- Starring: Henry Cavill (Immortals), Amy Adams (The Fighter), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and more.
- Directed by: Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300)
- Synopsis: “In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.”
- Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction and some language
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Finally! The wait for the promised Superman film is over. The “Last Son of Krypton” has finally descended to Earth and DC fans rejoice in knowing that they can now revel once again in another hero other than Batman (I mean, Green Lantern and Jonah Hex weren’t doing DC movies any favors. Come on!) Hit the jump to see my thoughts on the latest release from the pages of DC comics to the big screen: Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
Fans felt neither excited nor disappointed in the choice of Zack Snyder as the director given the daunting challenge of reintroducing the world to Superman. Snyder, known for his stunning visuals that could be considered a character of the film on their own, sat in the director’s chair for films such as SuckerPunch, 300 and Watchmen…all which seemingly then paved the way for Man of Steel. What fans DID get excited over was the involvement of Christopher Nolan who I refer to as the “Godfather of DC.” While many expected a “rerun” of sorts of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Nolan diffused rumors of Man of Steel being “The Dark Knight Revisited.”
First off, let me tell you that I did still enjoy this long, bombastic, somewhat all over the place superhero film that is a nice tribute to the comicbook superhero known as Superman. The casting worked so well on so many levels. Henry Cavill looks great in the suit (Man, he sure bulked up for the role!), Michael Shannon was what I wanted from Zod, his sidekicks were equally just as ominous and threatening (more villains in movies need credible henchmen/sidekicks like Zod’s. Wow!), and Russell Crowe as Jor-el was perfect (although I couldn’t help but laugh as I found him highdiving into water once again and talking about stars and man…those of you that watched Les Misérables might see the fun similarities to his character Javert.)
It’s funny to think that both of Clark/Kal-el’s fathers were Robin Hood once upon a time…Crowe and Costner (Did you realize that?). Several castmembers played their roles well and their roles were given plenty of purpose. I very much loved Cavill as Superman. I also liked Amy Adams as the relentless, yet less than playfully romantic Lois Lane, but something from her seemed missing.
In Man of Steel, Zack Snyder gives us a great look at Superman as has never been seen before. The suit looks great, his background is given a fresh facelift, the main characters are well-rounded (not so for the secondary characters, however) and the action is pretty on point, albeit a bit repetitive. The problem with superhero movies is that ultimately there isn’t any true danger to fear, only the thrill of the journey to the triumphant ending…so, that being the case, I expected the music to bring emotional highs where the story wouldn’t. But it does not.
Perhaps the most disappointing exclusion is that of an epic musical score. Mr. Hans Zimmer, I sadly say that for the first time you have let me down. Lacking a true theme for Superman, I kept waiting for my spirit to soar watching scenes of Superman take flight alongside an appropriate and powerful theme…but it never really came. Instead, Zimmer’s incessant score takes turns contributing to/distracting from the movie itself. While some may not consider the music as being a part of a film, I find it to be a BIG part of a movie and this one disappointed me.
Snyder’s film eloquently pays attention to some of the greatness of Krypton (so great to see the planet for longer than a few minutes) but loses some of the charm of Superman by not playing into his humanity as much as expected. Part of the appeal of Superman is the struggles he faced as the quirky Clark Kent. Snyder puts that to the side and gives us less “Clark Kent” and more “Superman.” The intermittent look back on Clark’s history is sadly lost among the exciting action.
Man of Steel resembles films such as Avatar, The Dark Knight Rises, Spider-Man, SuckerPunch and Transformers, but it still stands on its own feet and manages to impress despite all of my disappoints. Too much action (I can’t believe that’s a complaint, but there was a bit much), but Man of Steel is gorgeous (Snyder’s fingerprint), long in storytelling at 143 minutes (Nolan’s fingerprint) and pretty thorough when it wants to be (screenwriter David Goyer’s fingerprint).
Ultimately, Man of Steel will soar past the expectations of many fans after the disappointing Superman Returns that was overloaded with character development and too little action. Almost the complete reverse…I said “almost”… this refreshing reboot, loaded with tons of Easter Eggs (see HERE for a few spoiler-filled ones. I particular enjoyed #3, #9, and #17.) is powerful, but lacks an equivalent story, set of sequences and soundtrack to boot as all three are lost amid the distracting long fight scenes. Definitely worth a watch as it is the best representation of the Last Son of Krypton in a long long time. We just need Batman to show up and the Justice League can begin! 🙂
On a fun note: You will remember that the damage in that The Avengers caused in New York City prompted a news reporter montage calling out the heroes for all of the damage. Well, with all of the damage caused in both Metropolis and that one street in Smallville that resembled a similar street in Thor, I expect there to be a full-length special feature report edition of 20/20 from the Daily Planet as the total dollar amount of damage surely cost three to ten MILLION times more! haha 😀
My Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars for Man of Steel
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
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