Man of Steel: Overblown, Overwrought and Just Plain Awful—Movie

In “Man of Steel” Superman comes face to face with the deadly kryptonite—kryptonite in the form of director Zach Snyder and writers David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan. This team does everything in their power to kill him.

Their deadly plot might have succeeded save for one thing—actors. In spite of themselves, the creative crew has assembled a cast who can actually act.Man of Steel

Henry Cavill as Superman is absolutely terrific. He is everything Superman is supposed to be—attractive, well-built, have a sense of humor and be able show confidence with an air of humbleness. Cavill nails it. He is abetted with a terrific ensemble of actors.  Kevin Costner, as Pa Kent, is wonderful. There is something about Costner that enables him to have chemistry with everyone with whom he works. His scenes with the young Clark Kent are pitch perfect. Russell Crowe’s Jor-El has just the right touch of authority and mysticism (and his Planet Krypton wardrobe fits him nicely).  Diane Lane as Ma Kent works well with the young boys playing Superman in earlier years in addition to the adult Superman. Laurence Fishburne’s Perry White doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but he does make the most of what he has to do.  Christopher Meloni as Colonel Hardy and Richard Schiff‘s Dr. Emil Hamilton are also good as the team working with Superman to defeat the evil confronting mankind.

Finally, there is Amy Adams as Lois Lane. I was concerned with her casting. As great an actress as she is, she is considerably older than Cavill and I wasn’t sure how that would look on the screen. In reality, the age difference is not a problem. She is especially good as the inquiring reporter, Lane.  I was a bit bothered by the fact that she learns so quickly about who Superman is, but in this day of Google and social media, it would be hard to see how someone with her smarts wouldn’t be able to ferret out the information.  It’s possible that should there ever be a sequel (God, forbid), that knowledge could add an extra layer of complexity to a variety of plots.

Now we come to the real problem—the handling of the story. “Man of Steel” has so much potential. Early on, we see the young Clark Kent struggling with his powers and not knowing how to handle them. It’s a gentle story and perhaps showing more of this struggle as the older Clark could have been very fascinating…Cavill is young enough to carry it off and watching him try to fit into society while fighting crime could provide for some interesting story-lines.

But alas. Instead we get one very long drawn out battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) and his fellow fighters against Superman and the U.S. militia. Zod and Jor-El had differences on Krypton before it was destroyed and it is Zod who killed Jor-El.  Zod has come to Earth to capture or destroy Superman who has what he thinks the ability to regenerate Krypton—be Superman dead or alive. Shannon makes for a convincing villain, but his scenes are more than dumb, painfully loud and ridiculously long.  Zod’s battle and that of his henchmen go on non-stop for over a half an hour. In that amount of time, I’m not sure how many times Metropolis is decimated. And given all of that, the effects aren’t even that creative. Their battle “ship” looked like a huge tooth hanging over Metropolis. Some of the effects look like they are taken from Jurassic Park.

I admit I am a huge fan of the Superman comic books as well as both TV series and the Christopher Reeves’ movies. I even saw the last reboot, “Superman Returns.” I take my Superman personally. With Christopher Nolan’s involvement I feared that “Man of Steel” would be too much like his Batman films—fairly dark with little humor. If only. I can’t remember when I have been more disappointed and downright angry about a movie. This “Man of Steel” is no reboot of Superman. It’s just a story about a man, director Zach Snyder, who decided to play with every trick in the special effects playbook, and as a result, has at least bent the “Man of Steel.”

1 nugget out of 4

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2 Responses to “Man of Steel: Overblown, Overwrought and Just Plain Awful—Movie”

  1. Corey Says:

    What a bummer to hear this. I had such high expectations. We were planning to see this tonight, but now it looks like we’ll be seeing Star Trek instead.

    Like

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