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VidCritz: Max Landis Reviews 'Man of Steel'

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by Matt Singer
June 26, 2013 2:18 PM
1 Comment
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"Man of Steel."

VidCritz is Criticwire's home for interesting video essays and criticism. Because, really, who wants to read?

Max Landis is pretty passionate about superheroes. He wrote the found footage superhero movie "Chronicle" and even created and starred in a popular YouTube viral video about "The Death and Return of Superman." He doesn't just like this material -- he cares about it.

That was made even more clear earlier this week when Landis posted a 9-minute long diatribe about the new Superman movie, "Man of Steel," and its depiction of the beloved DC Comics icon. The rant, entitled "Regarding Clark" and embeded below, features Landis' reaction to the wholesale destruction of Metropolis during "Man of Steel"'s controversial final battle between Superman and General Zod. 

Landis' "Chronicle" also ended with a big battle between two super-powered antagonists. But, he says, that was different:

"At the end of 'Chronicle' there's a big rampage. Maybe 17 people die, maybe $20 million in property damage. But you know the two people who are fighting, you know why they're doing what they're doing -- and that's Josh Trank being great at directing, and Dane [DeHaan] and Alex [Russell] being really good actors, and y'know, I think I did a pretty good job with the script. At the end of ['Man of Steel'], and at the end of a lot of these movies, all I'm seeing is fire and death. And that confuses the living shit out of me, because everybody's going to these movies, and they're all making so much money. And at the end, a hero stands tall as all of society has crumbled behind him. That isn't a superhero to me, a guy who stands there after everyone else is dead. That's like a rock star... I don't want to see movies about rock stars."

This is another convincing variation on the same theme I addressed a few weeks ago in examining the "PG-13 Problem" in this summer's big action movies. And Landis' description applies to most of these films, not just "Man of Steel." These so-called heroes are far more interested in looking like "rock stars" -- with their fleets of badass remote controlled armors and mega-cool fist fights on top of hovering whatever-the-hell-they-were-fighting-ons in "Star Trek Into Darkness" -- than actually saving people and dealing with the ramifications of their actions. And for those of us who look to characters like Superman to inspire them -- as corny as that sounds -- that's disappointing.

Here's Landis' take on "Man of Steel:"

[H/T Sean Fennessey]

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More: Superman, VidCritz, Max Landis

1 Comment

  • Thuan Dang | June 27, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    The last act of Man of Steel (similar to Star Trek into Darkness) never mentions the amount of deaths the destruction of a city should have done. I mean even the World Engine in the Indian Ocean probably caused a ton of tsunamis. That was very disappointing for a film about humanity, not recognizing humanity after destruction. Also, I do think Man of Steel is moving the third act catastrophe even further, with mentioning of a black hole, we can now see blockbusters gradually using, "the UNIVERSE is going to be destroyed!" Too much...

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