REVIEW: Man Of Steel

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600full-man-of-steel-posterFollowing previous mediocre instalments in the franchise, Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel is a much-needed reboot that followed identical trails to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. The film revisits the origins of Kal-El where his home planet Krypton is on the brink of destruction, his transportation and childhood on Earth as Clark Kent and finally when he fulfils his destiny as Superman. It had already been told in the original 1978 version starring Christopher Reeve but Man Of Steel is a new instalment for a new generation. However, despite that it maintained originality from the first film adaptation and the comic books, Man Of Steel is a whole new reinvention of the Superman franchise on a visual and emotional level.

Visually, Man Of Steel is the most different Superman film to date. The film is a clear advancement on the series and an appealing visual director had to take charge of directing this reboot with a touch of sophistication behind it. Zack Snyder uses the same visually dim style from his previous films 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch and supplies it in Man Of Steel. These dark effects consequently added a more serious tone behind the film as opposed to almost every other previous Superman instalment. On the other hand, Snyder had not delivered on dramatic terms and, was in need of a breakthrough. In that sense, Snyder was reinventing himself as a director as well as the Superman franchise. Consequently, the creative minds of Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer provided Snyder with a solution that he is capable of adding emotional drama into his films and Man Of Steel displayed this.

However, while Man Of Steel reinvents the whole series and displays it for a new generation, there were certain flaws that did not entirely declare it as a masterful reboot. For example, the film begins with a marvellous opening sequence of Krypton’s destruction that builds up excitement for the remainder of the film, but after that point the film suddenly becomes rushed and occasionally jumps between scenes. Man Of Steel was all about reinventing Superman and the build-up to Kal/Clark fulfilling that moved a little too quickly. In addition, it became rather forced at times, especially when the second half of the film is like one massive climax. However, this does not necessarily mean that it was not enjoyable. After all, we have been waiting a long time to see Superman’s return and now that he’s back and has never looked better, the long action scenes and noisy sound effects did not ruin much for the film.

On that note regarding Superman himself, Henry Cavill literally swept away Brandon Routh’s portrayal of the character in Superman Returns. Let’s face it, Routh was clearly aiming to recreate Christopher Reeve’s timeless portrayal and it made no difference. However, Cavill was a much more convincing Superman. Like the film’s general visual style, the character’s costume appears darker compared to past ones, but Cavill’s portrayal adds a slightly less comical touch to Superman but more physically realistic. At the same time, director Snyder’s dark and visual style provided a new comical side to Superman and Cavill’s performance yet the tone grasped more believability. His masculinity really took its toll in Man Of Steel as he will clearly gain further recognition from female audiences but more importantly, his performance added a touch of warmth and emotional depth like Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Man Of Steel was a fantastic start for Henry Cavill in the title role and he deserves to play the character again.

Recent adaptations based on both Marvel and DC comics have now become more sophisticated regarding ensemble cast. The first Superman film starred highlighted actors and Man Of Steel maintains that allegiance. Four-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams portrayed Lois Lane with an impressive performance that, like Cavill over Routh, completely blew away Kate Bosworth’s role. Adams has almost always been a serious actress and her role as Lois was not Oscar level but that was beside the point. Her talent as an actress worked impressively in the role of such an famous character. Michael Shannon’s performance as General Zod was absolutely fantastic! He was menacing, emotionally manipulative and physically terrifying. Furthermore, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane’s humane, humble roles as Jonathan and Martha Kent provided even more raw emotion to the film and symbolized love and family with morals behind them. Finally, Russell Crowe totally shines as Jor-El, Superman/Kal-El’s biological father, who becomes the striking hero again like he once was and gives Marlon Brando of all actors a run for his money.

Man Of Steel is a breakthrough in the Superman franchise and for Zack Snyder’s directorial career. He, along with the great Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David S. Goyer, have provided a highly entertaining, emotional and most importantly relevant reboot. It may contain similar concepts to The Dark Knight trilogy but Snyder’s work took over from Nolan’s; therefore, becoming his greatest and probably most successful film to date. Finally, Man Of Steel is arguably the best Superman film to faithfully portray the origins from the comic books and with this impressive reboot, we could be in for another adventure with Superman in the sequel and the Justice League adaptation.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/06/2013.

2 Responses to “REVIEW: Man Of Steel”

  1. Hey, I saw your post on the Call the Shots facebook page and thought I’d give a fellow film reviewer a ‘follow’ 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Film reviews & lists.

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