Fifteen-minute Movie – Man of Steel

or, “Space Jesus vs Space Nazis!  Which is Actually More Boring Than the Premise Suggests”
or, “Is he Superman Yet?  …  Is he Superman Yet?  …  Is he Superman Yet?”

Krypton, El Household:
[[Kal-El is born at home apparently in a room devoid of doctors of any kind; good thing there were no complications…  And then sun rises and a bird flies by because this is the “Circle of Life…“]]

Krypton, Seat of Government:
Jor-El – Krypton is going to explode.

VIP 1 – That’s crazy talk.  Just because you are one of our foremost scientists and just because the planet has been shaking for two weeks doesn’t mean it’s going to explode or anything.

Jor-El – Yeah, yeah it is, and we need to get anyone we can off this planet before it does.

General Zod – [[kills VIP 1]]  Which makes this a perfect time to stage a coup!

Jor-El – Seriously?  We’re on the verge of the end of the world!  There won’t even be a government in two weeks.

VIP 2 – I really think you’re exaggerating the danger.

Zod – Jor-El, these fools have done nothing while the planet dies.  Let’s take all our genetic history and find a new world and establish a new Krypton with only the worthy bloodlines.

Jor-El – Wait a minute.  You’re a space Nazi?  Really?  Three minutes into this movie and the bad guy is being established as a space Nazi.  That’s…great…

Zod – Fine, if you won’t help me, I’ll destroy you too.

Jor-El – A space Nazi who speaks in clichés.  That’s great.  I’m sure after this little stunt you’ll pull the old, “I’ll have revenge” cliché too.

Zod – What stunt?

[[The stunt in which Jor-El escapes custody of Zod and steals the Codex, which contains all the genetic history of Krypton and downloads it into the baby {seriously, I’m not kidding, and I guessed that’s what was going on only to facepalm when the end of the movie confirmed my wild supposition was actually right} and producing a command key which serves as a red herring for the Codex and an incredibly convenient deus ex machina for the rest of the movie]]

Krypton, El Household:
Lara-El – I’m having second thoughts about sending our baby into the depths of space to a strange new world with potentially hostile alien life.  What if they hurt him?

Jor-El – I’ve selected a world with atmospheric conditions that will make my only begotten son into a god.

Lara-El – Oh, I guess that’s okay then.

Jor-El – Good.  That whole “Mother can’t bear to part with her child even under dire circumstances” cliché is so overdone.  Load him up into the rocket and let’s launch him!

[[At this moment of course Zod busts in and Jor-El holds him off long enough for the world’s longest launch sequence to be completed, at which point Zod kills Jor-El; luckily the government stops the coup just in time to save the ship with Kal-El and Lara-El]]

Krypton, Seat of Government:
VIP 2 – Zod, you and your traitors will be put in a ship capable of interstellar travel and sent into the Phantom Zone.

Zod – I will have revenge against Kal-El!

Krypton, El Household:
Lara-El – Huh, it looks like the planet is exploding.  I kind of thought my husband was crazy like the rest of us.  Too bad we have no technology to get us off this dying planet.  Nope, there was no way to possibly save anyone else besides my son.

[[Thus follows the Krypton-shattering kaboom]]

Earth, The Deadliest Catch:
First mate – Hey, handsome bearded greenhorn, be careful or you’ll get yourself killed.  Dumb-ass.

Captain – There’s a distress call.  An oil rig is going up!  Greenhorn, do something useful.  Greenhorn?

Oil Rig:
Worker 1 – The hatch is stuck!  There’s fire everywhere!  We’re going to die!

Mysterious bearded man who is Clark Kent so I’m just going to call him ‘Clark’ – Come with me if you want to live.

Workers – *blink*  *blink blink*  Hey, whatever you say.

[[Clark saves everyone including the helicopter and ends up floating in the deep blue frigid Arctic Ocean]]

Whales – <Arthuuuur says hellooooo; alsoooo yoooou kind of loooook like Jesuuuus>

[[We’re treated to the first of several flashbacks showing L’il Clark being traumatized by his superpowers and being called a freak; luckily Ma Kent talks L’il Clark down]]

[[Clark gets out of the ocean, steals some clothes, and then we’re treated to another flashback]]

Earth, Smallville (Flashback):
Bully – You’re a freak, Clark.

[[The worst popped tire in the world sends a terrible bus driver over the world’s worst guard rail and whole danged bus into the river; luckily a slightly older L’il Clark saves everyone including the bully but he’s seen doing so]]

Pa Kent – Clark, someone saw you save everyone.  Now the government will come for you and do terrible things.

L’il Clark – Was I supposed to let everyone die?

Pa Kent – Maybe.

Audience – Who the hell are you and where is Jonathan Kent?!?

Pa Kent – I’m just a really cynical and jaded modern update of Jonathan Kent, okay?  Anyway, son, let me show you a secret.  [[takes him out to the barn and shows him Clark’s baby rocket]]

L’il Clark – What is going on with these lens flares?  I can’t see a thing!

Pa Kent – Yeah, I know, it’s like the camera was aimed directly at a light.  It’ll go away soon.  Anyway, you’re an alien, and people will be afraid of you, but I’m sure you’re destined for greatness.  You just need to wait for the right time and hide your powers until then.

Earth, Northern Canada (Not a Flashback):
Lois Lane – I’m a plucky don’t-take-no-for-an-answer reporter and you’re going to let me onto this international archeological dig thing whether you like it or not.

Colonel – I don’t like it.

Lois – That’s fair.  So what is this?

Colonel – Well, we thought it was a Soviet sub but it’s buried in ice 20,000 years old, so we’ve got no clue, frankly.  By the way, even though I don’t like you, don’t wander around at night.  There’s a very real chance you could freeze to death.

Earth, Canada, Later:
[[Clark investigates the object and Lois, who ignores the Colonel’s warning, goes out in the middle of the night to follow Clark, who manages to be completely oblivious to Lois following him around until she nearly gets killed by a security bot]]


Clark – Hold still, I can stabilize your wounds until I can get you medical care.

[[Which Clark does by leaving Lois on a glacier all night to be found by chance by the rescue helicopter in the morning…wait, what?  Clark has already proven he has super-speed when he ran from the Deadliest Catch boat to the oil rig.  Why didn’t he pick her up and run her back to the base before powering up the archeological find (which is a Kryptonian ship of course)?  Instead he takes off in the middle of the night and leaves her all alone and exposed to the elements while her body recovers from a grievous injury!  She didn’t even have a ton-ton!!  What the hell, hero?]]

Earth, Undisclosed Location, Fortress of Solitude:
Clark – So this thing my dad gave me just happened to make this ship work.  Can anyone provide a convenient exposition dump?

Jor-El ex Machina – I can do that for you.  Your name is Kal-El, you are my only begotten son from a planet called Krypton.  Once we explored space, which is where this scout ship came from, but then decided for reasons that are never explained to stop exploring space and making colonies so we all stayed home raising our genetically engineered children and ended up ruining our planet.  General Zod thought that was a swell time for a coup, but it didn’t work.  I have saved all the genetic history of our planet called the Codex and left it with you.

Clark – Um…

Jor-El ex Machina – I despise the fact all our children were genetically engineered and couldn’t choose their purpose, which is why you were a natural birth.  And I sent you here for the purpose of being the savior of this human race and to give them hope that they can be more than they are.  Apparently Kryptonians don’t understand irony.

Clark – Um…

Jor-El ex Machina – So if you’ll follow me you’ll see that I already made you a suit to wear to give hope to humanity.  You have awesome superpowers and you should use them to save humanity.  So do you have any questions?

Clark – Nope, that’s all very convenient.

[[what follows is a montage of Clark donning the Superman outfit (sans underwear on the outside) and learning how to use his superpowers; there’s also another flashback in which a grown Clark tells a jerk trucker to leave a waitress alone but instead he’s the one that leaves the restaurant and to punish the jerk he ties up his truck in power poles like a vengeful super-dick]]

Metropolis, The Daily Planet:
Perry White – Lois, you have a story about a flying saucer.  I can’t print this!

Lois – I’ve won awards.

Perry – *icy stare*

Lois – Fine, fine, I’ll get something more solid. [[leaves]] But first I’ll get my story splashed all over the internet.

[[Montage of Lois asking the right questions and narrating the process until she gets to Ma Kent’s house; it’s really not interesting.]]

Earth, Smallville:  
Lois – I figured if I asked enough questions you’d show up.

Clark – Please don’t reveal my secret.

Lois – Why not?

Clark – Let me answer with a flashback.

Earth, Smallville (Flashback):
Pa Kent – You have to be more careful about hiding your powers.

Teenaged Clark – You’re not my read dad!  You can’t tell me what to do!

Pa Kent – *sigh*  I guess if I speak mostly in foreboding platitudes, you’re allowed to speak in adolescent clichés.

Ma Kent – Oh no!  An EF5 tornado just appeared out of nowhere!  Because that totally happens!

Pa Kent – Everyone get to the overpass!  [[Serious note – do NOT do this]]

[[so what follows is one of the most contrived tragedies ever put to film in which the Kents are safe but Pa Kent has to go back to the tornado to save the dog who of course escapes but Pa Kent can’t get away in time and lets Clark know that it’s better for him to die that for Clark to reveal his powers in front of the bystanders to save his father and thus Pa Kent dies.  Stupidly.  No one cares.]]

Earth, Metropolis:
Perry – So, did paying for all those flights using the Planet’s money in this age of dying print media pay off?

Lois – Um, the leads didn’t pan out.  So, um, no.

Perry – You’re lying.

Lois – Okay, yes, but I’m not giving up the story now.

Perry – Damn it!

Earth, Smallville, Kent Household:
Clark – So don’t worry about that reporter, Ma.  Everything’s going to be okay now.

Zod (Transmission) – Surrender the one known as Kal-El to me within 24 hours.  Or else.

Earth, Smallville, A Church:
Clark – Father, I have a bad feeling about this.  Hey, that’s a really nice stained glass window you have of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane.  So, anyway, what should I do?

Priest – Do you trust Zod?

Clark – Um, no.  He basically threatened the whole planet.  Of course not.

Priest – Well, you’ll just have to do what you feel is right and have faith it will be the right choice.

Earth, A Military Base:
Lois – I am totally going to kill that internet guy that ratted me out to the military.

Clark – Hey, how are you doing?

Lois – What are you doing here?  They’re going to turn you over to that guy who can’t be trusted!

Clark – Yeah, I know, and do you know you are the only person who realizes he can’t be trusted?  Anyway, I have to help people.  Also, military guys, the cuffs aren’t holding me and that tranquilizer isn’t going to do anything at all.

Scientist – Um, you might have germs or something.  We need to protect ourselves.

Clark – I’ve been on Earth for 33 years.

Zod’s Ship:
[[So Clark goes with Zod’s henchwoman but the henchwoman demands Lois go too for reasons that are never explained, so she does, and Clark quietly slips Lois the command key from his baby rocket.]]

Zod – So, it’s time for exposition on how I was wrongly accused of being a criminal…

[[Clark passes out due to being unacclimated to a Kryptonian atmosphere and the rest of this conversation apparently takes place telepathically?  Sure, why not, I guess]]

Clark – I know this, and the audience just saw this at the beginning of the movie.  You’re a space Nazi.  We get it.

Zod – Fine, fine.  Well, it turned out after the planet blew up we escaped the Phantom Zone and managed to scavenge enough technology and supplies from our ruined old colonies to survive, which shows how idiotic everyone was about not leaving the dying planet in the first place!  Anyway, that’s the past.  I came here to make you turn over the Codex so I can restart Krypton.

Clark – I’m thinking it’s a bad idea to turn that kind of information over to a space Nazi.

Zod – Would it help if I told you I’m planning on killing all the humans and turning Earth into Krypton?

Clark – No!  That just makes you more evil.

Zod – Okay, fine, I’ll just lock you up now that you’re weak and do what I want anyway.  Also, I’ll be sure to throw the Earthling in a cell with a command interface.

[[Lois in fact ends up in a cell with a command interface and just happens to plug the command key into the slot]]

Jor-El ex Machina – I’m glad you did that for no good reason.  Anyway, I’m downloading myself into this ship to take it over.  I’ll help you save my son and tell you how to stop Zod for good.

Lois – Wow, that is incredibly convenient.

[[It is indeed as the Jor-El ex Machina helps Lois and Clark escape the ship]]

Jor-El ex Machina – Remember, son, you can save everyone.  Now spread your arms out like a cross shape as you float towards the Earth.

[[Clark does save Lois but then what follows is a really annoying fight sequence in Smallville that doesn’t establish much in the way of character for anyone involved but does show that wow Kryptonians can take a beating; Clark doesn’t so much as win as manage to give the evil Kryptonians a headache so bad they run back to their ship for some space aspirin.]]

Lois – Clark!  I forgot!  Your dead space dad told me how we can save everyone!

Clark – Wow, exposition and solutions!  It’s like my dead space dad is a deus ex machina or something!  Or that Russell Crowe demanded more screen time because I think he’s had more lines of dialogue than I have.

Zod’s Ship, Later:
Zod – I hates him!  I hates Els forever!!

Scientist – It turns out the Codex is actually in Kal-El’s blood.

Zod – So you’re saying that the last begotten son of Krypton must shed his blood to save his race?

Scientist – Um, sure, if you want to say it like that.  The best part is he doesn’t have to be alive when I take the blood.

[[So Zod sends out two ships on opposite sides of the world; his ship and a spare and they start terraforming Earth to be more like Krypton which causes huge waves of destruction; despite this, Clark doesn’t seem to be in any particular hurry to you know, save the world]]

Earth, Metropolis Probably:
Colonel – Oh, hey, I’m back.  Okay, I’m really confused.  If Zod has the ability to terraform a planet, why not pick one that doesn’t have a superpowered space god to defend it?  I mean, they can travel through space pretty well.  That guy must just be an irredeemable monster if he’s going to kill seven billion people when it makes no sense to do so.  So anyway, what’s the plan?

Clark – You drop my baby rocket on Zod’s main ship and I’ll destroy the other ship and that should suck Zod’s ship into a black hole that will conveniently disappear rather than continue to expand and destroy the Earth anyway.

Lois – But you’ll get weaker the closer you are to that ship.  It’s like your Kryptonite or something!   You could die!

Clark – I am prepared to make that kind of sacrifice for humanity.

Colonel – Well could you get a move on?  Thousands of people are dying.

[[Clark of course busts up the small terraforming ship and nearly dies but the light of the sun brings him back from the (mostly) dead just in time to save Lois, who decided to go on the attack run which of course went very badly and in fact the luckiest thing to happen to her was to fall out of the plane to be saved by Clark instead of getting sucked into the black hole/Phantom Zone thing]]

Clark – Well, I’m glad that’s all over.  Yep, nothing else to do except kiss Lois and head on out.  Nope, no reason to check all those burning and collapsed buildings for survivors or attempt to save as many people as possible.  As the savior of humanity, my job is done.

Zod – Hey, I’m not dead yet!

Clark – Seriously?  You want to keep fighting?

Zod – I’m going to kill every single person on this planet with my bare hands just to watch you suffer.  So either I die or you die!

Clark – That is a horrible pair of choices.  I’m morally opposed to killing.

[[And what follows is an action sequence so overly long and destructive and boring I thought it had been directed by Michael Bay; eventually Clark pins down Zod in Grand Central Station, I mean, Metropolis Central Station; in yet another obviously contrived tragedy the only way Clark can save a family from Zod’s heat vision is by killing Zod; Clark is emotionally distraught.]]

Earth, Metropolis:
Clark – So that’s all over.  I’m going to be Superman but I need a job where I can hear about all the bad things happening in the world.  Or I could watch television and check the internet, but that’s not as good as a job in the newspaper business!

Perry – Everyone meet our new reporter, Clark Kent.

Lois – Nice glasses.

Clark – Thanks.



For a better ending, check this out.  For more ranting about this movie, here’s a link.


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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

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