Cert: 12A Runtime: 143 mins Director: Zack Snyder Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Lawrence Fishburn, Antje Traue, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner
You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s going to change the world
Since Superman II ended many decades ago there has been a curse on Superman in the world of film. It succeeded with Lois & Clark: The new Adventures of Superman and with Smallville on television, but not at the cinema. But during the turning of the 21st century so many screenplays were written like Batman Vs Superman and Superman: Flyby, many people were cast as the man of steel etc. This ended up with that hot pile of mess by Bryan Singer in 2006 (you know what I am talking about). The success of the Nolan Batman franchise revolutionized the genre of comic book film, and obviously after the last few years we knew that David S. Goyer and Chris Nolan had ideas on how to modernize Superman and make him current. The main issue with him I believe is that he is very old fashioned with traditional values, to be fare I have been sceptical of this idea since 2010. Even though Nolan’s name is on the credits, I truly don’t believe he has that much input into Man of Steel, if anything he is like Joss Whedon at Marvel now consulting scripts. Anyway intro over, I am always delighted to see a Zack Snyder film (minus Sucker Punch) and I also like the concept of a fairly unknown in Henry Cavill aka the unluckiest man in Hollywood (check out Empire back in 2005). So what is Man Of Steel? As a young boy, Clark Kent realised he was different from all the kids around him, blessed – or perhaps cursed – with superhuman strength and abilities. Years later, the adult Clark (Henry Cavill) sets out on a journey to discover who he is and where he came from. In the process, he learns to embrace his destiny and become the world’s greatest saviour.
Let me begin by saying, this is a decent trip to the cinema. By far the best Superman film ever made in my eyes, I wasn’t bored for 2+ hours and there isn’t a dull moment in the whole film. I know that other critics have said there is too much action, Superman being too serious, lack of romance, etc. But who cares what they say, for the majority of my peers they are stuck up their own backside half the time. For the general movie goer this is a good action/sci-fi movie. The film does have a few flaws which I will get too, but all in all I am happy.Direction by Zack Snyder was good.He keeps the movie packed with emotion and drama and amazing action scenes.The pace of the movie is a bit uneven at the start as it shifts back and forth from action to drama in the course of minutes, but the latter half is fast paced and action packed.The first half is riddled with jumping from the past and the present almost continuously. I liked this fresh idea, especially with Origin films. It gets boring when you watch it chronologically, when you go present to past it’s good as the key moments are reflected on and not dull shots of them eating or something. Editing is rather weak especially in the middle ,and this could irritate some viewers. But Zack does master one aspect of the movie and that’s the action. I really have to talk about the action of this movie. It was just eccentric! The entire third half of the movie is one gigantic EPIC battle.I have to say that it’s a good fight sequence.Mixed with the soundtrack and the visuals, the action is just jaw dropping. The scale of destruction was immense. They have done well also in trying to make the ‘S’ symbol more realistic by saying it means hope, and also with the suits making them feel they are of a medieval esk-era. I must say I do like Kal-El’s suit for me it’s better without the red underwear.
Henry Cavill was an outstanding Clark Kent. His portrayal was on point: charismatic, fragile but strong, charming but menacing, and a pretty boy for the ladies if they felt turned off by the Fourth of July over the top action sequences that were taking place around him. The storyline was very fragmented but his character was made out to be a lot more interesting and less cheesy than other films, but still had its flaws. Michael Shannon as General Zod, as excited as I was to see a villain that can rival Superman and a break from the overused Lex Luthor, he was too much for the first film. Why do I say this? His character was developed rather poorly and his dialogue sounded very similar to that of many other villains that we have seen before. Some times I feel like Antje Traue was more of a villain for me, she was very good cold and fearless like any German. Russell Crowe did a brilliant job, recently I haven’t liked him in many films but I do feel like he is the Brando of his generation. Amy Adams has given Lois Lane new light in Man of Steel, she is feisty, intelligent and independent. The damsel in distress is no more, I look forward to seeing Clark and Lois’s relationship flourish in the sequel. Big shout out to Kevin Costner, not seen him in a big film for a while. He really is Jonathan Kent just like Jor-El intelligent and not afraid of the truth. Many of the supporting characters are not fully developed Perry White, Jimmy Olsen,Dr. Hamilton though. This was rather frustrating but hey-ho can’t get everything right? Considering Cavill and Adams have been waiting to play these roles for well over 10 years in various renditions. Their time to shine is now, very well cast film.
Hans Zimmer proves he is the master again. The best he did was not trying to imitate John Williams. Zimmer comes with a different score, full of emotion, and with a simple melody he makes a statement: “This is a new Superman, and this is his song”. Music is very present during the movie and it will be as memorable as the original John William score.One of weakest aspect of this movie is the Lois/Superman relationship. Since the movie is too focused on Superman, the relationship between Superman and Lois felt a little rushed and underdeveloped.The on-screen chemistry between them is simply not convincing enough to be believable. I’m not particularly fond of the gloomy outlook/darker atmosphere that surrounds the entire movie the choice of using dark muted colours and high contrast for the film. But, I hope they could brighten up the colours in the sequel. My only other issue is the development of Clark into Superman, I feel it was rather rushed. Unlike in Batman Begins and The Amazing Spider-Man, where our heroes have taken a good hour of the film to become who they are. Superman seemed like it took him 20 minutes, I know your going to say he has been preparing for 33 years but it’s still very rushed people. All in all I am excited for the future of the Man of Steel and I welcome him to the 21st century. But you may ask now Justice League next? I am not going to sit on the bench on this, personally it’s a no. For a Nolan DC universe to exist it can’t happen, many members like Flash and Aquaman don’t fit in it for me. Now with Superman in the new DC world I could see Green Lantern and possibly even Wonder Woman coming to existence. But I am not Warner Brothers and Chris Nolan, so we will wait and see for now.