"MAN OF STEEL" (2013) Review
When I first learned that Warner Brothers Studios and D.C. Comics planned to release another super-homem movie, I did not greet the news with any enthusiasm. In fact, my first reaction was sheer frustration. The last D.C. Comics movie I wanted to see was another super-homem movie.
There were so many reasons for my negative reaction to the news of a new super-homem movie. The last one I saw was 2006's "SUPERMAN RETURNS"
, which had been directed por Bryan Singer. There had also been two televisão series about the Man of Steel in the past twenty (20) years - "LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN" (1993-1997)
and "SMALLVILLE" (2001-2011)
. The film subsidiary for Marvel Comics have shown a willingness to release filmes featuring a vast array of their comic book characters. On the other hand, D.C. Comics seems to be stuck on either super-homem or batman for televisão and movie material. There have been minor exceptions to the rule - including the Oliver Queen/Green Arqueiro character that became a regular on "SMALLVILLE"; the 2011 film, "THE GREEN LANTERN"
; and the recent WB televisão series, "ARROW" (the Green Arqueiro again). Wonder Woman has not been a subject of a movie or televisão series in her own right since the Lynda Carter series from the 1970s. An unsuccessful televisão series about the Flash failed to last one season. And Aquaman merely served as a guest character on "SMALLVILLE" for a few episodes.
I had one other reservation regarding the announcement of a new super-homem movie. The producers had chosen Zack Synder to direct the film. And I have never been a fã of his past films, at least the ones I have seen - namely the very successful "300", the critically acclaimed "THE WATCHMEN"
and "SUCKER PUNCH"
. When I learned he had been selected to direct the new super-homem film, "MAN OF STEEL"
, my enthusiasm sunk even further. However, I saw the movie's new trailer last spring and my opposition to the movie began to wane. What can I say? It impressed me. So, I decided to open my mind and give "MAN OF STEEL" a chance.
Thanks to David S. Goyer's screenplay and the story created por him and Christopher Nolan, "MAN OF STEEL" follows the origins of Superman. Well . . . somewhat. The movie begins on the planet of Krypton, where scientist Jor-El assists his wife in the birth of their newborn son, Kal-El. Due to years of exploiting the planet's natural resources por the planet's inhabitants, the planet has an unstable core and faces imminent destruction. Jor-El and Lara plans to send their son to Earth to ensure his survival. They also infuse his cells with a genetic codex of the entire Kryptonian race, something that the planet's military commander, General Zod desires. Zod and his followers commit a military coup. And the general murders Jor-El, after learning what the latter did with the genetic codex. But Zod and his followers are immediately captured and banished to the Phantom Zone. When Krypton finally self-destructs, the explosion frees Zod and his people; setting them on a procurar for young Kal-El and the genetic codex at other worlds colonized por Kryptonians.
Kal-El eventually lands on Earth and in the middle of the Kansas countryside. A farmer and his wife - Jonathan and Martha Kent - adopts and raises him, renaming him Clark Kent. However, Clark's Kryptonian physiology gives him super abilities on Earth, which raises a lot of social problems for him. Jonathan eventually reveals to Clark that he came from another planet and advises not to use his abilities in public. Following Jonathan's death, a bereaved Clark spends several years roaming the country and working at odd jobs, while he deals with his grief and save people in secret. He eventually infiltrates a scientific discovery of a Kryptonian scout spaceship in the Arctic, which had been discovered por the military. Also there is a reporter from the Daily Planet named Lois Lane. Clark, who is unaware of being followed por Lois, enters the alien ship. It allows him to communicate with the preserved consciousness of Jor-El in the form of a hologram. Jor-El reveals Clark's origins and the extinction of his race, and tells Clark that he was sent to Earth to bring hope to mankind. Meanwhile, General Zod and his crew pick up a Kryptonian distress signal sent from the ship Clark had discovered on Earth. Zod arrives and demands the humans surrender Kal-El, whom he believes has the codex, or else Earth will be destroyed.
So . . . what did I not like about "MAN OF STEEL"? For one, I disliked the shaky cam fotografia used por Amir Mokri. I disliked its use por Paul Greengrass in some of his movies. I disliked its use in "QUANTUM OF SOLACE". And I certainly did not like its use in this film. It made the final confrontations between super-homem and the Kryptonians mais confusing. Then again, David Brenner's editing certainly did not help - not in this scene or in the burning oil rig sequence in the movie's first half hour. I have been a fã of Hans Zimmer for years. But I found his score for this movie rather heavy-handed, especially his use of horns. Speaking of super-homem and the Kryptonians' final confrontations - I thought it was a bit over-the-top in regard to the destruction inflicted upon Metropolis. It reminded me of final action sequence in "IRON MAN 3", which I also did not care for.
Fortunately, there was a great deal mais about "MAN OF STEEL" that I liked. And I find this amazing, considering my past opinion of director Zack Synder. David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan wrote a first-rate origin story for Superman. I noticed that they utilized the same or a similar story structure that they had used in the Dark Knight Trilogy. Instead of allowing super-homem to face his most famous adversary in the first film, Goyer and Nolan utilized Superman's Kryptonian origins to play a major role in the film's story. Instead of Lex Luthor, Superman's main nemesis in "MAN OF STEEL" proved to be General Zod. Some fãs of the franchise were annoyed por this. I was not. Goyer and Nolan also did a first-rate job in exploring Clark Kent/Superman's emotional growth, the loneliness he had endured during his childhood in flashbacks and those years he wandered before discovering the Kryptonian ship in the Artic, and his wariness toward the human race. I especially do not recall any anterior super-homem story or televisão series exploring the latter. How very original of Goyer and Nolan. Some fãs have complained about the different twists that Goyer, Nolan and director Zack Synder made to the super-homem mythos - especially in his relationship with reporter Lois Lane. I do not understand the complaints, considering the number of twists and changes that have been made to the super-homem mythos in filmes and especially televisão during the past twenty years. And honestly? The twist to Clark/Superman's relationship with Lois made the story fresher.
Although I did not particularly care for the over-the-top destruction featured in "MAN OF STEEL", I must admit that the special effects featured in that last scene impressed me very much. I was also impressed por their work in the sequence that featured Superman's fight against Faora-Ul and the other Kryptonian in Smallville. But the one sequence that featured some great special effects happened to be the one on Krypton. I found the effects very beautiful. In fact, there were other aspects of that sequence that really impressed me - namely Alex McDowell's production designs, Anne Kuljian's set decorations, Kim Sinclair and Chris Farmer's art direction and especially James Acheson and Michael Wilkinson's costume designs. Some have complained por the lack of red shorts for Superman's costume. But I did not miss them. mais importantly, I liked how Sinclair and Farmer linked Superman's costume with those worn por many of the Kryptonians.
When I first heard that Henry Cavill had been hired to portray Clark Kent/Superman, I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback. Mind you, the idea of a British actor portraying an American comic book character was nothing new, thanks to Christian Bale's portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman and the Anglo-American Andrew Garfield's recent portrayal of Spider-Man. I only felt uncertain if Cavill could portray a Midwesterner with the proper accent. Okay, I am not an expert in Midwestern accents. But Cavill handled the American accent rather well. mais importantly, he gave a superb performance as the quiet, yet emotional Clark Kent who had spent a good number of years wallowing in loneliness. I was surprised that Amy Adams had signed on to portray Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane. I did not expect her to appear in a comic book hero movie. But I must admit that I really enjoyed her performance, especially since her Lois proved to be a lot less blind about Superman's secret identity and mais willing to track down the truth. Michael Shannon effectively utilized that same intensity that provided for his Nelson furgão, van Alden role in HBO's "BOARDWALK EMPIRE" in his performance as the single-minded Kryptonian General Zod.
Antje Traue proved to be even mais scary than Shannon as Zod's second-in-command, the less verbal Faora-Ul. Laurence Fishburne gave an intense performance as Perry White, the no-nonsense editor of the Daily Planet. Russell Crowe's Jor-El not only proved to be charismatic, but something of a bad ass. Ayelet Zurer provided a great deal of pathos and emotion in her performance as Superman's mother, Lara Lor-Van. Diane Lane proved to be the movie's emotional rock in her down-to-earth performance as Martha Kent, Superman's adopted mother. And Kevin Costner's portrayal of Jonathan Kent proved to be just as charismatic as Crowe's Jor-El and as emotional as Zurer's Lara. The movie also featured some solid performances from the likes of Richard Schiff, Michael Kelly and Christopher Meloni. I was really impressed with Harry Lennix's performance as the commanding, yet paranoid General Swanwick. "MAN OF STEEL"
had a few problems. But I believe that the movie possessed a great deal mais virtues, including a first-rate story created por David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan and a superb cast led por a talented Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman. But I was very surprised por Zack Synder's direction, especially since he managed to curtail some of his less-than-pleasant excesses in past films and at the same time effectively helm a first-rate movie. For the first time, I found myself being mais than pleased por a movie directed por Synder.