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Archive for the ‘Man of Steel’ Category

Man of Steel

Superman, bearing his traditional red and blue costume, is shown flying towards the viewer, with the city Metropolis below. The film's title, production credits, rating and release date is written underneath.I’ve already had about 36 arguments about the new Superman re-boot Man of Steel, a film that is getting more than a number of mixed reviews from critics and film-goers alike.  I was apprehensive myself, believing that maybe Superman’s story has already been told in the best way it can be, and maybe all Hollywood is able to do is screw it all up once again.

If anyone was going to be able to breath new life into the franchise then it was going to be Christopher Nolan.  It worked for Batman didn’t it?  Nolan produces as visual auteur Zack Snyder steps behind the camera.  Snyder’s last film, SuckerPunch, is an abomination of a film, pushing my worry over the Superman franchise to a tilt.  However, that was Snyder’s only flop of a film, and other than that he’s pretty much gold.  So does Man of Steel live up to the hype? In a short answer, yes.  And here’s why.

Henry Cavill isn’t great, but he’s good enough as Superman, and the only reason he works is because Snyder knows how to direct the film around him. Superman is more of a loner and a drifter in this film than in past films.  He blends in with his surroundings.  This is the only way he is able to help humanity, hiding his secret.  I really liked how writer David S. Goyer mapped this out from his childhood to his realization of who he is and the powers he has.  He’s an outkast.

The way his origin was told was also done very well.  Snyder uses frequent flashbacks, giving us just a slight glimpse into Clark’s childhood and family life.  We understand his struggles in comprehending his origins, but also his connection to earth and the human race. This is all done without rehashing how Martha and Jonathan Kent found him in a field, along with his high school years.  Because honestly do we need to see all that on the screen yet again?

The action is intense at every angle, and Snyder should be praised for how well the fight scenes are choregraphed and edited, and how loud and hard hitting they are.  Those scenes remind me a lot of how fight scenes play out in video games.  They became almost interactive during the film.  The film relies a little too heavily on those scenes at times, which may be the one small issue I have with the film.

The very reason that critics are bashing the film are the reasons that make the film actually work.  What do you want here? Another boring re-tread of Superman?  Another re-hash of his origin in Smallville?  We’ve seen it a thousand times, and I don’t want to see it again.  Snyder and Nolan should be praised for having some balls to take a stab at creating a NEW version of Superman, and creating their own version of his story.  They also took some major chances with introducing Lois Lane and how she gets to know Superman, another problem for some film-goers.  You have to shake up the system somehow though, and that plot needed some shaking.

I also heard a lot of complaining about the ending of the film.  For me this is what pushed the film over the top.  I don’t want to spoil it but in the end Superman must make a choice that goes against everything he believes in and stands for.  He must break his own code because he knows if he doesn’t, all mankind will suffer.  I thought it was absolutely perfect.

What Nolan and Snyder have given us is not only a unique and entertaining way to view Superman once again, but is the beginning of what will hopefully, FINALLY, turn into a new franchise of films.  That franchise of films can dive into the great expanse of Superman’s catalog of adventures, and then we can really begin to enjoy the Man of Steel once again.

Grade: A-