ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT > MOVIE REVIEWS

Man of Steel


Superman reboot has its ups and downs

By Lori Hoffman
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 3 | Posted Jun. 19, 2013

Share this Story:

(L-r) AMY ADAMS as Lois Lane and HENRY CAVILL as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “MAN OF STEEL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Director Zack Snyder, whose credits include 300 and Watchmen, was given the task of rebooting the Superman franchise. He didn’t have to worry about fans complaining that the comic book icon was just redone in 2006 by Bryan Singer because Superman Returns was so darn forgettable that Brandon Routh has barely been heard from since.


Actor Henry Cavill is a Jersey dude, from the Bailiwick of Jersey in the Channel Islands. Translation: that makes him British.


In Man of Steel, Snyder and his writers, David S. Goyer and Batman Trilogy director Christopher Nolan (who is also a producer), have provided an extensive preamble about Superman’s parents (in particular Russell Crowe as Jor-El), his home world Krypton and why General Zod has issues with his family.


The film then skips over the infant’s crash landing on earth, providing the Kent family background in several flashbacks instead. Basically Clark Kent’s adopted father Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) warned him that his powers would frighten the world and he should keep his alien identity on the down low.


As an adult that turns Clark Kent/Kal-El into a job-to-job wanderer much like Wolverine, until he needs to use his power’s to save someone and has to disappear again. When he pulls this hidden hero trick while Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) from the Daily Planet is watching, his cover is blown.


This is when the film dives into the familiar territory of the Clark Kent/Lois Lane dynamic that has a nice modern update thanks to Adams, whose determination and smarts make her the best embodiment of Lane in the history of the movie franchise.


The romantic element, however, gets shoved aside by the computer-generated action when General Zod (Michael Shannon) arrives ready to release his rage against Kal-El and the puny planet that he calls home. Zod has an agenda for colonizing earth but Superman has other plans. You get his anger up when you mess with his mama (played by Diane Lane).


The problem with Man of Steel is that while the background story and character development are solid, the action sequences are distressingly generic and bland, hammering away, loud and meaningless, like outtakes from any of the Transformers movies. Unlike say Iron Man 3’s emotionally charged action sequences as a recent example, the action in Man of Steel doesn’t feel connected to the story. And that’s with Shannon, the current king of eye-popping anger management issues, doing his thing with gusto as General Zod.


That brings us to Henry Cavill in the title role. He certainly looks the part of a superhero with his gorgeous exterior, including piercing blue eyes and a steel-like chin. As for his performance, Cavill isn’t bad but he doesn’t fully engage us either. He begins to show signs of superhero style when spunky Lois shows him that humans might jump to unfortunate conclusions when confronted with something they can’t explain, but that if you give them a chance they will show you enough courage and loyalty to be worth saving. He doesn’t blow us away as Superman, but you sense that he has the capacity to fully embrace the cape down the road, perhaps as soon as the next chapter of the series.


Page: 1 2 |Next
Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend

COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 3 of 3
Report Violation

1. John said... on Jun 26, 2013 at 09:17AM

“Your stupid as hell or watched it pirated on an iPhone cuz the action was so big and grand it has yet to be matched by any before it”

Report Violation

2. Alfred said... on Jul 7, 2013 at 12:48PM

“Just my humble opinion, but...Have just seen it and was underwhelmed by it. The only hero in this movie was Jonathan Kent. Too many flashbacks that are all over the place. Too much pointless action sequences, and a female villain, Faora-Ul, that upstaged the main male villain in General Zod. To me the MOS script was "Not Ciculation-Ready". I felt that more could have been done to tidy it up and make an even better film than what we got here. But I guess that once people have made it through the door into the big leagues they tend to throw out the book on writing screenplays and regress to basic newbie mistakes. Yes it is an epic story and an origin story nonetheless, but what we got here is only good for people who prefer style over substance...and fanboys/girls and Cavill fans. Speaking of Cavill, I thought he made a better Superman than Routh but again I think the script did not really allow him to really showcase Superman. However I do hope that he will be Supes in any future sequel”

Report Violation

3. Anonymous said... on Aug 2, 2013 at 12:14PM

“What a terrible review.”

ADD COMMENT

Rate:
(HTML and URLs prohibited)

Related Content

Spectacular, It’s Not
By Lori Hoffman

Back when it was announced that a new reboot of the Spider-Man movies was in the works just a couple of years after the Sam Raimi-Tobey Maguire Spider-Man ended its run in 2009, the comic book world wondered why? Why was it deemed necessary to re-launch the series?

RELATED: Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man Brick Mansions Sci-fi 
Stew Annoying ‘Neighbors’ Summer Movie Preview X-MEN REUNITED ENDANGERED CINEMA

Related Content

Summer 2013 Movie Preview
By Lori Hoffman

The pre-summer movie season got off to a pretty good start with Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6 and this week, a sleeper hit, the illusionist-fueled heist movie Now You See Me. Now the summer season officially kicks into high gear with the kids out of school and ready for plenty of action at the multi-plex.

RELATED: Stars With ‘Guns’
 Iron Man 3: Awesome Times Two A Lavish ‘Gatsby’


Related Content

Smith & Son
By Lori Hoffman

Like many former fans, when The Last Airbender was released I wrote a cinematic obit for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. That said, you might be expecting another review trashing After Earth, the sci-fi father-son bonding drama starring Will Smith and his son Jaden, directed by Shyamalan, that has been raked over the coals mercilessly, with a 12 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.com.


Related Content

Fast & Furious 6: A Need for Speed
By Lori Hoffman

You don’t have to be a gearhead to enjoy the Fast & Furious movies; I’m living proof of that. There is something particularly resilient about this franchise. The cool cars and even cooler gang of remarkably talented car jockeys manage to up the ante each time out.

RELATED: Barrage at the Taj Furious ‘Five’ 'Fast' Enough

Related Content

A Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness
By Lori Hoffman

When director J.J. Abrams rebooted the Star Trek franchise with such consummate skill, balancing the expectations of long time Trekkies with his take on their beloved characters while also forging a superior action film that had a more modern sensibility, he set the bar very high. Star Trek: Into Darkness does not quite reach the heights of the first film, but it does pass muster as a terrific summer popcorn movie.

RELATED: Blast Off

Related Content

Pirates of the Prairie
By Lori Hoffman

The Lone Ranger is not really a western in the hands of director Gore Verbinski. It plays out more like one of his Pirates of the Caribbean movies set on dry land with a moving train substituting for a pirate ship.


RELATED: ‘Heat’ Is On
 Brad Pitted Against Zombies
 Things that Go Bump
 Recession Fueled Sci-Fi



 


ACW EVENT SERIES