Man of Steel: I’ve Got Questions (Have You Got Answers?)

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bill-swift - June 27, 2013

So you well know I disagreed with our generally positive reader reviews for Man of Steel. I had issues with the plot and thematic elements of the film (yeah, I get it already, he's Jesus). I did like The Avengers, Dark Knight, Iron Man, and a bunch of other DC and Marvel based comics into films. I'm no hater. The thing about Man of Steel that really irked me was when a bunch of stuff happened that made little to no sense. All I really need in sci-fi is somebody to say, 'Hey, that crazy ass thing that just happened makes sense because...' and I'm in. But if nonsensical stuff happens without any explanation in movies, then I just feel like everybody involved didn't give a crap or figured it wasn't a big deal and everybody would be watching the CGI anyhow. Meh.

I took a few shorthand notes after I left the theater of stuff that happened in the film that left me a bit bewildered. Yeah, some are nitpicky, most probably, but there seemed to be an inordinate number. You should see my list for Prometheus; it was even longer.

If you've got answers to these questions, please, let me know...


After they nabbed Superman, why would Zod and the Kryptonians go through the painful and lengthy process of reshaping Earth and its atmosphere to mimic Krypton? Why not one of the millions of planets they could zip to in seconds that more closely resembled Krypton in the first place?  (I had the same question in the last Transformers by the way.)

Why was the 19,000 year old Scout ship stuck on Earth? A few feet of ice? Did it crash into the planet killing all the crew members? If so, how did it start up and work perfectly with one button push from Superman? I dare somebody to try and start my '82 Corolla today.

And about that ship. It was 19,000 years old. But somehow had the exact same technology as the current Kryptonians did. Were the Kryptonians more fanatical about backward compatibility than even Microsoft? You'd think maybe after a few thousand years they might change their flash drive plug-ins.

Eons from now, when we have intergalactic unfathomable technologies, will we really still be shooting each other with handheld ray guns? (Yes, that's also a Star Wars question.)

Jor-El built his 'Citadel' atop a Kryptonian peak. On a planet where everybody has advanced aircraft or can fly on giant dragon-birds, does an eagle's nest fortress really make sense? Or is it just a sitting duck target from every single angle? I'd suggest in the future that strongholds will be buried deep underground.

Would you really store the entire fate and future of your race on a keychain flash drive? I lose five of those a week. It's tiny, weighs nothing, it's sleek, and easily gets lost. At least tie a hubcap to it or something so you don't have to worry about somebody having left it in their other pair of pants.

The Leaders on Krypton ignored obvious signs of their planet's pending destruction. Got it. Why did Zod wait until it was way too late to save the planet to start his coup? Was he really super booked a year or two earlier when it might've mattered?

Are fishing trawlers and restaurants in the Pacific Northwest not using the e-Verify system or background checks when hiring? Is nobody asking for an I-9 or a SSN? This isn't the 1940's anymore. Good luck just telling everybody your name is 'John Smith' and getting a job or a place to stay or a paycheck in 2013.

What exactly was Zod's plan to kill Superman? He bashed him fifty times against and through buildings and other semi-permeable and non-permeable objects. Did he think maybe a couple dozen more skyscraper body shots and Superman would get an embolism maybe?

Was the school bus that went into the river specifically designed to drown children? The windows and exits on these buses are manually controlled such that in the case of such an accident, children can be easily evacuated. That school bus seemed to be designed at the Kill Maximum Children factory.

Would a newspaper man through and through like Perry White ever really decide that it's a good thing that a story be squashed because the public isn't ready for the truth? Like, the biggest story ever in the history of the world? The existence of aliens on earth. Those blasted newspapers are always keeping their best stories to themselves.

How did the dude from Law & Order SVU get everywhere instantly? Were Smallville and Metropolis twin cities like Minneapolis-St.Paul? He was behind the seat of some different aircraft every ten seconds somewhere on the planet. It reminded me of when I had one action figure as a kid so I had to use him as the good guy, the bad guy, the pilot, and the angry monster attacking the city.

Why was Kevin Costner never farming his corn? Lots of engine repairs and seed buying and chewing on straw. Diane Lane looked a little haggard in her old person's makeup. Maybe she was doing all the tilling and planting and fertilizing and harvesting.

Why was every single tractor-trailer filled with gasoline? Where were the trucks carrying the crabs to market? Or Kevin Costner's corn he didn't seem to work on?

How did Clark not know the Twister was coming until it was upon them? Is Superman blind to calamitous weather events in the area? He can hear a mouse squeak a mile away but no early buzz on the Cat-5 headed right for his family sedan?

Why does screaming make Superman stronger? Is it like those martial arts guys who give a room-busting HEE-YAH before they crash through eight blocks of ice with their hands? Can screaming make you stronger? I do hear those meatheads at the gym crying out as they bench massive weights but I always assumed that was just for attention.

Why did it take Superman 30-years to properly harness his super-natural powers gleaned from proximity to our Sun and only 30-seconds for the invading Kryptonians to do the same. Was Kal-El kind of, you know, retarded?

The Codex was the single central most important artifact on all of Krpton yet it was guarded only by a ten foot pool you had to hold you breath and swim under? Really? Do you think you can snatch the Star of India here on Earth employing junior froggy level aquatic skills? Try walls and guards and laser beams and angry dogs (I'm not actually sure about that last part.)

Zod's gang discovered that the Codex had been converted into Superman's DNA itself after examining his blood sample -- how much of his blood did they need to uncode his DNA? Isn't DNA going to be exactly the same from one test tube to the next? Do you really need ALL of somebody's blood to get ALL of their DNA?  Is 12-pints of DNA the magical measurement for a little Watson-Crick analysis?

Why did Zod's attack ship hide behind the moon? What were they doing back there that they couldn't and later did in plain sight? 'They're hiding behind the moon!' Okay, great, why???? Did the Germans hide behind trees when they marched on Poland? Nope, Blitzkrieg and a week or two later, voila, they owned Poland.

After that, I gave up taking notes...

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