Even with his next DC Comics blockbuster, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, director Zack Snyder is still finding himself defending its prequel, Man of Steel. One of the constant points of contention amongst fans has been the amount of damage that came with the final battle between Henry Cavill’s Superman and Michael Shannon’s Zod. Some said the amount of untempered destruction led to innumerable deaths, but Snyder recently argued that other films get away with a lot worse.
Snyder told the Wall Street Journal that some one recently told him they’d never seen such massive collateral damage in a recent film, which gave Snyder pause. “I went, ‘Really?’ And I said, ‘Well, what about [Star Wars: The Force Awakens]?’ In Star Wars, they destroy five planets with billions of people on them. That’s gotta be one of the highest death toll movies in history, the new Star Wars movie, if you do the math.”
While he’s certainly got a point, devil’s advocates might argue that The Force Awakens kept that destruction very distant from the audience. Man of Steel, on the other hand, is so in your face with it that it’s impossible to escape the theater without wondering how much innocent blood is actually on Superman’s hands for the way he wantonly tosses Zod through the streets or blows stuff up. Of course, Superman himself, Cavill, has his own response to that.
Talking with EW, Cavill pointed out that the destruction “may have been part of the master plan all along,” as it becomes the basis for Batman’s (Ben Affleck) attitude towards Superman in BvS. He went on to say that the story aspects of it are above his paygrade, but added, “What I can speak of is the idea of Superman, especially when the finger is pointed at collateral damage in the first movie. I mean, we’re talking about a greenhorn.”
It’s true that Kal-El is a rookie hero in Man of Steel, and Cavill noted that the character would address the situation differently were he to be confronted with it now. “He would, of course, bring collateral damage to an absolute minimum, but in that, he’s just trying to survive because if he doesn’t, the planet’s gone,” he argued. That’s the excuse I make for Superman. He’s fresh and he’s new, and it’s very easy to point out the faults in someone after they’ve done it, but put yourself in their shoes and see what happens.”
Elsewhere on EW, the cast of BvS:DoJ have remarked on the less-than-stellar reviews the film has been earning. (It currently sits at a hobbling 32% on Rotten Tomatoes with 162 reviews counted.) Affleck agreed with Cavil when he said, “What is going to really matter, I believe, is what the audience says. Because they’re the ones who are buying tickets, they’re the ones who want to see more of this kind of story, or not. So the audience’s voice is loudest, and after this weekend, the audience will at least partly have spoken.”
Amy Adams, who reprises her Man of Steel role as Lois Lane, echoed that sentiment, saying the film wasn’t “for the critics.” Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) added that she thinks Snyder did “fantastic work” on the movie. For his part, Snyder admitted he tried to base the movie off the aesthetic of a comic book, saying, “I don’t know how else to do it, so it is what it is.”