he was going to be Superman and I still am very excited to see what he does with the role.
I also like the new suit. There has been a lot of debate about the suit because the blue is very dark and the red “underwear” is gone. I’m okay with the changes. If you look back at the Superman suit from the 50’s it is laughable by today’s standards. Things have to update and change or eventually they lose their connection with their audience. The suit is a good change.
It wasn’t until I saw the first snippets of the film that I began to worry. Superman looked a bit scruffy. He looked gloomy. He was a crab fisherman who looked like the Emo kid from the back of the class in high school. You know, the one no one talked to because he wouldn’t talk back? My Superman is not an Emo hero.
The more they show, the more I worry. I don’t want Emo Superman and I don’t want Superman: Deadliest Catch. I want Superman, hero who saves us all despite great odds and great personal sacrifices. He’s a hero and that’s a hero’s thing, isn’t it?
The Dark Knight movies were very dark and gloomy, but that works for Batman. He simply isn’t the same hero and his story is completely different. I liked those films, but it feels like the people behind this movie made it dark, too, just because it worked with Batman. A superhero movie doesn’t have to be dark to be good.
I may be surprised when I walk out of that theater. I may find out that either it’s not quite so Emo as it appears, or that they’ve done a really good job balancing it all and creating a great movie. That’s what I’d like to see happen because this is a case where I really hope I’m wrong.