Director: Zack Snyder
Screenplay: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Cast: Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Russel Crowe (Jor-El), Michael Shannon (General Zod), Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White)
Run time: 143 mins Cert: 12A
With Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight trilogy) working their magic behind the scenes, expectations were high for Man of Steel to be a success; such was the reputation the Batman films’ had generated. In the seven year hiatus since the unflattering Superman Returns, people have become accustomed to a more grown-up style of comic-book movie and so they set about transforming the character into something that 21st Century audiences can appreciate. Gone are the horrible red spandex in favour of a more badass suit, as too was the notoriety that came with the character (he doesn’t refer to himself as Superman; a quite boastful name when you think about it); people are genuinely wowed by him, he is a more refined character that is brought to life by the wonderful Henry Cavill.
Standout performances from Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Cavill as the man of steel himself give the film a more personal touch, Crowe in particular as he fights off the attempts of General Zod (Michael Shannon) to send his new born son away to Earth as the planet Krypton implodes on itself. We watch the baby grow up into a man with the help of his Earth parents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), as he tries to adjust his life and keep his gift a secret. Cavill is a mountain of a man and fits the character to a tee, unshackling the dire scepticisms of previous outings to produce a character who stays true to the ethos of the comics; a man who is unrelenting in his quest for truth, having lost everything that is dear to him.
Although I am in favour of a more realistic approach when it comes to superhero movies, Man of Steel was lacking a little in the story department unfortunately. It was quite a slow-pace and it left you wanting something more to happen – more action, more drama, more jump-out-of-your-seat-and-punch-the-air in joy moments, but this wasn’t the case. In the original Superman, Christopher Reeve was either saving a woman from falling out of a window one minute, or stopping a speeding train the next; the current efforts had too few moments that made you really sit back and appreciate that it was Superman in action – the realism was its downfall.
I believe that Man of Steel was a victim of its own hype and that audiences went in expecting it to be another Dark Knight; a gritty film that was the most realistic interpretation of a superhero in recent years. Now obviously a film about an alien who crash-landed on Earth with an array of superpowers was never going to be realistic, so producers went about trying to interpret the public perception of what it would be like if this were to actually happen. This was successful to an extent, but for a film about the greatest superhero in comic-book history he didn’t really do many super things; rather it was more about finding himself.
Paul is a film fan and amateur film maker who reads his movie reviews at Hey U Guys