- Loving Film
- Weekly Features
- Other Features
- Review Index
- Rating System
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Man of Steel
|By Sati.||Thursday, June 27, 2013||2013, Action, drama, Man of Steel, movies, review, sci-fi, Zack Snyder|
In the immortal words of legendary Aldous Snow from Forgetting Sarah Marshal - "Awful bloody movie". I was left with a number of reflections other than this one as soon as the end credits of the new Superman movie Man of Steel came up on screen - how the hell can a movie with Henry Cavill 1. shirtless 2. in a tight suit be so dull? How in the world Adams and Cavill had zero chemistry? Why did they make Diane Lane look like a homeless person? But among those questions there was also one request - don't ever let Zack Snyder direct a movie again.
I don't really have high standards or crazy expectations for a movie like this. All I need is even a cliche romance story, as long as it has chemistry, some humour, and explosions and ridiculous plot devices in moderation. Man of Steel fails on all the three fields.
Let's start with the romance. Watching Amy Adams and Henry Cavill together was like staring at two siblings who don't even like each other's company. How the hell did that happen? I imagine when Cavill enters a room women's panties just fly off and start circling the Earth from the sheer excitement. As for Adams she is just lovable. Still, I was relieved when these two kissed because a superhero movie without a kiss would be too odd for me to handle. However the kiss just came off so awkward. I have to blame Snyder here because these two are much better and capable than that and he directed their scenes so poorly any chemistry died because of his meddling.
There is no humour in the movie. Well, no intentional humour anyways. The only funny bit, which was also shown in most trailers for the movie, happens 3 minutes before the end of the film with the female officer saying she thinks Superman is hot. That's it. Everything is so dead serious - considering the amount of silly or just plain laughable events in the film the tone really should have been much lighter.
But all of those would have made for somewhat enjoyable movie if the story was interesting. But it's not. We open with ridiculously long (20 minutes!) sequence on Krypton which is filled with people who look like just escaped from Phantom Manace and some sort of space dinosaurs randomly running and flying around in the background. I knew right then that this is not a good sign.
It gets worse - I can buy a lot of stuff and I have no problem with films like Avengers with alien invasions or even Thor with other dimension kingdoms in space, but there were times during Man of Steel I actually laughed out loud. Take for instance the scene where General Zod (main antagonist of the movie) requires that Lois Lane is brought on his ship with Superman. Why? Well, because the plot requires Lois to be there, But do we get explanation as to why she is there other than for even more exposition dialogue? No.
But it's the twister scene that takes the prize. Oh, sweet baby Jesus. Several scenes before that moment we see Clark as a teenage boy pushing the bus from the bottom of the river, with kids seeing what he does and even the mother of one of them visiting the Kents to talk to them about it. But when years later the Kents drive right into tornado (!!!!) papa Kent gesticulates to Clark not to save him because "God forbid people realize who he is". What the hell have I just watch?
The tornado bit is just one of the many disasters Clark is conveniently near of. Also for the life of me I don't understand why out of all the possible ideas out there they went with the ridiculous alien invasion plot. There is nothing wrong with the classic Clark Kent working at Daily Planet/saving people story. Here they altered whole bunch of crap just to justify the invasion plot that ended with the biggest, loudest and dullest third act of the action movie I've seen since....you know what I cannot even remember when.
As enjoyable as hearing Henry Cavill say the words "I can do things other people can't" to Amy Adams was, I really didn't like that they altered the first meeting of Lois and Clark. The charming and fun part of these type of movies is that the main chick falls both for the ordinary guy and the hero he is underneath. Here it's completely lost but maybe it's good because to see those two lack chemistry in two relationships would be even more terrible to witness.
I have to mention my favorite plot device in the movie - favorite because I kid you not I'll be laughing at this one for years to come. Russel Crowe's Jor-El (Superman's dad) dies in the beginning of the movie. But do not worry - whenever anyone puts this space crap with S on it into random holes on space ships he appears to help our heroes with their troubles.
Don't know the family history? Russel is there to help you. Don't know how to fly the ship? Russel is there to help you. The chick you hope to score with is falling out of the ship? Russel actually did tell her to get into capsule hence she is falling in the first place but never fear - he will deliver some soapy lines and send you after her. After all she is just approaching the planet with super-speed but there is time for chit chat and cool slow-mo shot of Superman spinning before he launches after her.
Russel deus ex machina space ghost Crowe plot device was so random, if at any point he would yell "And I'm JAVEEEEERT!" I would not be surprised.
I have to give the props to Crowe, though, because he managed to do a good job even if every single situation we see him in was like straight from parody movie. Laurence Fishbourne is also doing well as Lois Lane's editor as does Chrisopher Meloni as one of the military guys - up until now I only knew this guy as one of the very few bright points of True Blood season 5.
Amy Adams is convincing as witty, brave and nosy Lois Lane. As for Cavill this casting is one of the two things that worked so well in this movie that it actually kept me watching it. There were times during this film when I wondered if Cavill isn't actually a Superman in real life, sent to us from different planet. The man looks - and sounds - so ridiculously beautiful. Also it's wonderful to finally see him in high profile role, seeing how he almost got cast as Batman and James Bond in the past, but didn't have much luck in the end.
Anyways, as I said, just terrific casting there. He is able to create really likable and not dull hero, who you can see has a very good heart and bravery, not only because he knows he can beat anyone, but even if he couldn't he would try to stand up for others and help them. And then there is eye candy element of it all - there were loud gasps of disappointment from female audience when he found a shirt and wore it.
Diane Lane and Kevin Costner did a pretty good job as Superman's foster parents. In fact there is only one bad performance in this whole movie - and I never thought I would write these words - but Michael Shannon was just terrible. It was heartbreaking seeing a man of such talent deliver such atrocious performance.
I am bitching a lot about this movie, but it's probably because there were literally 3 scenes I liked. Two scenes where Superman catches Lois and they are flying together - even if it was bit too CGI loaded and lacked certain kind of magic, let's face it, ladies - we would risk jumping off the building if there was a chance this guy would catch us. And then the last 5 minutes of the film were really fantastic - if the whole movie was like that it would be great. Those last minutes were lighter in tone, fun and had heart. Something 115 previous minutes lacked.
As weird as it is that Superman was seen up close by a bunch of people in the movie and in the end his only disguise is glasses, I liked that 1. if they pick the story from there and in more traditional Superman story manner 2. they get an actual script 3. they get a different director for the film, the sequel may actually be enjoyable.
But my favorite part of Man of Steel, other than Cavill just walking around and you know, being on screen, was Hans Zimmer's masterful score. This guy should score every movie out there. Not only did he gave us incredible and original Batman theme for Nolan's movies, he now gave us wonderful Superman theme. Hell, there is this 28-minute long track on score which is one of the most amazing things I've ever heard and is MUCH better than actual movie. The score for this movie is so fantastic If I were on Zimmer's place I'd send Snyder a box with dog poo in it for using my awesome music in such a movie.
Speaking of Nolan, each promo for Man of Steel mentioned proudly how he is the producer of it. It was probably done so that people wouldn't freak out about Snyder directing it and instead said "Oh, well, Nolan is producing so it can't be bad". I don't know whether Nolan was just there on set laughing his ass off about Snyder's "directing" methods or just having a coffee and chatting with the cast, but as for actually supervising Snyder so he would do a good job....yeah, well he certainly didn't do that.
Man of Steel is so overloaded with CGI and so slim on story you really can't hang on to anything there. The last hour of the movie is just explosions over and over again. At least Michael Bay's movies have some funny moments in it and they are occasionally fun. That was just dull. Hell, I even enjoyed Sucker Punch more than this.
I felt relief twice during the movie. First time, when we saw the cute dog that was living with Mrs. Kent was fine. Second time when the end credits showed up on screen and I knew I could finally leave.
Man of Steel
(2013, 143 min)
Plot: A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.
Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: David S. Goyer
Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon