Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Man of Steel Review

Better late than never, even after my Superman week ended! As expected, the review is here, but late.

The first thing I noticed was how tonally different the film was than well, any Superman adaptation. If a guy looks back, the first Superman film is pretty dark, but not in the gritty way this is presented in. The way that film is dark is the same way the original Crash Bandicoot was dark, an unintentional but impressionable method. Most of the film features Clark Kent struggling not with his powers, but what to do with his powers. How Snyder approaches this is, as the Joker would put it, "fangasmic". Some of the flashbacks may seem awkwardly placed at first, but it's one of those things that when you reminisce it is perfectly done.

The character of Clark Kent is done in such a way that the viewer is led to believe that the man fighting the Kryptonians is leftover anger from the past. It is not Clark Kent fighting Ursa Faora-Em, but rather all that anger he contained to hide what he was from when he was a child. The anger he had when he was a kid. The anger that he was taught to only use when the time was right. Henry Cavill plays this to damn near perfection.

* Near perfection = I may have only been born by the time the original was old enough to be considered a classic, but I understand that no matter which iteration you like better (I.E: I prefer The Dark Knight Rises, but The Dark Knight is the best), the best is still the best. It means Christopher Reeve is perfection.

Through Lois Lane we finally get a superhero film heroine who makes sense. I mean her role in the story is something that is expected, not something that is thrust in our faces. That way we don't find ourselves thinking: "That bitch!"

In General Zod we find a villain who is not a villain, but merely somebody doing what he is genetically programmed to do (get to that later). It is this form of evolution that makes him the perfect villain, because unlike Clark, he needs to do it. Zod only becomes the villain at the very end, when Krypton is taken from him. Both times, the character is played very well by Shannon and dare I say it, better than Stamp.

Now, on to genetic programming. It pays a very good visit to think about the film's tone again and how it was way darker. This is really what leads to that loneliness. No matter what, he is different, Clark Kent is an alien amongst men and heresy among aliens. It is a very GATTACA-esque approach, but it has the power to change morality and such and that is the big factor. Like Faora, Jor-El could have chosen to take out mercy from Clark in order to ensure he survives. Clark has a purpose, but it is his to decide.

The fight scenes are visually thrilling. Almost everything Superman does, from that first flying scene is awesome. I hoped that Snyder would make flying cool again and damn right he did just that! The fight scenes, people can claim to be prolonged and Transformers like. But will a fight between Gods be resolved right away in a Batman fashion? No. Not at all. Yes, the last fight scene may have been a bit too long, I agree, but it was still phenomenal camera work.

As for the destruction in Metropolis, I really do not think that hundreds of thousands died. Probably hundreds, yes, but a thousand is the max. Now, if one reads early drafts, this chaos was always intended, but in the early drafts it was meant as a means to introduce Lex Luthor. I feel that this was removed and then forgotten, it is still likely, though, that given the backlash, the damage will not go unacknowledged in the sequel. Hopefully Snyder doesn't hit us with a sucker punch and forget about breaking Broadway.

So, as an overall, I give the film an 8/10.

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