Sunday, 23 June 2013

#49 MAN OF STEEL (18.6.13)

Directed by Zack Snyder. With Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane.


When I first saw this film, I was swept away by the spectacle, it was huge it was big and it was epic and there were moments that grabbed me and made me love it. Kevin Costner's voice cracking when he talks to the young Clark Kent, the music, the moment when Clark saves the school bus, his first costume fitting and flight, his saving of the oil rig, meeting the military for the first time, many things. And up on the big screen I was swept along and felt it deserved a solid 8/10. The action was great, but

Now i think it's worthy of a 6/10. (7.4.14)

Can't remember the last time a film that's so divided fans and non fans alike. For every fan I've found who loved this film I've found someone else who hated it.

It's an over-wrought and bombastic film, a huge, shouty, big-is-best, super-duper epic and not just in running time. Sadly in the 21st Century, the maxim of bigger = better has never been more evident, nor more over used. And as special effects prove that there is literally nothing that cannot be expressed on the cinema screen it means that Directors, rather than try to make the story number one now just focus on how big they can make the threat how enormous the peril and how much spectacle, very much like the Romans did with the gladiator games. I suppose the theory goes, the bigger the hero the bigger the threat. And so we've got a film where the entire Earth is now threatened with destruction. In the good old days of Super Man it was just California. I used to complain that when Singer brought Supes back the best threat he could give him was Lex Luthor and wasn't it time that the Man of Steel actually fought someone who at the very least matched the Kyrptonian in terms of strength. Well, I've had my wish and I say, that in hindsight, I'd prefer something in-between.

There are many things this film gets wrong, among those failings, the most grievous is Superman's almost total disregard for ordinary people (the number of innocent people killed during that final fight is mind-boggling) as is the utterly bewildering collateral damage that he causes! Why couldn't he shift the fight to somewhere safer? In the comics and previous films Supes would often put himself at severe risk to rescue people, but this time round it seems Supes is fighting under a different maxim, one of 'Go fuck yourselves mankind, I'm busy dealing with the big stuff!' He just doesn't seem to care about anyone other than Lois and his mum. And don't get me started on the Super Man killing!!!!

Snyder, who I loved when he did Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen, but loathed when he vomited Sucker Punch over cranks this one. He uses too much shaky cam (it's not a film on the wall documentary it doesn't make us feel like we're there) particularly in the BIG fight at the end which becomes a shaky, dizzy blur of the best CGI Hollywood millions can produce, but I found myself remembering with fondness the fight in Superman 2.

So, this time round, lots of b/g stuff on Krypton, turns out Supe's dad is a ninja scientist which comes in handy when his Earth dad turns out to be such a wimp. Seriously  SPOILER ALERT! Commiting suicide to prove a point and shame your son seems a bit excessive, talk about passive aggressive! Particularly when your adopted son is clearly struggling with the whole, 'who am I, what am I? Who is my daddy and what did he do?' Talk.

Anyway, this is a huge spectacle and epic in scope. It's very far from perfect but it was enjoyable and had many lovely emotional moments and action.

8/10 (first viewing)

6/10 (repeat viewing)

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