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9.7 32 10
FanFix October 28, 2017 14606
(Updated: December 31, 2020)
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I'm one of the five people on the planet that really like Snyder's DCEU movies, so any fanedits/fixes for me have to focus on the details. It's also unrealistic to expect that every aspect of an edit is going to work for you, unless you do the edit yourself.

"Man of Steel" has always been a movie I've defended more than it deserves. I'm a Superman fan and I have a special relationship with the character, but it's impossible for me to ignore this film's terrible screenplay or its overlong, loud action sequences. Any fanedit would find it hard to fix the former (for obvious reasons), but it can do a lot with the latter.

"A Symbol of Hope" is not a very invasive edit and, for my purposes, this is a good thing. With a few seemingly minor changes, it makes a world of difference. "Man of Steel" 's problem for audiences was that it wasn't "fun"; one can interpret this in a variety of ways, but knowing the target audience for this type of film, the answer comes down to it not being a superhero movie. "Man of Steel" is an alien invasion movie, about an orphan alien living among us, until his biological family comes to claim him for their own. The set up is clever (and would've been amazing with a better writer), but this means the action is framed through the eyes of the humans, the audience; that's why there is so much unnecessary destruction. It's a disaster movie, but there's Superman in it.

This edit manages to fix this by employing two basic tricks: for one thing, it adds the "heroic" theme in key scenes. It's so minor you'd think it doesn't matter, but it actually does a lot to change this to a legit superhero movie.

The other, far more important trick, is the editing down of action sequences. TM2YC's idea to trim down the action to only the sequences that involve Superman actively trying to save people was brilliant in its simplicity. Not only does this make the film less tedious and less loud, not only does it change the tone of the movie without ever needing to actively change the tone of the movie, but most importantly it creates a bond between the audience and Superman, the hero. It's that lack of a connection, this alienation, in the theatrical cut that led so many to blame Superman for the destruction of Metropolis. By keeping the action focused on Superman, no matter how loud and violent it gets, you invest in the character and his struggle to stop it all. It doesn't matter if he often fails, what matters is that all you see is him trying.

There are other small cuts and fixes here and there, some minor moments I'd have preferred to keep in (why does everybody cut out the truck, or Superman crashing in his first flight attempt?), but this isn't really criticism. As I said, no fanedit will be perfect for you; where it counts, in its stated purpose, "A Symbol of Hope" succeeds and then some. I *enjoy* watching this edit. It has pretty much replaced the theatrical cut for me, whenever I feel like watching Man of Steel. This is near damned perfect, assuming you don't outright hate the movie as it is. If you already like Man of Steel, but you wish it was a little less exhausting and a little more Superman-y, I highly recommend this one.

PS: I would recommend not using the Extra Heroic Mix. It does wear the theme out a bit and I'm not entirely comfortable with the music being used for Jor-El. I understand the father-son connection, but a lot of this film is Clark not being a product of Krypton. I think it loses of a bit its punch. The regular Heroic Mix is plenty effective as is.

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