Intrepid reporter Lois Lane finally has that big scoop she’s been looking for, all these years: the true identity of Superman, high-flying space angel and secret king of the sky. I’d like to say that she uncovered it through smarts, determination and a keen insight into the human condition, but the fact is, it just kind of fell on top of her while she was thinking about hair care products.
But never mind that indignity; this is one of the great discoveries in human history. There’s nothing that even the most scattershot of directors could do, to take this moment away from her.
Oh, except to leave her on the floor, I guess, just looking up in stunned amazement…
while the six foot four thunder god walks up two steps before he turns to look at her, just to maximize the height differential.
So that’s not amazing optics, but I’m sure they’re about to turn this around, and give her a really strong opening line.
Lois: I’m sorry.
Okay, apparently not. They’re just going to leave her there on the floor, with some artfully arranged product placement on the couch. This is actually a pretty good shot, as far as Polaroid is concerned. Sucks for Lois, though. She looks like a fucking housepet.
And the superstar stands up there on his personal podium, smiling and looking gorgeous and warm, and he says, “No, you don’t have anything to be sorry about,” which is true. There are going to have to be some apologies made at some point, but Lois is more the apologizee in this situation.
Cut to Lois, holding this pose.
“I don’t know why I did that,” says Clark, and Lois says, “Maybe you wanted to.” He executes another cute facial expression, and says, “I don’t think I did.”
Back to this. “Well, maybe you didn’t want to with your mind,” she says. “But maybe you wanted to with your heart.” Yeah, maybe. Can we get up off the floor now?
The answer to that question is no. There is a full ninety seconds on the clock before she gets up, and even then she needs a man to help her to her feet. You know, it’s funny, I thought this was going to be a scene with Lois Lane in it.
The really annoying thing about this artistic choice is that this is a movie that specifically explores the humiliation of being forced to kneel in front of somebody. They have a whole fucking catchphrase about it.
Go out and ask somebody what they remember about Superman II, and there is an excellent chance that the first thing out of their mouth will be “Kneel before Zod!” There are two crucial moments in the film where the entire focus of the scene is whether someone is going to abase themselves in front of a power-mad alien dictator.
So there is just no excuse for this.
And you can’t say that it didn’t occur to anybody while they were making the movie. If you’re rehearsing a scene with this blocking in literally any movie, television show or stage production, it is one hundred percent guaranteed that at some point, someone will say, “Kneel before Zod!” And that person wouldn’t even be on the clock; they’d be saying it pro bono. This is the one time in the history of the dramatic arts where the production is literally paying somebody hundreds of thousands of dollars to say the words “Kneel before Zod!” It’s their job to say it. This is the Kneel before Zod movie.
So, I don’t know. If Richard Lester didn’t want to do this with his mind, then he wanted to with his heart, and then he went and did it. Some honeymoon this is turning out to be.
The fans weigh in…
2.25: Before the Flood
— Danny Horn