Monday, June 17, 2013

Man of Steel: Super Slow

With Zack Snyder, Chris Nolan, Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey on board this movie was supposed to be SUPER-awesome. But, the movie is painfully slow paced. The first thing about superhero movies is the fast paced action, which was completely absent from the much awaited reboot to the Superman's Cinematic Universe.


The movie starts off with the first ever Kryptonian natural birth in many millennia, outside a birthing matrix. Superman's story essentially remains somewhat same. Krypton is a dying planet. They possess very advanced technology. Jor-El, father of the child and a prominent scientist has foreseen the destruction of the planet owing to it's unstable core refuses to join General Zod in staging a coup. El escapes captivity at the hands of Zod and steals the Kryptonian codex which contains the genetic information of all the genetically engineered Kryptonians, managing to upload the codex into his son and sends him off the planet in a spaceship to Earth. He then suits up to battle Zod, who finally manages to kill him only to be captured and then sentenced to the Phantom Zone along with his accomplices.

Fast forward 35 Earth Years. Clark Kent who has developed superpowers owing to his Kryptonian physiology's exposure to the yellow sun, shows up on a fishing ship and goes on to save people on an oil rig. There he is caught in an explosion and is knocked unconscious. He has recollections from his childhood, revealing the problems he had controlling/honing his skills. He finally ends up finding a Kryptonian Scout Ship, which when activated helps Jor-El's conscience to communicate with his son and explain his origins. He also meets Lois Lane for the first time there on the ship, and from there he returns to meet his adoptive mother. Zod, and his followers are freed from their imprisonment after Krypton explodes. They are led to earth after Clark activates the ship. They demand the surrender of Kal-El (Clark's birth name) or they'll destroy earth. Clark surrenders to the army and the rest of the film is pretty physical, with Superman trading blows with Zod and his followers, then he is shown tearing ships apart, breaking murder machines, hurling satellites and then the final showdown with Zod, and by the time they finish they have easily managed to level down half of what was the fictional city of Metropolis.


Cover Art: Superman:Braniac
The origin of Superman is same as in the comics. There are minor changes in the way Krypton is portrayed. Instead of the crystal based tech as depicted in the previous movies, they seem to possess bio-organic technology. The way Kryptonians sent scout ships to search for habitable colonies on other worlds suggests Imperialism and seeing a scientist 
like Jor-El's battle prowess it would be very safe to assume that the Kryptonians followed a martial culture too.
Moving to the regular cast of the Superman Universe: Perry White is Black, Jenny Olsen replaces Jimmy Olsen. Lois Lane isn't a brunette. 
Then, there is a sequence, where Zod is overwhelmed on his hypersenses' first exposure to earth's atmosphere and subsequently Clark is able to best him (for a brief period though). I remember a similar sequence in Geoff Johns' 5 issue story arc "Braniac" featured in the Action Comics #866-870.
There are references to Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor both! The satellite which Zod and Clark tear apart had "Wayne Enterprises" on it and then there were tankers from "Lexcorp" too.


Frankly, I'm very disappointed. I had very high expectations, but the movie was waaaay too slow. The non-linear storytelling has been the undoing. What I mean is that the "non-believers" would find it extremely difficult to relate to the events.
There were some patches of brilliance, very few though, e.g. the conversations between Clark and his adoptive father and then the sequence about Clark's hypersenses confusing him. These sequences were sadly rendered ineffective again by the Non-linear screenplay.
The movie was dominated by physical action towards the end, and there wasn't much to offer. 
But, I would commend Snyder et al, for showcasing the problems faced by Clark. The way he feels: alone in an alien world where there isn't anyone like him, his inability to save his adoptive father, which forces him to undertake a nomadic life. 
Also, taking into account the fact that Snyder was tasked at reformulating the Superman Mythos anew, it was surely one helluva tough job! But, with Nolan involved I expected something refreshingly exceptional and not to mention that despite all the positives the movie fails to compensate for the snail pace it crawls at.

BOTTOMLINE: The movie would appeal to the people who have a taste for 3D movies, the kind of people who found Transformers 3 great. To me, the plus point was the slightly newer (read darker) approach to Superman who hasn't always had the proverbial bed of roses for life, and struggles to gradually transcend into becoming a Savior to his adopted home, Earth.


  1. Transformers 3 in 3D for 3 hours- felt slow too >.<

  2. I hate that movie. Except for the Optimus prime's Sword Slashing sequence, it was a waste of time.

  3. Hi ! I have filled applied maths in IITR at top of my preference list and I will most probably get it (AIR 3978) . But there was just one question why has the placements declined in past year(s)?I mean once there was 28lpa highest and it suddenly came down to 12lpa.

  4. There were many disparities in the placement offers of the 2012-13 batch. The range of offers varied from 3.25 lpa to 28 lpa. The person who bagged the highest package was highly proficient at competitive programming. (He represented IIT-R at ACM ICPC World Finals!) So he was placed at Goldman Sachs Strategy Division.

    However the placement offers this year have been a bit more evenly distributed the range being 6 lpa to 12 lpa

  5. do you have any idea about placements of MSc maths students who got admission via JAM

  6. thanks. your post is very encouraging. I am a mother whose son is very reluctantlly pursuing IIT coaching. he actually doesn't want to study Engineering. But I somehow tempted him and said even if you don't get an engineering seat-you can do applied mathematics. Forgive me if i'm being naive. Is being good at Mathematics make applied maths interesting? b'cos my son is very good at maths. It is the only subject he enjoys studying.

  7. Thanks for the valuable feedback. Much appreciated. :)

    Now, coming to your question, yes if you are good at maths the course is very interesting which is actually true for any course.

    But, if you ask about my opinion. I opine that you should let your son decide whatever career he wants to pursue. If you have to TEMPT him to prepare for JEE then you are imposing your will on him. Pardon me for saying this but I have been at IIT R for more than 4 years now and I come across students who are enrolled in courses they were not interested in the first place. They wrote JEE just for the sake of it. They are highly unsatisfied.

    I'd suggest you sit down with your son. Ask him about his interests and passions, discuss various career options. Mind you, IITs are not the only options! And Engineering isn't the only profession. And in any way am I not discouraging your son to appear for the JEE or other engineering exams. Please don't take it the other way.

    Best of luck from my side. :)