Saturday, 15 June 2013

Man of Steel - review

**Spoiler Alert ** Don't read this review unless you want some bits of the plot spoilt for you. !

Well you know you're in for something pretty special when the first scene of a summer blockbuster is the main characters mum giving birth to him.

I'm on record in a previous post, moaning about the constant need for superhero movies to retell the origin story every time. Here, now, officially I take it all back. The reweaving of the doomed planet Krypton story and the rationale it gives for Kal El and General Zod to be at each others throat plus the excellence of Russell Crowe as Jor El are actually worth the entrance price for Man of Steel alone. A muscular and confident, maybe brash opening to a film that never stops delivering on spectacle and adrenaline.

Therein lies the problem, this is a film of heart warming moments, enormous building collapses and superhumans beating the crap out of each other interspersed with more noise and brashness.

Too much noise and brashness in fact I think. Don't get me wrong this is immensely enjoyable and I will (almost) never get tired of watching Krpytonians bray superspeed hell out of each other but on balance the movie is not really a whole, more a mis mash of amped up trailers exploding one after the other - some better (louder) than others and some attempting to add a human or Krpytonian element to proceedings.

Acting chops go to everyone, even Cavill who although somewhat single tone is after all playing a boy scout - at least until the emotional neck snapping (yes indeed!) in the final scene - god that was shocking.

The best of the action though isn't really Supes in costume, it's the early oil rig and school bus scenes - they drive home what pushes the character to become what he does and the excellent acting of Costner and Lane as his Smallville parents demonstrate how an alien might end up as an American champion. I challenge anyone not to get a bit of a lump in the throat at Costners final scene.

One question, why doesn't Superman ever control his crashes into aircraft (or indeed anything) the genesis ship he destroys goes on to create tens of billions of dollars of property damage and then the on-going fight with Zod does billions more - why does Superman care so much about the family in Grand Central Station at the end but not the thousands killed in devastated buildings up to that point ?

So does the film work as  re-launch to the Superman franchise, yes I think so. Is it a better (if oftimes implausible) movie than say Iron Man 3 or Star Trek Into Darkness I would say so. Although all of them as SF are of course 'implausible'

I don't think critically the movie will be as well received as the recent Batman trilogy but I for one would hope for a sequel with some Lex Luthor, Krpytonite action plus a little tighter more character driven story with less demolition and pssst, to tell the truth I've always kind of preferred big red and blue to bats.

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