Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Man of Steel Review

"Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he's gonna change the world."

In my opinion, Superman has never been that cool. I mean come on, he's indestructible. He's not going to die, where's the suspense? So when I heard Nolan and David S Goyer were going writing a new Superman I was pretty excited. After all, look what they've done with the Batman franchise. 

And my god, they've done it again. 

They've really nailed the human aspect of Superman. I mean really nailed it. I cared about Clark and Superman. I was worried for Clark and Superman and I felt for both. This was evident from the opening scene - which was outstanding by the way - when we saw how Clark got to Earth. It was extremely emotional. It really was lump in your throat stuff and really set the tone for the first half of the film. 

The first half was, basically, an origins story. But Zack Snyder doesn't do it by the 'How to make Superhero origin stories' book. Instead, what he does do, is tell us Clark Kent's story through a series of flashbacks and montages. This is a stroke of genius. It's genuinely refreshing to watch and it should have been used to countless other superhero films (The Amazing Spider-Man, I'm looking at you). It really works because most know Superman and to those who don't it answers everything without wasting an entire half of the film (once again, The Amazing Spider-Man, I'm looking at you). It helps make Man of Steel stand out from the rest, which I like a lot. 

In the second half, though, it turns into full on, bonafide summer blockbuster. No bad thing of course and in fact, now that we care about Superman and everyone around him - due to the excellent first half - it makes it much more enjoyable and tense. I'm worried about what might happen to Perry White or Lois Lane, or even Superman himself. He's shown to have weaknesses which is a good thing because all good heroes should have a weakness that villains should try and exploit. In this case, it's Clark's love for his loved ones and Earth itself that Zod tries to exploit. It's tense to watch, I loved it. 

It helps that General Zod was a terrific villain too portrayed brilliantly by Michael Shannon. I loved Zod because he's such a complex character. I mean he's not necessarily a villain, he's just a general of his planet on a different planet. You could say that he's patriotic. So patriotic in fact, that he would be willing to kill an entire race for the sake of his own race. Add this to him fighting with one of his own race - Superman - and it makes dumb, outstanding battle scenes incredibly personal and deep. 

A nod has to be given to the other cast too. It seems like I'm saying it for every film now, but the entire ensemble is just fantastic. Amy Adams steals the show as Lois Lane. She is what makes Superman human. She's the link between Superman and the other humans and she nails Lois Lane to a tee. Henry Cavill is very good as Clark. He brings something quite Shakespearean to the role.

However, I thought there was too much action. Don't get me wrong, it was done well, but I just felt that some of the scenes could have been more dramatic if there had been less of it. By the end of it, I was kinda a bit meh about some of the action because I had seen it a lot already. 

Apart from that, it has to be said, that this film is very special, indeed. And, surprisingly, neither Kevin Costner nor Russell Crowe annoyed me in the entire film.