“Man of Steel” Review: Superman crashes but doesn’t burn

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Directed by Zack Snyder

Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Russel Crowe and Amy Adams

Watching “Man of Steel” is a lot like watching an episode of “Dragon Ball Z.”

There’s explosions, yelling and screaming and people fly around the screen punching and kicking each other in the face for what seems like an eternity.

Both are good for these same reasons.

Neither lend much to the viewer on an intelligent level but God are they fun to watch.


(Imagine this but just with Superman and Zod…)

Zack Snyder’s new film is by no means a masterpiece because of this but it holds together reasonably well and is definitely not a waste of time.

It’s a film that shows us what a modern day Superman might be like in our society, albeit not perfectly at times and provides viewers with more than enough eye candy to keep even those with the shortest attention spans interested throughout for a two and a half hour film.

“Man of Steel” tells more or less the same origin story we already know about the famous super hero.

An infant child is flown away from his home world of Krypton in order to escape its destruction and lands on Earth to be raised by humans and define his own destiny.

When an evil military leader from Krypton, General Zod, threatens the Earth he decides to take it upon himself to stop him from completing his nefarious goals.

For a lot of the things this film does wrong it still hits the nail on the head in enough of its elements to make this a very solid venture at the movie theaters.

Superman fans will be very pleased with visuals right away as the overall look of the film is absolutely jaw dropping at times.

Kyrpton, its culture, clothing, technology and world itself is showcased greatly throughout the film in its costume design and CGI/special effects.

The sheer amount of imagination that went into the designs of even just the control panels on the ships and computer generated environments are both astonishing and feel real.

Nothing feels animated or fake like they do in most CGI/green screen heavy films and viewers will likely be impressed while watching the film.

Action scenes are done at a frenetic pace as well, highlighting Superman’s strength and power beautifully.

As mentioned before the pace can remind one of “Dragon Ball Z” a little with Superman and his enemies fighting with lightning speed and God like power.

The action scenes do get repetitive at times but boy are they a thing to watch, especially in the film’s final scenes.


(Take THAT and THAT, Zod!)

Some of the performances really stood out too.

Michael Shannon owns the screen as Superman’s famous arch villain, General Zod, and Russell Crowe as Clark Kent/Kal-El’s famous father, Jor-El does a great job as well.

The two are fun to watch and add a lot of emotion and power to their respective characters whenever they speak and the dynamic between the two also made their story arc very intriguing.

Hell, by the end of the film I would have paid good money to see a two and a half hour film about just Zod and Jor-El.


(They should do a heist film called “The Brother’s Krypton.”)

Unfortunately, the rest of the cast did not quite live up to expectations.

While the film’s main antagonist and side character are very interesting, the same cannot be said about our protagonist, Superman himself.

Henry Cavill is boring to say the least as the famous last son of Kyrpton.

He never has more than 10 lines in the movie and when he does speak he sounds more like a robot than an actual human being.

It makes it difficult to relate to a character when he barely says anything in a movie.


(That flying piece of paper in the background contains all his lines for the movie…)

The same can be said about his love interest Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, who also for some reason forgot how to act in this film.

Her lines are groan inducing as the famous Daily Planet journalist who also speaks like an automaton in the movie.

For being the principal love interest in the comic books, Superman and Lois have almost zero chemistry in the film and it feels forced when the two finally kiss toward the end of the film.

The two’s poor acting doesn’t help the film’s, at times, muddled pace.

Clark Kent’s origin story is played out in a series of flashbacks that do more to jar the viewer than show the principal stages of development in this character’s lead up to being Superman.

They play out as if scenes of exposition are missing and it’s confusing.

It makes it hard to get attached to the character or feel sympathy for him in his hard times because the editing and pacing are so muddled we can’t figure out what to feel or how to follow the story.

Snyder was probably going for a more unconventional telling of Superman’s origins but he ends up overthinking it and the result is a joyless mess.

This all said, “Man of Steel” is not a waste by any stretch.

There is plenty to love throughout Zack Snyder’s two and a half hour super hero epic but this film had higher expectations than just mediocre.

It’s a film that oozes potential and shows us glimpses of just how good it could have been but ultimately falls flat over its bloated script, dull pacing and poor acting by the films titular characters.

Nonetheless, “Man of Steel” is definitely not as bad as “Green Lantern” at least but it’s nowhere near the levels reached by “The Dark Knight.”

“Man of Steel” might not be up, up and away but it packs a Superman punch in enough of the right places to make it a film worth viewing.

Verdict: 3 out of 5


Boy do I miss this guy…

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