Watch: 'Chronicle' Writer Max Landis on 'Man of Steel' and Why Superhero Movies Need Better Heroes

Watch: 'Chronicle' Writer Max Landis on 'Man of Steel' and Why Superhero Movies Need Better Heroes

Jun 25, 2013

Max Landis

I will admit that I’ve often argued that Superman is the most boring superhero in all of comic-dom – but I’ll not get into the reasons why here (except to say that he’s essentially so overpowered that there’s rarely any tension when he squares off against a bad guy). Man of Steel didn’t do a whole lot to change my opinion of Supes as a superhero, but this Trailers from Hell video featuring Max Landis waxing both poetic and angry about his issues with Man of Steel has certainly given me a new perspective on the character.

If you’ve never seen Landis’ TFH videos, trust me when I tell you they’re a delight for movie geeks. Landis (son of filmmaker John Landis and the scribe behind Chronicle) is whip smart and incredibly funny. He has a passion for all of this stuff, and he’s great at explaining why things work or don’t work without getting into a lot of heavy film and narrative theory. If Landis went on a lecture tour à la Kevin Smith, I’d pay big bucks to spend an evening listening to him rant about comics and movies. He’s that good.

In this clip, the writer offers up his thoughts on Man of Steel – and joins the ongoing debate over whether or not the film’s destructive finale was too much. I’ll be honest – I had the opposite opinion of the end of Man of Steel before seeing this video, but Landis has convinced me to reconsider. I don’t think I’m going to change my mind (without getting into heavy spoilers, I think Man of Steel’s final act mostly works because this is Superman for a new world – a post 9/11 one at that), but Landis does make a compelling argument for why superhero films feel short on heroics lately.

Man of Steel Superman

This paraphrased quote sums up the gist of his argument:

“[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 superhero movies, because I think 'super' might have taken over.”

It’s hard to argue with that assessment, but I wonder if it will have any impact on superhero movies moving forward – after all, these movies are raking in boatloads of cash as is. Hollywood’s not big on fixing things that make money.

Check out Landis’ full rant below – it does contain SPOILERS, but he’s nice enough to warn you before he dives in. Do you agree with his take or are you happy with the current state of superhero movies in general and Man of Steel in particular?

[via Film Drunk]



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