The smartest thing Warner Bros. and DC Comics have done with this Superman film is not calling it a Superman. Instead, they are calling it Man of Steel. The Christopher Nolan influence is pretty visible here. Nolan is just a producer with Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) directing. Nobody knew what to expect from this film. A dark brooding intense treatment like we have seen in Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy or Snyder’s uber stylish retelling of the world’s most famous Superhero’s story. Let’s discuss Man of Steel then.
Story: Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara have the first naturally born baby in Krypton in ages. Zod (Michael Shannon) who is in pursuit to overthrow the Krypton General Council, gets to know of the birth of Kal-El. By the time Zod reaches, Jor-El has sent out his son on a spacecraft to planet earth to safeguard his child. Kal-El reaches Smallville, Kansas and eventually cultivates his superpowers for good, and becomes, well you guessed it, Superman! Zod has still not forgotten that Kal-El is in planet earth, and the movie moves forward with Zod’s attempt to recreate the Kryptonian race on earth.
Screenplay and Direction: David S. Goyer finally manages to write a film which makes the viewers aware of Superman’s origins. Most of the film’s initial proceedings take place on Krypton, which is not a bad thing at all. The film flows along generally well, but doesn’t quite manage to attain the humour that last year’s Avengers had. Nor is it as dark as the Dark Knight films. It’s just nestled in the middle of those films, as far as tone is concerned. After the disastrous Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder thankfully doesn’t mess up Superman. But sometimes “not messing up” is not quite as good as “being awesome”.
Man of Steel Movie Review
Iranian cinematographer Amir Mokri shoots the film lavishly and lends a grandiose feel to the film. The high velocity action scenes are shot with élan. The editing is mostly brisk but a little more editing towards the end would have made the film very compact. Man Of Steel starts getting jaded and stretched towards the end, and the editor should have stepped up and done something about it.
Background Score: Hans Zimmer hardly goes wrong with his scores. His background score for Nolan’s films are now stuff of legends, but here they don’t quite make as great an impact as they did in Nolan’s films. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is disappointing, just that I had expected better.
Acting: Henry Caville is without a doubt the best Superman we have seen in films since Christopher Reeve. He is charming, inspiring and carries the charisma of being Superman on his broad shoulders. He is great as Clark too. Amy Adams doesn’t have much to do as Lois Lane except for being the damsel in distress. She doesn’t add any personal touch to the character and that’s a letdown. Michael Shannon is fierce as General Zod and will give kids scary nightmares. Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane all play their roles with utmost dedication.
Conclusion: Ultimately, the film works because of the irreverent tone it attains. And also because of Henry Cavill. He IS Man of Steel in Man of Steel and makes the film a lot more credible and believable. This film works well as the first film in the series, and lays the groundwork for the next few films. Hopefully, the next film in the series will be the definitive great Superman film we are all waiting for.
- Great acting by almost all of the actors
- Grand action set-pieces
- Camera work
- The scenes in Krypton
- Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon
- Amy Adams as Lois Lane
- The editing and the overstretched climax
- The background score could have been better