Man of Steel destruction

Simon Pegg: ‘Nothing Poetic’ About ‘Destruction Porn’ In ‘Man Of Steel’

Most folks agree that while Man of Steel was the best Superman movie we’ve gotten in a while, the ending was a little gratuitous. The massive and devastating destruction of Metropolis was a little tiring to behold. It’s kind of a problem affecting all big budget movies these days, and there’s “nothing poetic” about it, says Star Trek Into Darkness actor Simon Pegg.

In an interview with Vulture, Pegg joins many in the debate over whether such gratuitous destruction is necessary in our summer blockbusters. While big effects and wanton violence seem to be crowd-pleasing moves in the eyes of studios, Pegg says that these extreme set pieces actually compromise the genre they appeal to.

“I think science fiction’s kind of lost its way over the years, in that people suddenly think it’s about the robots. It was never about the robots. It’s always been about the people. And robots have been a metaphor for something. And there doesn’t seem to be a metaphor now. It’s literal destruction. Was Man of Steel a metaphor for 9/11? No. It was just us seeing buildings falling down.”

Furthermore, the effects of such destruction and violence aren’t properly dealt with by the characters on screen.

“That was one of the things that blew me away about Man of Steel, that at the end, they’re all at the Daily Planet office just going, ‘Hey! Let’s go see the Dodgers!'” Pegg observes. “Isn’t everyone dead? Isn’t New York flat?”

Pegg neglected to bring up Star Trek Into Darkness during the interview, which offers a similar climax. Much of San Francisco is destroyed when Benedict Cumberbatch crashes a giant spaceship into the city, though that film’s characters are slightly more cognizant of the human cost.

In an interview earlier this year, Damon Lindelof, the film’s writer, explained reluctantly that climaxes featuring major destruction are kind of unavoidable.

“It’s almost impossible to, for example, not have a final set piece where the fate of the free world is at stake. You basically work your way backward and say, ‘Well, the Avengers aren’t going to save Guam, they’ve got to save the world.’ Did Star Trek Into Darkness need to have a gigantic starship crashing into San ­Francisco? I’ll never know. But it sure felt like it did.”

Do you agree with SImon Pegg about the ending of Man of Steel? Is there too much needless destruction in our summer blockbusters?

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