MAN OF STEEL is an interesting and
action-packed reboot of the Superman mythos. It isn’t quite balanced as
BATMAN BEGINS, but the casting and music score (by Hans Zimmer) is on target. The
only thing I didn’t like is the overuse of CGI in the fight sequences between Superman and Zod. I think the Zod and Superman fight in Superman II is superior to the MAN OF STEEL fight since you
can see the characters actually fighting and not be a mess of CGI figures fighting it out.
Russell Crowe brings a gravitas and cool
to the role of Jor-El that Marlon Brando never could (Marlon seems stiff and too stately compared to Crowe’s take and
Crowe seems like more of a great father figure). Michael Shannon brings a more
grounded approach to General Zod, the military man who believes what he is doing is right for the future of the Krypton race,
and I like it more than the over-the-top performance of Terrance Stamp’s memorable take as Zod. Michael does as much as he can with the underdeveloped role of Zod as the rest of his military followers
have zero development (including the really cool badass Faora). The characters
in this movie that are the most developed are Clark/ Superman, Lois Lane (who is very independent and I love how she quickly
discovers who Superman is), Jor-El, Martha Kent, Jonathan Kent (which is amazing given how little screen time that Kevin Costner
has), and Perry White (someone who doesn’t really need development other than play the role of the editor-in-chief at
The Daily Planet). That brings me to how Henry Cavill nails the conflict
inside Clark Kent/
Superman and being the loner/ outsider who is trying to discover his role on his adopted world. I know the relationship between Clark and Lois Lane comes out of the blue too quickly (and I wonder
how much of their story ended up on the cutting room floor since Zack Snyder has mentioned he had a three hour version of
this movie before he edited it down to its current length). I think Amy Adams
currently is my second favorite actress to play Lois Lane (behind Erica
Durance on the Smallville TV series) and I will be watching to see where she takes it in the sequel.
The opening scenes on Krypton are amazing
before the movie launching into a disjointed journey for Clark Kent
aka Kal-El aka Superman before General Zod shows up (and the plot kick starts again).
I do think MAN OF STEEL does portray the doubts of Clark Kent well as he struggles with his role of being a hero and
doing what is right, but it isn’t as cool as say Bruce Wayne’s path to become Batman in BATMAN BEGINS. Still I like the path of Clark being the outcast who embraces his path by the end
of the movie and joining the world again with his alter ego of Superman. This
origin story is more about Clark Kent
becoming Superman and less about how Clark Kent
(since he isn’t even a reporter in this movie). I am excited to see
where the sequel will go and I hope they rely less on CGI for the fight scenes and backgrounds next time.
This blu-ray review is (c)6-16-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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