27
Jun
13

Movie Review: Man Of Steel

ManofSteelNokiaLumia925My good friends at Nokia surprised the hell out of me yesterday by swinging two tickets to the Man Of Steel premier my way so I could get a sneak peek at one of the most talked about movies this year.

Man Of Steel is directed by Zack Snyder (300 and Watchmen), produced by Christopher Nolan (director of the Dark Knight trilogy) and written by David S Goyer (writer of the Dark Knight Trilogy).

Add the insane trailers that have had the internet buzzing over the past few months and the movie looked like it had everything going for it, but did it stack up to the hype?

The answer is an undisputed HELL YES from your Tiger Pal. Man Of Steel is that rare kind of superhero movie that doesn’t fall on it’s own sword by relying solely on the clichés of the genre to hold the film together.

The drama is sincere, the action is so intense your heart feels like it’s going to explode like a grenade in your chest, the dialogue is lean and mean and the acting is some of the best I’ve ever seen in a superhero movie.

 

 

Man Of Steel is essentially a reboot of the Superman franchise that I’ve read was done as the first step in building a Marvel-type shared fictional universe between Superman and other DC characters.

Story-wise I wasn’t expecting too many surprises because we all know the Superman legend. Superman (real name Kal-El) is sent to Earth by his father Jar-El (expertly played by the stoic Russell Crowe) in an effort to somehow preserve their race moments before Krypton goes up in flames.

On Earth Kal-El is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent who raise the boy as their own and name him Clark. Clark endures a difficult childhood, painfully aware from an early age that he is nothing like the people around him.

 

 

Through the love and support Jonathan and Martha show Clark, he learns to control and hide his powers and to blend in as best he can.

All this changes when an ancient alien vessel is discovered in the Arctic and Clark infiltrates the scientific expedition to determine the vessel’s origin. Using a kind of Kryptonian key from the ship Clark travelled to Earth in as a baby, Clark awakens the alien vessel and with it, a hologram of his father Kal-El who tells his son the truth about his origin.

The alien vessel also triggers a distress signal that is intercepted by another survivor of Krypton, the ruthless General Zod. Zod and his cronies descend to Earth and demand that Clark be surrendered within 24 hours which is when things start to turn nasty.

Michael Shannon’s portrayal of Zod is some of the most spine-chillingly terrifying acting I have ever seen. This man is the very embodiment of malevolent fury. His malice burns like an inferno – it’s so intense watching him act that you’re torn between fist-pumping “FUCK YEAH”s and a powerful urge to hide under your seat.

 

 

The best films are the ones that make you like the bad guys and Man Of Steel follows this rule to the letter. Sure, Zod is a megalomaniacal despot hell-bent on the extinction of the entire human race, but it’s only because he wants to bring Krypton back to life and safeguard a future for him and his people.

Is that really such a bad thing? He might be heavy-handed in his methods, but you have to admire a man that dedicated to achieving a task he feels is his birth right to fulfil.

Then there’s ol Supe himself, played by the BUFFEST CHARNA IN THE LAND, Henry Cavill in a role he was born to play. The problem I always have with Superman is that I don’t connect with him as a character because he’s too perfect.

 

 

A character like Wolverine I find a lot more accessible because the guy’s a bit of a mess and is the poster-mutant for the archetypal anti-hero. Superman is different. He always does the right thing, he doesn’t suffer from the same conflict that normal people do and for that reason I always thought of him as being a bit of a douche.

The beauty of Goyer and Snyder’s Superman is his vulnerability. It makes him more human. It makes you instantly like him because what Goyer and Snyder show so convincingly in the film is how tough Superman’s life growing up was.

The real clincher though is Cavill’s performance. Not only is the man ridiculously good-looking and built like a brick shitter, but he can actually act, which I’m pretty sure has never been a pre-requisite in a Superman movie before.

 

 

The emotion Cavill can convey in one look is more than I think any previous Superman has conveyed in their entire acting careers. He draws the audience in close and keeps them there for the entire film. You actually like Cavill’s Superman, you empathise with him, you want him to beat the bad guys – that surprised me more than anything else in the movie. I left the movie actually liking Superman.

The only one issue I had with the film were the (brace yourself) Christian undertones. I suppose at its core (man with superpowers is sent from above to save mankind) the Superman story has always had Christian parallels, but having Superman chat to a priest in a church before making his mind up to “take a leap of faith” and reveal who he is to mankind had me squirming in my seat.

 

 

Also, he’s 33 years old. The same age as Christ when he was crucified. There are probably more parallels if you scratch around for them, but just those two left me a little cold so I chose to actively block out any others that may or may not have been included because I just feel that there’s a time and place for religious sermons and it’s not in Superman movies, especially ones with Snyder, Goyer and Nolan at the helm.

The bottom line however is that Man Of Steel was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. It’s the kind of movie you can watch with high expectations and still be satisfied by, which is saying a lot in this age of over-hyped blockbusters that are mostly epic disappointments.

Watch this film on the big screen. Splash out and go for the 3D version, I guarantee you it will be worth every cent.

Final Verdict: 9/10

-ST


1 Response to “Movie Review: Man Of Steel”


  1. 1 Jax
    July 1, 2013 at 9:12 am

    brilliant movie my friend, My spine is still chilled and still thinking about the way in which the mythology was altered and how I loved it.

    Made the avengers battle look like something out of an MTV movie too.

    Great review!


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