Sunday, June 16 2013, 08:56 AM MDT
Movie Review: Man of Steel
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Zack SnyderStarring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon
Rated: PG-13Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Recommended To: Fans of Superman, summer blockbusters and action films in general.
Synopsis: For his whole life Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) has known he was different. He was stronger, faster and somewhat of an outcast. Learning of his extraterrestrial origins only made him more of a recluse. When a group of militant beings from his home planet threaten Earth Clark is forced to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Review: In retrospect it’s easy to see that the biggest mistake that Superman Returns made was that the filmmakers tried to make a Christopher Reeve film without Reeve. Brandon Routh wasn’t just playing Superman, he was playing Reeve’s version of Superman and audiences didn’t buy into the idea. With Man of Steel director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy) have gone back to Superman’s origin story and while many of the details are similar to 1978’s Superman and its sequel there are many different nuances in both design and tone. This isn’t Reeve’s Superman; it shouldn’t be. Cavill’s Superman is more insecure, less charming and while he is able to rise to the occasion there is a sense that given a choice he would have lingered in the shadows forever.
I like Goyer’s script as it gives more backstory to General Zod, wonderfully played by Michael Shannon, and the political atmosphere of Krypton and why Clark Kent is seen as such a threat. Only Amy Adams’ Lois Lane feels a bit shortchanged and under developed, but considering she’s likely to appear in any and all sequels there is plenty of time to devote more time to the history of her character.
Man of Steel has some pacing issues and occasionally the CGI appears a bit rubbery, but all things said it’s my favorite summer blockbuster of 2013 thus far. Where Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 played it safe Man of Steel at least had the guts to try something new and the results are a satisfying start to what is hopefully the road that leads to the Justice League.
-Ryan Michael Painter