Man of Steel – DVD review 3/5 stars
Amid much controversy and complaining, a new Superman movie came to theatres this summer. I know and admit that I am a pretty big nerd, and been a comic book fan pretty much all my life. When it comes to comics people usually fall into one of three camps, Marvel, DC or anything indie but definitely not Marvel or DC. Of course some people just like to read comics and as long as it is well written and well drawn, it doesn’t matter what company it comes from. I like to think that I fall into that last slot. I definitely prefer Marvel for my superhero fix, but I have always enjoyed Superman and Green Lantern from DC. I was never really a big Batman fan, so I haven’t even seen all of the Dark Knight’s films. One day I’ll get around to watching off Dark Knight Rises, but it’s not really high on my “to do” list. I was moderately entertained, though a bit let down by the Green Lantern movie, and really disappointed by Superman Returns. In my opinion, the only watchable part of that film was in the beginning when Superman saved the airplane and space shuttle. So, when Man of Steel was announced I; as well as a lot of fans; were quite leery.
For some reason, DC (or Warner Brothers) have not been able to put together a “great” Superman film since Superman II. And that was released in 1980… The character is a pretty simple one, he’s the ultimate superhero. He can fly; he can melt things with his eyes; he can freeze things with his breath; he has super speed, x-ray vision, telescopic vision, microscopic vision; he is moral; super strong and iconic. What’s so hard about him? He can do anything. I think though the problem with writing Superman (both comics and movies) is that people try to constantly make him “current” or updated so he’s relevant today. The problem with that is his character is based on old, now outdated values. Those values are what I personally love about the character. He’s not supposed to be dark or edgy. Superman is the “big blue boyscout” who makes it his job to help. He stands up for truth and justice. He is the perfect hero to stop an alien invasion, thwart a series of bank robberies by giant robots, art heists by thugs or save a cat from a tree. (I’m actually smiling now as I type this, remembering the scenes when Christopher Reeve “revealed” himself as Superman in the first movie, stopping crimes and saving a cat in a tree). His values are outdated by today’s audiences, and that says a lot more about us than it does about the character. I don’t see anything wrong with trying to reinforce Superman’s old fashioned, Kansas farmboy, polite, caring values on today’s world; stopping crime and villains along the way, and just, in a word, being super.
Knowing that they have a property that fans are passionate about, Warner Brothers should by now realize that they are going to stir up and alienate segments of their audience with any little change they make. Changing Superman’s costume, losing the red trunks over the pants, not having his “S” symbol on the cape, darkening the blue, had some fans crazy and on the edge of boycott. I personally didn’t mind the new costume, though the blue could have been a little lighter and brighter. I think that Warner should realize that they need to give back a little bit for everything they take away. Sometimes fans are easy to play. Give them a few lines from the old films and they’ll be more willing to accept the changes in the current film. For me, what I wanted; what I think they should have kept was the theme. The real Superman theme song. Hans Zimmer did a nice job, but to me, it needed the John Williams theme.
Now, with all that out of the way, Man of Steel the movie was alright. I enjoyed a great deal of it, but of course was disappointed by a few things as well. If you’ve seen the film, you know what I mean when I say the final resolution of Superman’s battle with Zod was more than a little out of character. I get that they are building for the next movies and wanted him to feel the remorse of his actions and we’ll get to see how this will affect him as a hero going forward. I still think they could have achieved this in a different manner.
The acting was pretty good, with Henry Cavill playing a good, Superman and an okay Clark Kent. I suppose we’ll get more Clark in future movies, but his Superman scenes were enjoyable. Amy Adams was a nice choice as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner were as close to perfect as you could get for Ma and Pa Kent. My only casting critisicm is Michael Shannon as General Zod. He came off a bit too screamy, and not at all suave like Terence Stamp. Shannon’s was not a Zod I would kneel before… Faora-Ul (intriguingly played by Antje Traue) is another story. Richard Schiff as Dr. Emil Hamilton was a nice nod to the Superman comics, but boy did he remind me of Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erskine in Captain America The First Avenger.
This may not have been the Superman film that everyone wanted, but at least this time Superman wasn’t a “dead-beat dad stalker”. Stick to X-Men Bryan Singer.
Posted on 13-11-12, in General and tagged Amy Adams, Antje Traue, Christopher Reeve, Diane Lane, Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner, Man of Steel, Michael Shannon, Richard Schiff, Russell Crowe, Superman, Terence Stamp. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.