Monday, June 17, 2013

Man of Steel


Perhaps I’m showing my age. First, the new Star Trek movie largely left me cold. Now, the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, has been released to great fanfare. I dutifully saw it on opening weekend and was largely unimpressed.

What I liked: Henry Cavill does an excellent job portraying Kal-El, giving a slightly more brooding turn than usual. Some purists will object to a Briton portraying America’s superhero, but as Superman is not even human, I’m fine with it. As for Clark Kent, we see very little of him – the famous glasses are not even worn until the last few frames of the movie. Amy Adams brings a knowing glint to Lois Lane, sadly missing from Kate Bosworth’s limp portrayal in Superman Returns. The rest of the supporting cast is excellent in every respect, particularly Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.

What I disliked: I didn’t like the reimagined Krypton – give me the Donner icy galactic version any day. Nor did I care for the dumbed down plot and solution. In previous incarnations, from the comic books, to the serials, the classic 50s TV show and Christopher Reeve movies, Superman was always victorious in the end because he used his most important superpower: his brain. Here, we just have a series of endless action sequences ending in a snapped neck. The tuneless, percussive score droned monotonously. There’s quite a bit of product placement in Man of Steel – but there was in the 1978 Superman movie as well. Cheerios and Timex watches have been replaced with IHOP and Sears.

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