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Watch: Max Landis Criticizes Carnage In 'Man Of Steel,' Compares Movie To 'Transformers 3' & 'Avengers'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
June 25, 2013 8:58 AM
34 Comments
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While "Man Of Steel" will unquestionably be a financially successful reboot of the Superman franchise -- in ten days it has passed the $200 million domestic take of "Superman Returns" -- opinions are still split among critics, general audiences and fanboys as to whether or not the superhero was done justice. We weighed in extensively with our Best & Worst Of 'Man of Steel', and one of the criticisms we had came in regard to the punch-fest/9-11 evoking showdown which pretty much found Superman and General Zod leveling an entire city. And another voice is joining the chorus -- which includes "Superman: Birthright" writer Mark Waid -- of those who had issues with this modern retooling of Supes, and the carnage he allowed happen before saving the day.

"Chronicle" writer Max Landis recently stopped by Trailers From Hell to record a segment, and once he wrapped that up, he gave a nine minute breakdown with this thoughts on Superman as a character, and in "Man Of Steel." While he has no particular issue with the hero killing anyone, as some have bemoaned about his neck-snapping end to General Zod, Landis does take issue that before it happens, Superman basically allows Metropolis to be destroyed and thousands to be killed or injured.

“That scenario where he basically allows Zod to destroy all of Metropolis, where he attempts to beat him in a punching contest? And then he’s forced to kill him? I have to believe Superman would kill Zod immediately if the alternative was 100,000 dead people," he comments, adding: "It shouldn’t be a city-destroying sequence. It should be two guys fighting in space, or on the moon…"

But Landis doesn't just see this as an issue with "Man Of Steel," but blockbusters in general, which all seem to be falling back on an all-too-familiar finale. 

["Man of Steel"] reminded me of "Transformers 3," or the end of "Avengers." Everything ends in the same city-destroying, pandemonium, terrorist attack from space. Everything gets leveled and all of these people die and then the next scene it’s like “Hey, you want to go to a baseball game?” No! The teams are all dead! Why are we in this office?

I guess what I’m saying isn’t so much an opinion on the "Man of Steel." It’s more about the way superhero movies have become… at the end of all of these movies, all I’m seeing is fire and death. And that confuses the living sh*t 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 crumbles behind him. That isn’t a superhero to me; a guy who stands there when everyone else is dead. That’s like a rock star. I don’t want to see movies about rock stars. Put the hero back in the super hero movies, because I think "super" might have taken over.

And, it's an intriguing point -- can someone be a hero if an entire city is laid to waste before they can save it? Undoubtedly, this will only spur more discussion, so watch what Landis has to say and then tell us what you think of his analysis. [FilmDrunk]

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34 Comments

  • Steven | July 18, 2013 11:28 PMReply

    I agree with some stuff like too much destruction.
    I disagree with the fact that he says Spider-Man is a bully. Spider-Man started out as a 16 year old kid. Of course he is going to be insulting. Also, he uses it as a distraction to his enemies. Unlike Superman, Spider-Man isn't as cheap, ie bulletproof. So he needs all the distractions and advantages as he can get.
    Superman is just too cheesy to say he is the best.

  • supes sidekick | July 13, 2013 6:58 PMReply

    Ok, 1 this guy sucks dick and two, the hulk is on the same scale as supes, Hulk V Supes, thats a showdown.

  • TheMovieEnthusiast | June 28, 2013 1:23 PMReply

    http://i.imgur.com/JCEUdel.jpg

  • Mako | June 28, 2013 4:23 AMReply

    "Man Of Steel" was bad. Characters contradicting one another. Story contrivances from the first min to the last. Plot holes and pacing problems all over the movie. A villain who acted more like a screaming toddler than a smart and worth foe. I was laughing throughout the whole last 30min of the WWF meets Transformers love fest. WTF? Superman decides to ditch most of the people in the city - and take a trip across the globe rather than just take out the main mother ship that's right in front of him? Russell Crow pops up and seems to know Lois? WTF? Then he vanishes after being able to control the mother ship? Papa Kent tells Clark it's okay to let "children" die to insure the safety of yourself. WTF? This movie sucked and will go down as the worst of the year - unless you love Jesus and are a die hard Superman Fan who thinks Superman IV was amazing!!

  • dax | June 28, 2013 3:31 AMReply

    Landis. EAT A DICK!!! FOOL!!!
    Your movies will never be as good as MOS! Quote me on that!

  • Ze | September 10, 2013 6:40 PM

    eh eh
    Unfotunately (for you), Chronicle shows some similar situations, but it makes more sense and, well, that movie is better than MoS.
    And I'll tell you, I'm a huge Superman fan!
    But this level of destruction and a Superman who really doesn't care about it... that is stupid.

    At one point, Zod threw a truck against Superman and what did he do? He flew over that truck, which exploded when hit a building! He didn't even try to stop the truck! Not even tried to put away the fire, or something like that.
    Is that your Superman? Because, certainly, it's not mine...

  • J | June 26, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Sick of people saying he allowed people to die.....did you watcher same movie I did, Because in man of steel he continuously saves people. Also he can't save everyone and say let's fight on the farm instead! If you want a corny, wussy, goofy super hero go watch Spider-Man but the real fans know that MOS was a great version of superman. Besides they can't bring batman back and have two entirely different styles collide. That would be a train wreck

  • wray | June 26, 2013 9:53 AMReply

    I believe people are kinda missing the point when saying that Superman shouldn't have allowed all that destruction to the city........he is learning to be superman. He has not seen another soul with his kind of powers let alone had to fight them. He is not a pro at handling a fight on this massive of a scale. It was not like he could just tell Zod " Hey, let's go fight over here please!".

  • Kim | June 26, 2013 1:20 AMReply

    Really?! Because when I was watching "Chronicle" I spent the last end part trying to figure out the disaster and decon strategy for the chaos he created. 2 Seattle hospitals destroyed, plus the rest of the damage... it would send people straight up the I-5 corridor for help. That was the part of his movie I was most annoyed with.

  • JL | June 26, 2013 12:38 PM

    Was just thinking the same thing. The last act of Chronicle ruined what was otherwise a very good portrait of contemporary youth

  • Manofsteelforthewin | June 25, 2013 9:20 PMReply

    Man of steel was the best superhero movie only surpassed by the dark knight. Critics should keep their opinions to themselves. Max you sir are a faggot.

  • Glass | June 26, 2013 12:24 AM

    "Critics should keep their opinions to themselves."

    They're critics. Opinions are their product. Learn how to deal with others' opinions without calling them faggots.

  • Rob | June 25, 2013 10:21 PM

    He's a faggot, eh? Because he had an opinion about a movie? You must be right or you wouldn't be trumpeting your movie opinions either.

  • SinisterMinister | June 25, 2013 6:54 PMReply

    I have never seen so many critics complain because they couldn't predict a movie. So it wasn't how you imagined it should be? So you had to ANTICIPATE for once? Big deal. Superman's character wasn't compromised... he had to make a big-boy decision. So he did. The movie as a whole was intense but not dark, and what WAS dark wasn't even him it was the villains and circumstances.

    His personality was developed in a unique manner. Snyder used action, not just interaction, to drive the plot. I applaud his bravery. It would have been so easy to be safe (Superman Returns), but Zack Snyder was darring on all accounts. The camera work, the non-linear story, the plot building through fighting, and the controversial ending (practically pulled right out of the comics) all together made a bold film. I felt like it was a fantastic addition to the archives of cinema, and I hope it stirres other dierctors to try something new for a change.

  • Shawn | June 25, 2013 6:40 PMReply

    Max Landis has a face made for punching. I couldn't even hear what he was saying for all of the snarky i'm-so-clever faces. Oh and his idea of only 17 people dying at the end of Chronicle, is fucking ridiculous. Does he not remember an entire bus being thrown into a building, or blowing up part of a hospital, or maybe when Dane DeHaan's character threw about forty cops threw the air? Meanwhile, buildings are getting hit by cars left and right - just fuck off Landis. You're a puke.

  • ShogunOfHarlem | June 25, 2013 4:33 PMReply

    If memory serves, Max was a guest on the Nerdist podcast a while back where, along with being a total spaz, he shares a brilliant take on the Bond franchise and where he would take it, were he writing the next script. He may be a pill, but he's got some interesting ideas.

  • Wolfbitch | June 25, 2013 1:49 PMReply

    It's called war. People die. You save who you can without getting yourself killed. Agree that some more saving could have helped, but I for one am glad for a new take n Superman, cuz everyone seems to think this dude is some uber boyscout.

  • hank | June 25, 2013 3:49 PM

    when Zod and his evil forces emerge from outer space, it's called War.

  • The Worst | June 25, 2013 11:57 AMReply

    He's right, but this kid is also the worst.

  • A-Man | June 25, 2013 10:14 AMReply

    Oh My GAWD!

    If Superman had spent even longer during that fight scene CONSTANTLY having to hold up buildings, fly into and save falling civilians and literally stop any damage from happening WHATSOEVER we would have a bajillion complaints about how unreasonable and ridiculously super-heroic the character would have to be in order to achieve such a feat.

    Everyone's a hypocritical critic.
    And yes, the superhero genre is getting old - because it was old to begin with and it isn't half as interesting when being controlled by a multi-million dollar studio system as everyone thinks it will be. Case in point - the hilarious not-dark-in-the-slightest "gritty" Batman films - cheesy lines, shitty action and an overbearing sense of "seriousness" for something that really doesn't warrant it...

  • James | June 25, 2013 9:52 AMReply

    Smug Alert!

    Gotta love nepotism; Wrote the medicore Chronicle, Dad made some decent films in the 80's, is a fan of comics and thus believes he can jump on Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon and tell them that their takes is lame. Didn't Chronicle end with a city brawl as well?

    I agree with some of his points, but know your place kiddo

  • Sean | June 25, 2013 4:02 PM

    @huffy @tom
    The kid was an asshat as a con. He was screaming that his dad was a famous director and he sold all these screenplays.
    Then at MorriCon he acted like a smug dick who told James Gunn's interpretation of Chronicle was wrong.

    Max Landis has some good concepts and the execution could be alright. But the kid needs to brought down a couple pegs and put on some Ritalin.

  • huffy | June 25, 2013 2:13 PM

    If you thing smugness is expressing an opinion that differs from your own in a thought-out and articulated manner then you're too immature to be calling anyone "kiddo."

    " Didn't Chronicle end with a city brawl as well?"

    Did you even read what he wrote? He isn't complaining that the final fight took place in a city, he's complaining that these movies depict what basically amounts to mass murder in a facetious manner (or conversely that superhero movies are too serious nowadays).

  • Tom Haverford | June 25, 2013 12:09 PM

    You know that Whedon's father and grandfather were both in the industry, right? He's a much bigger beneficiary of nepotism than Landis.

  • jfelw | June 25, 2013 9:48 AMReply

    Didn't Chronicle have an ending in the same territory?

  • Nick | June 25, 2013 9:43 AMReply

    Wow, he's an even bigger douchenozzle than I had feared...

  • Glass | June 25, 2013 9:41 AMReply

    On point.

  • Susie | June 25, 2013 9:31 AMReply

    Landis is right, and this is an important point to make. It is also a very fair criticism of the film narrative, as well as the change and weakening of the moral character of Superman.

  • Williamfuentes.com | June 25, 2013 9:29 AMReply

    He's not "just a guy from Kansas". He's an alien from another planet.

  • Glass | June 25, 2013 9:59 AM

    He doesn't KNOW that he's an alien, he has no idea exactly what he is. That's the point.

  • Rob | June 25, 2013 9:20 AMReply

    I like Max Landis. I loved his short on The Death and Return of Superman. And I loved Chronicle. And he's probably right... But dude's gotta put his money where his mouth is.

  • jim | June 25, 2013 2:18 PM

    He is right. I haven't seen Man of Steel, but I was annoyed with Avengers' carnage and all that shitty and fake CGI .

  • No | June 25, 2013 9:16 AMReply

    Let's face it: Man of Steel is part and parcel of the Hollywood trend of destruction porn that has increased over the years. It's the main reason I soured on the film.

  • tom | June 25, 2013 9:05 AMReply

    one city> entire planet?

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