Sunday, 16 June 2013

Man of Steel

Man of Steel
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its ..erm a man of steel!  It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it does it?!

The film starts with a view of Krypton in a state of emergency.  Krypton is dying.  They have exhausted all the natural resources on the planet.  They decide to send a new-born baby to Earth as it is a young planet with resources and could be the future of the Krypton race.  This film gives you more of Krypton that we have ever seen in any previous Superman films, but unfortunately it leaves us wanting more.  Although this does explain the reasoning behind the fact why a normal Krypton would have super-powers on earth. 
You see several flashbacks of Clark Kent’s childhood which builds into the story of the man who is hiding his true identity. The nine year old Kent (played by Cooper Timberline) out-shines Henry Cavill’s version of Superman.  Henry’s version feels very wooden and his only expression being one of a slight frown (puzzlement that an Englishman got the role, perhaps?)

Both Kevin Costner (who plays Jonathan Kent) and Russell Crowe (who plays Jor-El) are both seasoned actors and it shows. They both give fantastic performances and make the bits where things aren’t being blown up, worth watching.
The ‘baddie’ for this film is General  Zod.  I feel he is a misunderstood character and Michael Shannon who plays him gives a great performance and gets a lot of well-deserved screen-time.

Amy Adams plays Lois Lane. Amy is a beautiful woman who started off life as Giselle in Enchanted.  So did the wardrobe department purposely move away from that look to give her the drabbest clothes they could find?  It really wasn’t necessary or fair on poor Amy.  Amy makes a great Lois as she is inquisitive, intelligent and not too pushy.  Lois also gets the best line in the film when Clark Kent joins the newspaper team…’Welcome to the Planet’.
Unfortunately there is little else in the script that lends itself to amusing and intelligent writing. I think the brief for this film was ‘Lets blow lots of stuff up’.

The special effects are good in places (such as on Krypton) but they overdo it in places with the CGI and smash as much as possible.  And I am irritated when the gung-ho troops say something like ‘How do I know you won’t turn on America?’ to Superman. Not ‘the world’…only the USA.  It felt rather arrogant.
This film has gone a long way to distance itself from the superman films of old. He doesn’t wear pants over his tights anymore and the ‘S’ is a sign for hope on Krypton.  It’s not an ‘S’ for Superman. This is Superman for a new generation.  But compare this film to any of the current other Super-Heroes films and this film is lacking.  Avengers Assemble and Iron Man are much better made with a much tighter script.

Of course this is only my opinion and I know I will not stop a billion-dollar industry who I am sure have already agreed for at least three more films on the contracts of the actors if this is a financial success (of which it will be).  But from one small person on the planet – I was not hugely impressed.
Or maybe I just prefer Batman or Iron Man (with their gadgets and feel more believable) to Superman. 



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