Man of Steel ReviewJune 13, 2013
Does Man of Steel fly?
Reboots in the comic book movie adaptation realm have been a lot more frequent nowadays. The Amazing Spider-Man, Batman Begins and The Incredible Hulk are a few that come to mind. The Superman franchise, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, has seen its ups (the Christopher Reeve Superman films, Smallville) and downs (pretty much every Superman video game ever made, Superman Returns) when it comes to the caped hero making the leap outside of the comics. After the disappointing Superman Returns (which was considered a sequel to 1980’s Superman II), 300 and Sucker Punch director Zack Synder felt like the beloved franchise needed to start anew. With the help of writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Rises) and Christopher Nolan, producer/director of the Dark Knight trilogy, the highly anticipated Man of Steel was born.
The first half of Man of Steel, which deals with Superman’s birth and upbringing on Earth, is more engaging verbally with not many action sequences to be seen. That said, one of the best fight scenes in the film occurs within the first 10 minutes between General Zod (portrayed by Michael Shannon) and Jor-El (portrayed by Russell Crowe).
The film goes through Clark (or Kal-El)’s childhood via a series of flashbacks which aren’t necessarily in order. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are absolutely brilliant portraying Jonathan and Martha Kent, while Amy Adams fit like a glove as the spunky Lois Lane. If you’re going to try and replace the great John Williams as a composer for a film like this, look no further than Hans Zimmer. The Academy Award-winning composer delivers a powerful score that flows gradually throughout the movie.
Michael Shannon is a great actor, but he didn’t fit the role of one of Superman’s top enemies quite well. His lines felt rather forced at times, especially during the pre-fight dialogue with Crowe’s Jor-El. Henry Cavill does his best playing the Man of Steel, but his interactions with his co-stars and his overall demeanor seemed stiff at times. It’s a shame that Shannon and Cavill couldn’t quite do justice to the great dialogue written by Goyer.
The second half of the film is for all of you action junkies out there. Yes, there are a ton of fast-paced action sequences to be seen- but they do have their faults. After a while, the speedy fight sequences may seem rather tedious to some. Also, the constant building destruction caused during these battles tends to lose its appeal after some time.
With all of that said, Man of Steel is a somewhat enjoyable experience. Is it up there with the cherished Superman films we all know and love? No, but it does have strong legs to stand on its own.