Man Of Steel Review

Man Of Steel

Clarke Kent may be a man of steel, but it doesn’t mean a thing when his story is so leaden.

I’m sure you already know the Superman legacy by now but here it is again, just in case you’re from another planet.

An alien child arrives on earth, having been shot into space by his natural born parents at the imminent demise of their home planet Krypton.

Said alien boy gets taken in by a couple of earthlings, and grows up to be a man of messianic proportions.

Only the path ahead of this now pretty super man is supposedly unclear; is he supposed to become earth’s angel or our demon?

Well, it doesn’t take a kryptonian rocket scientist to work that one out.

Continuing Hollywood’s seemingly never ending fascination with remaking comic book films every single decade, Man Of Steel is Zack Snyder’s attempt to breathe new life into the Superman franchise.

And he’s even got the men who resurrected the dark knight to help him with this reboot, in the form of screenwriter David S Goyer and über director Christopher Nolan.

Sadly, the result is exactly what I expected of collaboration between these three men.

So you’ve got the typical visual flair of Snyder, and the special effects for Man Of Steel are special.

But, as usual, the man behind Suckerpunch simply doesn’t have the brains to back up his visual imagination.

Which is what I suppose Goyer and Nolan were brought in to supply.

Though, as anyone who’s not a Bruce Wayne fan boy could tell you from their last Batman film, brains now seems to be in desperately short supply amongst this pairing too.

Man Of Steel

The result is a story that just about makes sense, though not really, and it sure as hell doesn’t make you feel anything for its characters.

Which is ok, as the only important thing in a Zack Snyder film is how do we get to the next computer generated action scene faster than a speeding bullet?

Well, I’ve said it before and this saying goes triple for Zack, but action scenes don’t mean a god damned thing unless you care about the people they’re happening too.

Which unfortunately reduces much of Man Of Steel to little more than a graphic designer’s wet dream come true.

Too many scenes make you feel as though you’re simply watching a computer game, as super human characters zip around the screen at such speed that it’s impossible to work out what in the name of Zod is going on.

I lost count of the number of times Superman, a man who supposedly wants to protect human life, throws himself or anyone else within arm’s reach into or through a city skyscraper, train depot or rather conveniently located petrol station.

So I guess Mr Kent cares about human life, but only when he’s not flexing his kryptonian muscles for all to see.

And, I know, Man Of Steel is based on a comic book so shouldn’t be taken too seriously; well, then don’t make your take on said fantasy so serious then.

If you do, then you’ve got to make the reality you create for Superman just as serious, which isn’t really in Snyder’s skillset.

Man Of Steel

With little to work with, the impressive sounding cast do what they can.

I mean, I can’t remember a single thing any of them did in the film less than a day after watching it, but it’s really not that kind of film.

Wait, I just remembered how Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent dies in Man Of Steel, and it’s pretty far-fetched.

Henry Cavill looks the part as both Clarke Kent and Superman, the same goes for Michael Shannon as General Zod as well as every other supporting character in Man Of Steel.

But looking the part isn’t the same as, you know, acting the part.

All I really want to do after seeing this is watch one of the first two Superman films, both of which are easily superior.

Hell, what I’d really like is to strap Zack Snyder et al into some steel chairs and make them watch these two films, so they’d get exactly what’s missing from their effects heavy, story light interpretation of Clarke Kent.

And if they still didn’t get it, not even Superman could save them from what I’d want to do next.

Jonathan Campbell

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June 2013
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