Film Review – Man of Steel (2013): Eddie’s Take

Man of Steel - post

Title – Man of Steel (2013)

Director – Zack Snyder (Watchmen)

Cast – Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane

Plot – Sent to earth by his parents as a beacon of his soon to be extinct race Kal-El (Cavill) is raised by American farmers (Costner and Lane) as an average human boy. Kal El aka Clark Kent however is anything but. His superhuman strength and power will be put to the ultimate test as he discovers the history behind his past and prepares to deal with General Zod (Shannon) and his unfailing infatuation with saving his race at any cost.

“You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s going to change the world.”

Review by Eddie on 1/07/2013

There has been much weight of expectation placed upon the unquestionably large shoulders of the new Superman reboot. Expectations were even higher once all knew of the involvement of Batman’s saviour Christopher Nolan as the films executive producer, he being a guiding influence of talented director Zack Snyder’s vision. After much pre talk and hype we finally can judge for ourselves the final product. After much deliberation of thought on the question of was it worth it I must say with sadness – not really.

Man Of Steel is not a bad picture but it’s problem is it’s also very far from being a more than adequate one. There are numerous moments in the film that feel completely b grade then moments of gravitas that again make you hope the film will soar like it’s titular hero but it just doesn’t happen. Man of Steel really is a missed opportunity, an opportunity that was available to the filmmakers to create something on screen which the likes we have as of yet not seen.

The films major drawback is the way in which it is structured. In the opening we have quite a strong and interesting start to the origin of “Superman”. Superman’s home world of Krypton is well realised and the reason for his sabbatical to earth is understandable. Once we and Superman are on earth however the film can’t find a balance between scenes set in the now and the past. It also strangley suffers from some bizarre edits where the viewer is thrust from the ocean, to diners then blazingly into crashed UFO’s. The way these scenes come and go feel like a complete jarring of structure, making it hard to care about what is actually driving the characters from point A to point B. It is a shame this is the case largely due to the nailing of the actors and their embodiments of the famous characters.

In Cavill we have a very good incarnation of Superman (his somewhat buff body included) he displays a wide range of emotions that suggest his career in the cape will hopefully not be short lived. Adams as Lane has the right mix of smarts and fears, Crowe and Costner both display acting smarts that make you wish they were given a tad more to do and Shannon is reliable as ever as the crazed General Zod. In these central figures Snyder has undoubtabley got a team on screen that can take this franchise forward, he just needs to join them in their realisation of the world.

Snyder in all films has showed a great prowess for visuals, Man of Steel looks pretty and has some interesting showpieces yet one cannot but be bored by the nonstop explosions and wall smashing he throws at the audience. Where are those famous Snyder Slow-Mo’s? Where are those iconic images that bought the original Superman films of the 70’s into pop culture? There is just nothing on screen that will create a lasting impression on the viewer, nothing super at all.

Man Of Steel is perhaps harshly judged due to the investment of so many people in what it should and could be. It is a solidly entertaining piece of blockbuster entertainment with enough bang for your buck to find enjoyment. The cast all come out on top and there is hope in the final frames that we have a good journey ahead of us, it’s just a shame this journey felt like nothing more than a speeding bullet that missed the target by a small yet worryingly meaningful margin.

3 i-Hops out of 5

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5 responses to “Film Review – Man of Steel (2013): Eddie’s Take

  1. Completely agree with your review. Saw the film earlier this month and was especially excited because Superman is my favorite comic book character and because of Nolan’s involvement.

    I felt the movie relied TOO heavily on CGI. There wasn’t a good and equal balance between CGI and character development (especial in light that this movie really should build a foundation for a prospective trilogy).

    I really liked scenes such as when he was young and he started to think he was going crazy because of the X-ray vision. There weren’t enough of those type of scenes.

    Overall I think the movie is a product of unrealized potential. Hopefully the sequel is better.

  2. Fantastically put “unrealized potential” is the perfect summing up of the movie. Great to hear your thoughts and likewise I hope the sequel reaches the heights I think this series and team can reach. (Eddie)

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