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Movie Reviews

June 14, 2013

Man of Steel

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Written by: Drew Waller
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FILM: “Man of Steel”
DIRECTOR: Zach Snyder
TOWERS: 3 out of 5

On the week of June 14th, Superman marked his 75th anniversary — an anniversary worthy of celebrating before a reboot that takes folks back to the beginning. Well, that could have been thought out a bit more before shooting to the speeding bullet of box office scheduling.

Here’s why: Henry Cavill gallantly takes the role of the iconic “Man of Steel” and does so with aplomb. Zach Snyder’s rendering of America’s ideal superhero is in fact its namesake — super, but that is at the same time a plus and a minus. These are not the makings of your grandfather’s Superman; this is “the” MAN OF STEEL.

The plus is the fact that when the film leaps tall feats of cinematic wonder, it does so amazingly: the fight scenes between Krypton(ites?) are ones to be watched again and again for its visual majesty. Michael Shannon alone, playing General Zod, the militant head of Superman’s home world turned radical fundamentalist, is stellar to take in on the screen as he turns more and more sinister with each turn on behalf of his home world. The minus, however, is how much story was super-crammed into one incredibly long pilot episode built for the cineplex.

The whole film felt longer than the two plus hours because there was so much story that easily could have been edited down to two films, maybe three. A film so worthy of being given its time can do this reboot well and over time, not with quick editing. For example, the stunning world of Krypton (of which folks who dare say the first part is “like Avatar” should take a hard nerd-purist look back to the epic World Of Krypton comic series to see the scenes stolen from its pages for that multi-million dollar blockbuster) was worth its own film to then justify giving Superman his journey through space and adulthood. The concept of having alter-ego Clark Kent’s equal, Lois Lane (played as best as possible with the material given by Amy Adams), work with Superman in collusion versus discovery at the Daily Planet because, as an investigative journalist, he can hike steep sub-zero Arctic mountains and conveniently find Superman and have him rescue Lois only then to “reveal” his identity isn’t ruining the plot line… it was a poor plot angle to begin with.

Putting that to the side, this movie is in fact super-fun to watch for the pluses versus the minuses, and, for the younger set, is something to really marvel at visually (no disrespect to DC). What will really set this franchise apart is what the studio and production team have in store for the next installment (and let’s truly hope that does not involve another Lex Luthor –- the world of Metropolis has a lot more to offer than a third rehashing of that character on screen, let alone the small one) and the pathos of this everyman we all looked to growing up as we see him reinvented for the next generation again and again. The character holds true for what he is and what he can be, so let’s hope this pilot gets this flight plan readied for the stars for the years to come.

About the Author

Drew Waller
Drew Waller

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