I can’t say exactly why I was initially opposed to the new Superman movie. Perhaps it was because I saw the Christopher Reeve movies when I was young, and I bonded with his portrayal so fully. But a friend who seems to enjoy hearing my reaction to movies kept urging me to go, so…well, you have to indulge your friends, don’t you?
|I'm smiling in this photo, but...|
I don’t know if it’s possible to get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a movie, but I left the cinema feeling battered and bruised. The sheer violence of events, and the unrelenting pace at which they transpired, felt like I was really there in Superman’s world, watching the humans and the Man of Steel try to fend off General Zod and his followers. When I wasn’t dodging Superman, or the planes, trains and automobiles hurled at me by the Krytonians, I was struggling to evade being cut in half by Zod’s laser beams, or the buildings that collapsed on the streets of Metropolis. Thanks to modern cinema sound systems, each crash, boom, and bang reverberated through me, threatening to dissolve my bones and leave me a quivering blob of jelly.
“Mmm, Dragon Dave Jelly, bottled at AMC Theaters. I wonder what that tastes like?”
After the movie, I couldn’t think straight. I certainly couldn’t relax with my wife and have a nice lunch. So we headed home and had leftovers of…something. I honestly can’t remember what. The previous week, we had discussed possibly attending Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A, but we did so half-heartedly, as this involved putting together a costume, and then looking rather silly as we ate our dinner. But somehow, after watching "Man of Steel," I needed a distraction. Perhaps my wife did too, for she took to my suggestion with enthusiasm, and in a few hours’ time, we were heading off to dinner.
At the restaurant, we got our picture taken, and then the staff gave us a nice meal. We got several complements on our costumes, and saw more people dressed up than the last time we joined in on the fun. Moreover, the process of sitting back in an air-conditioned dining room, surrounded by kindred bovine spirits, allowed us to relax. I found myself discussing various points raised in the movie, and prying apart the intertwined threads that made up "Man of Steel." My wife responded, and together, we started to make sense of what, at first, seemed a rather perplexing story.
I’m not sure I can recommend the new Superman movie. Nor can I say I enjoyed watching it. While I’ve seen more graphic movies, I’m not sure, off hand, that I’ve seen more violent ones. This seems a strange thing to say about a Superman movie, but there you have it: that’s my reaction. Having said that, I was equally scratching my head when I walked out of the cinema after watching "Prometheus." Now, Ridley Scott's “Alien” prequel numbers among my favorite releases of recent years, due not only to the amazing visuals, but the wealth of underlying ideas and themes the story contained. I’m not sure if "Man of Steel" will enjoy a similar reappraisal in the months to come, but at least I feel like I got a better handle on the movie, and can appreciate it a little better, because I chose to indulge my inner cow.