MAN OF STEEL – Review

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Let me start by saying I am a fan of the Original Christopher Reeve movies even though the 3rd part was mostly average yet entertaining. The 4th film however was quite bad but by this time the franchise had ran its course. Of course in 2006 there was the Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns while it was by no means a bad film it just never really modernised the character for the new generations and felt more like Homage of the Richard Donner films with Brandon Routh looking eerily similar to Christopher Reeves.

So now here we are in 2013 and another Superman film which charts the origins of the character so this reboot with Christopher Nolan director of the Dark Knight on-board as producer and Zack Snyder of 300 and Watchmen fame taking the reigns as director. The film starts of In Krypton where you see Jor-El played by Russell Crowe warning the people of Krypton that the planet is dying and that they need to take measures to ensure survival. General Zod, played by Michael Shannon, has lofty plans of his own, which I won’t elaborate as they are vital points to the plot. While this mostly follows what we have come to expect from the origin story of Superman they have added a lot more screen time for Planet Krypton and its inhabiting people and creatures are shown in much more detail than any of the previous iterations. Without giving too much away Baby Superman or Kal El leaves Krypton amongst scenes of chaos on the planet and we are treated to flashbacks of Superman’s childhood on earth and how he struggles with his abilities. Henry Cavil who plays Clark Kent / Superman embodies the part extremely well, it helps that he is physically imposing as well as being able to portray a tormented soul who does not know what to make of the abilities he has inherited since being on earth.  Amy Adams plays Lois Lane and while I was initially sceptical about her casting, she played her role of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist quite well. The rest of the supporting actors are well cast with Kevin Costner and Diane Lane playing Pa and Ma Kent and Laurence Fishburne playing a tough Perry White of the Daily Planet. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is also a great inclusion with a percussion heavy theme that is very catchy. Chris Nolan being producer probably made the decision to have him do the sound track; wise choice.

I thought this reboot was really impressive on a number of levels and has set the foundation for the Superman universe in a modern and more believable way. Once all the pieces are in place and the action kicks off its absolutely brilliant. I have to say that a worry for me prior release was the darker tone that was heavily publicized, as I thought they may slow proceedings down but that was evidently not the case. Once the action starts it is breath taking and by far the best action we have come to see from a Superman film. The level of destruction that is on show by his fellow Kryptonians dwarf anything I have seen from a Marvel or a DC film for that matter. It’s good to see that when super beings fight, the toll on Metropolis is shown in great detail and the results are not pretty. The one complaint that I do have is that the movie seems to be missing something and I quite can’t put a finger on it. When I walked out of the movie theatre I loved it but just could not understand what was missing; I think that taking a grounded approach to the character mostly works but being a fan of the original movies the film perhaps felt devoid of lighter and fun moments. We do not see a bumbling Clark and instead a more brooding approach is on display but I guess they needed to modernise the mythology and maybe that for me made the movie a very heavy experience. But even with these minor complaints I still think it’s up there as the best Comic Book films out this year and hopefully my niggles may be addressed in the sequels; lighter moments would be a welcome addition. But for now I recommend that you go watch MAN OF STEEL and enjoy the spectacle of the last son of Krypton on the big screen.

 

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