Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Man of Steel

So late last year I named Man of Steel my most anticipated film of 2013 and I now finally gotten to see it. So how did this latest incarnation of Superman turn out? Read on and find out in my SPOILER FREE review.

So in the latest version of Superman we see Henry Cavill don the cape with Zack Snyder on directing duties. Instead of being a sequel to the classic Christopher Reeve films like Bryan Singer made in 2006, Man of Steel reboots the story and gives us a fresh take on Superman's origins. Although I enjoyed Bryan Singer's Superman Returns I was pleased to see a reboot of the film and with Christopher Nolan on producing duties and The Dark Knight scribe David S. Goyer on scripting duties I was excited to see a darker more grounded side to the story of Kal-El.

The cast is perfect and one of the best things about film, not one part felt out of place. Henry Cavill is an amazing Superman, Amy Adams is the least annoying Lois Lane yet, Michael Shannon plays a truly chilling General Zod, Russell Crowe plays Jor-El brilliantly whilst Diane Lane plays Martha Kent with Kevin Costner as the awesome but underused Jonathan Kent.

The film plays out more like a sci-fi film then a superhero movie, which is not a bad thing as the opening scenes on the planet Krypton are brilliant. When the film finally gets to Earth we see the early days of Clark Kent through a series of flashbacks inter cut with present day Clark discovering his powers and where he came from. The first act of the film is it's best whilst unfortunately the second act suffers from being a stuffed with too much action and spectacle that it takes away from the beautiful character pieces set up at the start. For the most part of the film the story and script are great except a few dodgy moments such as a scene between young Clark and his Mother in a school that felt very out of place and unnatural.

As much as I enjoyed the film, my problem was with action. Now I knew going into the film there was going to be a lot of action, this is Zack Snyder we are talking about after all, but it was as if he had hired in Michael  Bay to help him out on the last act of the film. the action pieces went on for far too long, just as you think a set piece is going to end somebody else gets a train kicked into them and it carries on. If at the climactic showdown you make your audience think 'Really!? They're going to fight again?' then you are doing something wrong! The amount of skyscrapers destroyed and other collateral damage in this film is crazy and sometimes just downright stupid. And in the middle of this we have sub-plot involving Laurence Fishburne's Perry White which just felt as if it had been pushed in because he was an important character in the previous versions of Superman and in the comics. Here his story arc just felt forced in for fan service.

With a lot of action comes a lot of special effects and this film is full of it. Thankfully most of the CGI looks pretty impressive but because there is so much of it, it can become quite obvious at times. However you can now believe a man can fly, more than you did with the Christopher Reeve films, with Superman's first flight being one of the highlights of the film.

Now that I'm done telling you what I didn't like about the film, I will tell you what I did like. I have already talked about the cast and their brilliant performances but the stylish approach to this film also helps make this film. Snyder has stripped back the brightness of the colours to give you a more riveting a serious tone to his Superman movie. He also sticks heavy to the themes of religion and God which I have no problem with and enjoy seeing the comparison of the Superman story to that of Jesus's. The ending is also great however has already proven controversial amongst fans, the climactic scene of the film is how
however one of my favourites in the film.

I really enjoyed this new take on Superman and it's great to see him on the big screen again. It's unfortunate that after such a great start the film starts to go downhill by the second act. I am however still excited to see what is next for this version of Superman and if the rumours are true we could be seeing a sequel very soon indeed. I just hope that they don't rush it as I am still waiting on an incredible Superman film to be released. I am giving Man of Steel a rating of 3.5/5.

Thanks for reading!

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