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Saturday, June 15, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: MAN OF STEEL




Superman flies back onto the big screen in this Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures production directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen), produced by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), and featuring a screenplay by David Goyer (Blade, The Dark Knight). Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire) co-stars as General Zod and Laurence Fishburne steps into the role of "Daily Planet" editor-in-chief Perry White. Russell Crowe and Christopher Meloni co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe.

Release Date: Jun 14, 2013

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language

Runtime: 2 hr. 23 min.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Review:

The Man of Steel delivers a newer slightly edgier more conflicted version of the granddaddy of all superheros. Its first act is a bit of a slog simply because there’s a lot to cover, mostly on Krypton. Once the set up is out of the way Snyder lets his film breathe a little even though there’s still an oppressive aura about it. It attempts to give Superman a slightly more interesting slant and it works to a certain extent. Henry Cavill and his lantern jaw look good in the Superman suit and cape. He carried a concerned look on his face even when he’s smiling. Cavill has a quiet strength about himself which works well for the character even if though he and Amy Adams have zero chemistry together. Michael Shannon meanwhile is limited by a surprisingly underwritten take of General Zod. Shannon maintains a crazed look throughout but isn’t given a meaty enough script to work with. Russell Crowe fairs better as Superman’s father Jor-El. Crowe is reserved but paternal. As mentioned previously, The Man of Steel’s first act is rather slow and reserved for a Snyder film but once the action starts it does stop, so much so that it almost beats you into the ground with the sheer amount of destruction being flung around. It’s all visually striking which shouldn’t come as a surprise but it’s also emotionally distant. The film never connects the way it should; instead it keeps the audience at arms length. A few scant moments of levity here and there but otherwise it’s all serious superhero business.

B-

16 comments:

  1. Agreed, aside from Superman, the characters are mostly flat and I never connected with anyone else. Even though Sndyer did well with the action, I hope he will not be directing Justice League movie as it sounds that it will be.

    -James

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    1. I think I read he's signed up so we'll be stuck with him for better or worse.

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  2. I pretty much agree with you across the board except for the lack of Cavill/Adams chemistry.

    It wasn't exactly smokin' hot but I think they were hampered by having very limited screen time together!

    I thought the action was quite poor. It was all CGI and became a bit of a mess. There was no personal touch at all - I wasn't expecting Tony Stark witty quips but I don't think Henry Cavill had a single line for about 20mins!

    For a reboot and an origins story I think Man of Steel did a solid job.

    The sequel should be better!

    K :-)

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    1. Cavill does kind of come off as an angry mute in the last act doesn't he. It set up some good ground work for what's coming, I can accept that.

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  3. Ha, another mediocre review! Looks like it's not what everyone expected.
    The trailer looked very strange to me. Superman was always supposed to be fun, not that dark.

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    1. Yeah the darkness doesn't work the way it should, the character isn't built for that.

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  4. I think you and I both enjoyed the movie, albeit to different degrees.

    I think as an origin tale it did a fantastic job at setting up the world. It was just lacking in two main areas for me: a good villain and knowing when to call it quits. That last act of pure action could have been cut down by AT LEAST 15 minutes.

    Excited for this franchise though!

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    1. I did enjoy it just not as much as I thought I would and I agree, that last act could have been trimmed a lot. Shannon didn't work as well as I thought he would.

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  5. Good review Dan. It did great at telling it's origin tale, but didn't keep the speed or adrenaline all of the time like I would have wished. Still, it was a fine movie for what it was.

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    1. Thanks Dan, yes couldn't keep it's energy for the whole movie, it was good but not great.

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  6. A concise review. You captured everything that went wrong in this movie.

    B2B.

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    1. Thank you very much, I'd really hoped this would have been a home run.

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  7. I'm seeing it this weekend and I have high expectations as I have always thought that Superman lost his popularity because he was too Boy Scout naive for where we are now. Like Captain America he's cornfed innocence and that does not work. A hero has to have darkness, anger and edge in order to be believable. Boy Scouts and Troy Truehearts are gullible morons who have no place. Superman should be dark like Batman. He's a loner on this planet with no else like him, he's got powers he doesn't understand and a home that was destroyed before he ever really saw it. That just cries for anger, self-destruction and bad attitude. Heroes rise to the occasion, they are not born good. That is why Tony Stark is the perfect hero, he's got plenty of attitude and bad habits to overcome in order to do the right thing.

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  8. Problem with Supes is that he was alway built as an archetype, the character you described actually exist in the comic world with Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan and DC's own Martian Manhunter.

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  9. Now that I have seen this film, I have to disagree entirely with you. Cavill and Adams were smoking hot together. The tension between them was fairly boiling the screen. General Zod had oodles of screen time, far more than in Reeves' Superman II and Michael Shannon owned his time. The action sequences were perfect, I did not think they were relentless or too much at all. This film connected very well with the audience. My audience was gasping, commenting and invested in every scene, so was I. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, loving every second, except for the Krypton part which, I do agree was meh.

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    Replies
    1. I just didn't feel it for some reason. I personally wanted to like it a lot more than I did but that doesn't mean I won't be buying it on video.

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