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Woman of Steel: Adams’ Lois Lane Brings Dose of Humanity to Reboot

MAN OF STEEL

If there’s one redeeming quality in Zack Snyder’s bloated Man of Steel, it’s Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I’m not the biggest fan of Adams’ work, so this was a truly pleasant surprise. In a film brimming with absurd special effects and stoic men speaking monotonously about the fate of humanity, she brings a much-needed dose of humanity.

In the Superman universe, Lois’ primary purpose is to ground Superman. As a boy, the Kents do that job, imparting a sense of right and wrong to an otherworldly Kal-El. As an adult, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, it becomes even more important for Superman to have real and specific relationships with humans, and especially with a do-right woman like Lois.

While the plot holes in Snyder’s film are big enough to drive a World Engine through, Lane’s story actually makes a ton of sense: She’s a Pulitzer Prize winner and a war correspondent’ early on, she tells us, “I get writer’s block if I’m not wearing a flak jacket.” After Kal-El becomes the subject of a manhunt, Lois refuses to give up her source (Clark Kent) to either her boss or to the U.S. government. It’s a moment that is timely, and very telling about Lois’ character. She’s the last honest woman in journalism, by gum, and she’s not going to back down.

MLois Lane is one of the rare iconic women in pop culture who’s defined primarily by her job — she isn’t really Lois if she’s not a newswoman. From the beginning of the Superman comics, Lois has been characterized by her curiosity, her drive to uncover the truth. Whether you layer on Margot Kidder’s swooniness, or Teri Hatcher’s sex appeal, she’s still a tough-as-nails working woman. Pepper Potts doesn’t really have a job without Tony Stark, and Mary Jane Watson flits from actress to model. The closest cousin to Lois Lane is scientist Jane Foster in the Thor series. Certainly there are plenty of examples of female supporting characters in comics with intense day jobs (Maria Hill, for one), but few who get as much screen time over the years as Lois Lane. In summer blockbusters (whether based on comics or not), it’s rare to see a woman who is as unabashedly career-focused as Lois Lane. Moreover, it’s her career that brings her into contact with Superman.

In Snyder’s film in particular, where Superman’s manliness is trotted out at every turn — He saves an oil rig while shirtless! He hitchhikes through Canada while wearing flannel! — it’s nice to see Lois butching up a little as well. Adams wears pants during the entire film, and her wardrobe consists of a lot of tweed vests. She looks like a real, live journalist (even if she is in stupidly pointy stilettos in a few scenes).

Giving Clark a dose of humanity doesn’t mean that Lois needs to drape herself in femininity. Kidder and Hatcher fell to pieces in front of the Man of Steel’s big muscles, and Erica Durance kept things flirty on Smallville. However, Adams keeps herself together, and that works for her backstory in this film. If the chemistry is a little bit off between her and Superman, it’s only because the plot doesn’t give them much room to get to know each other. The scene in which Clark takes her hand as they board Zod’s ship is actually kind of sweet — and the movie could have used a little more of that human touch amid all the alien battle scenes.

As Adams portrays Lois, she doesn’t need Superman to save her. She needs to be near him to get in on the world-saving herself, to fulfill her own desire for justice. It’s an old-fashioned notion that reporters are doing work for the public good, but it’s nice to see Lois’ ambitions line up with Superman’s in unexpected ways. In the inevitable sequel to Man of Steel, I can only hope that Adams gets to pull on another flak jacket and ride straight into the center of the action again.

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Comments

  • guest

    you lost me at plot holes

  • Joe Hundley

    Yeah that does not ,make any sense at all.

  • AaronDaniel

    This author shows all their cards in the very first paragraph, and consequently lost me there. “bloated” Man of Steel?! “Not a fan” of Amy Adams work?! She’s an amazing actress! Obviously, Anna Pinkert is a pinhead that shouldn’t be writing anything about anything- especially anything about cinema.

  • Kratos

    How much did Disney pay you for this shit of article?

  • Aaron Daniel Dean

    And, honestly, I’m baffled by all the shit-talking about this movie! Critics and sites that I’ve come to respect are just WAY OFF THE MARK on this one. Man of Steel was a solid movie. I encourage anyone and everyone that hasn’t seen this movie NOT to be dissuaded by the erroneous articles and reviews about this movie. It was very well done.

  • monkeypants2230

    Faora impressed more in this movie!

  • Doug

    While I do have a few nitpicks about it from a comic book nerd perspective, specifically the “lesson” scene during the tornado, and the end of the big showdown with Zod, the movie was enjoyable.

  • Tomi Hanzek

    I thought she was the weakest link in the movie. Lois is suppose to be spunky and witty, she was neither in Man of Steel. Watch Superman: Unbound to see what I’m talking about.

    I’m also not getting the hate shoveled onto this movie. It’s utterly baffling to me.

  • BoilingMan

    Amy Adams was okay in the movie nothing special. Did you guys know she came out in Smallville as one of the Kryptonite freaks? lol

  • BoilingMan

    The movie was awesome! But yeah Amy Adams was nothing special, I agree with you 100%.

  • numberthirty

    With the possible exception of Ma Kent, Clark is the most human thing in the film.

    What movie did she see?

  • numberthirty

    I’m also not so sure about the “Doesn’t need Superman to save her” line.

    At at least one point in the movie, she absolutely does.

  • K.a. Stone

    I agree with the portrayal of Amy Adams…But Clark is the most human character in the movie in my opinion.

    But opinions may vary…

  • Lyle

    I really liked this movie, and am, as many posters here, baffled by this author’s negative statements, and the negative statements by other critics. I can write the others off as being mundanes, but I am not quite sure what her problem is.
    I actually think Lois was really well done here. To a degree, I think this was more due to the writing than the acting. Here is where I should yell SPOILERS!!!
    This was the first time I saw Lois as a career woman, rather than a damsel in distress who got all mooney eyed over Superman. This was in part because she was the first person to break the story, and became obsessed with seeing it through. I know some people had a problem with Lois knowing Clark is Superman, but it makes more sense than an intelligent reporter not being able to figure it out just because Clark wears glasses. You have to admit she was so much better than Kate Bosworth, who couldn’t figure out Clark and Superman were the same person even after having had sex with Superman.

  • Scrappy

    An uncommitted coward of an actress in a horribly made film.

  • mel

    Just want to mention there were polar bears and the world engines looked like spiders. If you know about Kevin Smith and Jon Peters you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  • Guest

    I don`t know what theatre you all went to see this movie but where I went to Amy as Lois Lane had a line that had the whole crowd break out into laughter. I hadn`t seen a woman in any of the previous superhero movies get the biggest laugh in the movie as she did. I thought that was very cool !

  • gnarlk

    she’s not a real internet pop culture writer if she doesn’t use the words “plot holes” at least once in a movie article…

  • gnarlk

    if it was the exact same movie and called Man of Iron, or Avengers of Steel these same writers (and their Disney masters) would be singing endless praises…

  • John

    I don’t understand what movie he saw. I loved the Superman movie everyone did a great job including Amy Adams.

  • PietroMaximoff

    how about writing *SPOILERS* at the start??

  • Manuel Lopez

    There’s nothing to redeem. The writer of this (I don’t care to his/her name) says: “if there is one redeeming quality blah blah” …I didn’t bother to keep reading after that. MOS is an epic well done film. There is nothing to redeem.

  • Ray Feighery

    The end showdown is consistent with how he dealt with Zod in the comics. I thought the change in the Pa Kent story was a strong addition.

  • Ray Feighery

    Couldn’t disagree more. Thought she was one of the strengths and finally a realistic representation. Let’s face it Margot Kidder’s Lois would have been fired in a week!

  • Jimmy

    I think we can agree on one thing:

    Anna Pinkert, as usual, knows f@ck-all about what constitutes a good movie, let alone movies in this genre.

    I can only assume her brother or a relative is important to Spinoff.com and that’s how she got the job. It certainly wasn’t talent.

  • Christopher Douglas

    She should’ve been the MAIN villain. She was more fearsome than Zod.

  • fanny

    Man of Steel over all was a good movie, Amy Adams performance in the movie was great.This is definitely the best version of Lois Lane in movies so far.

  • fanny

    Totally agree with you, Amy Adams was great in this movie as Lois Lane. Margot Kidder may not be everyone’s favourite, but she was still better then Kate Bosworth.

  • Job M Yamen

    A) This was a good movie. Like most movies, there are things we can nitpick over, but this was a solid reintroduction to Superman and the author of this piece sounds like many of the critics, jaded moviegoers who seem to spend more time looking for flaws than just sitting back and enjoying the movie.
    B) I do wish there was more a little more sarcastic bite to this Lois, but that said, Ill take this Lois over any tv/film/comic version. In an effort to make Lois tough, most writers just make her sound like an angry b**ch all the time. This version had her sense of humor to some degree but was much more empathetic and added a strong dose of humanity to the film. I thought Amy did a good job and look forward to whats next

  • David Fullam

    Wow. So much anger and hate over a movie.

  • Chris

    Absolutely. This was much better than the heart-attack story line. It served a purpose.

  • Shecky

    You put it really well, Lois was strong without being a b**ch. She displayed strength and moral integrity without being angry or pissy about it. As the saying goes, “Everything looks like a nail to a guy with a hammer.” Lois changed that. She is a reporter and she actually didn’t report on a story that could have ruined Clark Kent’s life. I think that displays amazing character and creates a profound bond between Lois and Superman.

  • Alan

    Don’t understand people praising Adams. She was okay. She didn’t have any of the requisite snarkiness or charm that should go hand in hand with Lois Lane. The last time Lane was portrayed accurately in film was by Margot Kidder. Maybe in the sequel we can hope for Adams to be pushing Clark Kent around, and making him buy her a pizza at 9 AM like a real Lois Lane would.

  • Boiling Man

    Shame on you for not making time to see this awesome movie yet lol

  • Boiling Man

    The passion comes from an iconic character that most have grown up knowing.

  • Boiling Man

    I agree, Amy Adams was just okay. The movie overall was excellent! BTW Margo Kidder was way hotter back in the day. lol

  • David Fullam

    Well that includes me, but if people like the film, why attack someone just because they don’t like it?

  • brownbear34

    yeah but she responds by saving his life a few times to make it even.

  • Boiling Man

    Sometimes when good people find beauty in strange places it hurts them deeply when other people can’t see what they see.

  • Deep

    She was so much better than Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns. I actually have more respect for Amy Adams now as an actress because I never really liked any of her other movies. She was able to bring originality to the role and didn’t settle for the cliche damsel in distress depiction. I liked that Superman only had to save her once in the film.

    At first, I felt that they could have picked another actress, perhaps a younger one because if they do make a sequel in a couple years she will be well into her 40s and they would have to recast her for certain. However, I think that Amy was really good in the film. She was such an integral part of the movie and I liked the chemistry between her and Henry.

    I think it’s ironic that she auditioned for the part in Superman Returns and lost out to Kate Bosworth. But now, she rightfully won the role and is much more successful than Bosworth will ever be. She just ruined Superman Returns and was a horrible choice for the role.