Man of Steel was bad when it came out. But the release of Batman V Superman and confirmation of Zack Snyder’s disdain of the character have only made the film more toxic in retrospect. This Superman is a dick. He looks cool. But he is a dick.
What an action film needs is a hero. Superman failed to live up to the title, but that doesn’t mean Man of Steel was totally devoid of awesome badasses. It most certainly had one in the form of Russell Crowe’s Jor-El.
Jor-El didn’t screw around. He didn’t mope or need life lessons from a craggy Kevin Costner. He was a man of both science and action. His contributions to the universe were so valuable, he knew he’d have to somehow be around to help even after he died.
And boy, did he look cool opening doors via Jazz Hand:
You have to give this to Man of Steel: when it felt like being a weird sci-fi film, it really didn’t hold back. Sadly, most of that is limited to the opening Krypton stuff and this glorious scene of Russell Crowe casually man-acting all over the place. If only more of the movie could have been like this. We might have liked the film and avoided so many death threats.