After a plethora of superhero stories the past few years now with everybody from Iron Man to Batman, and Thor to Captain America, one American superhero icon gets his spotlight once again: everyone’s beloved Superman takes his share on the big screen glory via Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
In Man of Steel, we go back to basics at the very beginning from the destruction of the planet Krypton and how survivor infant Kal-El lives his younger years until his identification as Superman. Through a series of flashbacks, we get a glimpse of his earlier years as he slowly discovers how he is a different child from the rest. The main conflict ensues when Zod visits the Earth and confronts Superman to surrender; otherwise, he’ll wreak havoc to humanity.
The premise might sound too slow for the whole movie to depend on it, but while it served as one of the weakest points of the movie, it opened a lot of interesting approach as well. The flashback worked for the most part and provided some of the more subtle and memorable parts of the movie. They provided a nice counter to the flashier scenes that comprised most of the film. John Williams’ score is also one of the notable parts of the film, and while this is not par with his iconic outputs, it was solid all throughout the movie.
With that said, the movie can’t help but be a victim of its own liking. The fight scenes, while interesting to say the least, just can’t help but go on and on and on and on. When you finally feel that scenes are coming to an end, it shows no signs of doing so. While I don’t think it can be considered as a case of restraint, it could have benefited from a tighter editing. What could have been a case of continuous “wow” moments turns into “wow when will this end?” Also, the product placement can be turned off a notch down, as Sears, 7-11, and iHop received more screentime than Kevin Costner. The love angle between Superman and Lois Lane feels underwritten too, or maybe the two leads just lack chemistry.
I know this has been said and mentioned multiple times already, but I still feel the need to reiterate it, but Henry Cavill was perfectly casted as Superman. His presence transcends to the audiences and you can hear gasps of “wow” when he first showed up in his Superman suit. Lois Lane, on the other hand, became a character that falls under misfortune and not even the usually reliable Amy Adams can rescue it. Most of the supporting casts were given thankless roles, but Michael Shannon’s commitment is worthy of a mention.
All in all, Man of Steel contains a lot of potential in it but was victimized by its own over the top nature. Still, it’s one film that I recommend watching because a polarizing film like this can bring out different reaction among its crowd.
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