Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel

After years of anticipation, this past weekend, Man of Steel finally opened. I was initially skeptical of the film after learning that David Goyer, Christopher Nolan, and Zach Snyder were working on the project.  I'm a fan of all three men, but they're also known for  making darker films with somber tones that I wasn't convinced fit the world of Superman.  In particular, both Nolan and Goyer had previously stated they had no idea what they would do with a Superman movie. However, as the trailers finally started to appear online, this film quickly became my most anticipated film of the year (bear in mind, I'm a HUGE Star Trek fan).

Now having seen the film twice, I can say they delivered a solid, but flawed Superman film for adults.  Just so we're clear, this is by far the most sci-fi Superman film we have ever been given.

To be fully honest, I left my first viewing of the film more than a little disappointed.  Based on the trailers, I didn't get the experience I was expecting. Of course, I'm not sure how the film could have fully delivered. The movie went in some directions I wasn't expecting, and the trailers gave away a little too much about certain parts of the film.  However, when I watched the film a second time, I went in with proper expectations, and I enjoyed the film for what it was rather than what I was expecting. I suspect many others will enjoy the film more upon a second viewing.

Overall, I found the cast did a fine job.  I'm not a great judge of acting, but I found the cast charming. No one stuck out as particularly off.  Cavil certainly portrayed a physically intimidating Superman, and in the moments we're given with him, we get a charismatic hero. Unfortunately, we don't get much of glimpse of his Clark Kent, in the traditional sense.  

Of the high caliber cast, I particularly enjoyed Michael Shannon and Kevin Costner.  I've always been a fan of Costner, and I was happy to see he was going to be in this film. The real treat for me was seeing several faces from some of my favorite TV shows get major screen time in this film (specifically Harry Lennix and Tahmoh Penikett of Dollhouse, Richard Schiff of The West Wing, and Chris Meloni of Law and Order: SVU).

As I mentioned earlier, while I really liked the film, it was highly disappointing in many ways. First off, the trailers highly emphasized certain character moments in the film (i.e. young Clark, or Lois with Superman in custody).  I was expecting to get more of those moments, and I didn't. I saw them in their entirety in the trailers. In particular during my first viewing, the character moments seemed to be far too short and rushed.  For a long movie, it seemed like they were rushing individual scenes in the film. 

Afterwards, I found myself speculating about a few too many ways they could have easily made the film better.  Specifically, I found myself reading reviews which offered some easy ways to make this film much more powerful. I wanted to side with the film, but the critics were right. 

On the positive side, this film works hard to deliver serious Superman action and explore Clark Kent's psychology.  Some of the action sequences are exactly what some of us have wanted for years.  For me, the Smallville sequence in particular stands out as precisely what I've wanted to see.  Technology has finally caught up with this particular character.  We can finally see what people have been writing for 75 years.

From the onset, they wanted to produce a Superman film created a world which seemed realistic. I think they accomplished that.  Some people see hope in Clark's existence, and others find reasons to be afraid. Throughout the film, they captured the confusion which Superman's existence would bring to humanity. 

Overall, this is a solid Superman film which could have been better with some minor adjustments.

I give the film a 7.75 out of 10.

 This is just my opinion.  What did you think of the film?

1 comment:

  1. Having only seen it once, my opinion might be a bit limited and I might have more to say after a second viewing. This was also my most anticipated movie of the year as soon as I heard about it and the names Christipher Nolan and David Goyer attached to it. As far as expectations go, I did a good job beforehand of not creating many expectations for myself. Having never read a Superman comic, my only knowledge of Superman came from Superman Returns and season one of Smallville. So, without having a clue about World Engines or General Zod, I came in with just two expectations: I expected it to be somber and Nolan- esque, and I expected it to be good.

    Both of these were true of Man of Steel. Without the burden of expectations, I thought Man of Steel was incredible.

    The two points I most agree with are the lack of sufficient development between Clark and Lois and the cast. I appreciated the direction taken with Lois, but she needed more time with Superman.

    The cast was incredible. Henry Cavill was the perfect Superman. His physical strength as well as his inability to refrain from helping people created a perfect hero. Michael Shannon was a perfect Zod, right from the beginning. He was a ruthless and powerful villain, but still with human character. Kryptonian character, I should say. I really appreciated Christopher Meloni's performance and character. Also, it should be said that I am not a big fan of Kevin Costner or Russell Crowe, but they were spectacular as Jonathan Kent and Jor-El.

    Other than that, I would like to know what improvements you thought could've been made to the movie. The action sequences were awesome, and the story was great and realistic. I give it a 8.5/10.