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I'm not sure how I feel about this film now
on 25 July 2013
My view of this oscillates over time. It is special as a childhood memory but rejected in adulthood as a painful mindless cheesy blockbuster. Then I came to see some positive things about the film. Having just rewatched it, I am swinging back towards my former view. I disliked the Man of Steel overall, but this wasn't better in comparison as I expected. The unrelenting action, fast cuts and unnecessary explosions are here too.
The filmmakers comment in the special edition extras that this is several movies within a movie - the thoughtful sci fi disaster movie (with ponderous, overbearing father with a God complex), bucolic coming of age drama (bookended with some icy versions of the previous category) - and then, the cheesy, action filled big city super hero movie.
As I child, I disliked that it takes so long to see Superman in action - c45 mins to be in the suit and 70 to see him save anyone. Now, that's one of its strong points. The theatrical version cut out important scenes with Jor-el, thus making superman's saving spree simply a spectacle, rather than him learning the limits of his duty and powers and about the more hedonistic side of being a saviour.
I've noticed inconsistencies and some rather disappointing a sexist bits (eg the whole Night Flight first date). Lex here is far inferior to the more nuanced relationship in Smallville. I'd be glad if that whole storyline were cut and much more could be done with Valerie Perrine's role (Lex's sidekick and love interest).
Good extras on the special edition and Christopher Reeve box set so I recommend those and it worth checking which version it is as there are so many. The director's cut is also an improvement on the theatrical version.