Saturday, 15 June 2013

Film Review // Man of Steel

"What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society intended? 

               What if a child aspired to something greater?"

Man Of Steel
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner

This weekend the much-awaited new Superman reboot, Man Of Steel, was released, and earlier today I went to see it with my Dad. You may have gathered by now that I get way too excited about films long before they are out, leading to a ridiculous amount of build up to new movies, and this was definitely one of them! 

As you may know, Man Of Steel is an 'origin story' (just for a change) of Kal-El or Superman. It shows his life from birth on his home planet Krypton as it is being destroyed, through a troubled adolescence coming to terms with being different, to fighting against General Zod and the last remainders of his people.

The opening of Man Of Steel is the best part, and just a brilliant piece of cinema. The film starts with Kal-El's birth, the first natural one on Krypton in an age. The planet is about to collapse, and his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) is determined to save the race by transporting his son to another land. The vast landscape shots of Krypton are just incredible, with a huge sunset and explosions across the horizon. The costume in particular is stunning, a mix between medieval regalia and futuristic armour. 

Seeing Kal-El grow up as Clark Kent is also brilliantly done; his childhood is told through flashbacks, which I'm not always a fan of, but it really works here. We see Clark struggle with his powers and become an outcast despite being a hero. 

So let's talk about the super man himself. I have loved Henry Cavill since seeing him in The Tudors, but I can now confirm that he is the hottest man on not only this planet, but Krypton as well.
He has an incredible physical presence that obviously suits the character well, and though he isn't the most expressive actor, he conveys some moments of pure emotion beautifully...I just wish we saw more of those moments. He is also convincing as a blend between an angry young loner, a loving son and a legend from another planet, and plays it with great subtlety.

As for the rest of the cast, Michael Shannon stands out as the fascistic military leader General Zod. There is definitely a crazed look behind his eyes that make him a pretty chilling villain that we could have done with getting to know better. The scene with his televised threat to the whole of Earth is one of the best of the movie. Amy Adams is nicely watchable as always as reporter Lois Lane, but I think her character could have been developed a lot more too. Her and Clark seem to be kinda pushed together with no scenes to back it up, and so that doesn't leave room for much chemistry. That could be the fault of the story, rather than the actors.

The story also falls flat a little in the middle of the film, with a lot of spaceships flying around but nothing really gripping the audience. There is a lot of action. A LOT. So much that I personally found it a bit too much; there's only so many times you can see people being punched through buildings before it gets a bit dull. But, I will admit the apocalyptic action scenes do look incredible and create a sense of awe much bigger than Earth, a direct display of director Zack Snyder's style and reminiscent of his previous anti-hero film, Watchmen. But, unlike Watchmen, the whole world does look a little washed out and bleak, and though this reinforces the theme of metal and steel as metaphor for our hero, I think some more colour would have brought more life to the film.

Overall, I enjoyed Man Of Steel, but it wasn't as mind blowing as I'd hoped it would be. This is probably partly because of my daft tendency to build up my expectations for certain films, and therefore they have to be amazing to live up to them. I guess with Christopher Nolan as producer (The Dark Knight trilogy director) I was wanting more out of the story in terms of character and building tension as we saw with Batman. Parts of the film are genius, but it doesn't quite flow as a whole film and though I would definitely recommend seeing it and will be purchasing the DVD, it wasn't the perfect superhero movie I was hoping for.
(Also, the trailers give away far too much of the film for my liking!)

Rating: 3 out of 5
That's my verdict on a first watch, which my Dad thinks is really harsh haha! But hey, it's my opinion.
If you're a superhero fan like me, then I would honestly tell you to go see this, cause it is really enjoyable and, as I have read a sequel has been commissioned, is a great set-up for what will hopefully be a brilliant new franchise.

Just another thing, here's a drawing I did of Henry Cavill as Superman a few weeks ago, what do you think? What can I say, I just love looking at his face ha!

Have you seen Man Of Steel?

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