Man of Steel: Review

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Superman is my all time favourite superhero. I think it’s a comment of the times we live in that over the years a lot of people have lost interest in the character and a more realistic and darker superhero has become favoured over a seemingly perfect one with no flaws whatsoever.

But to me it’s the fact that Superman has to be perfect all the time that makes him so appealing. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders more so than any other hero and having to do the right thing and rise above evil all the time is a burden which is incomparable to anything Batman or Iron Man has gone through.

Man of Steel is the first Superman to really tap into this conflict, adding into the mix mankinds fear of him and his responsibility to carry on the race of Krypton and the film is all the better for it.
What’s even more impressive about the film is that despite its slightly edgier script it still manages to stay true to the principals of the original films.
David S. Goyers screenplay is bold and confident. He handles the re-telling of a well known origin story confidently and goes deeper in setting up this universe. The narrative flows well, skipping from flash back to present day when needs be, much like Batman Begins. More than anything though, the characters are all well written and the themes of truth, justice, love and hope are re-inforced with an emotional punch which at times is almost tear inducing.

The direction by Zack Snyder is thankfully restrained and we are spared from slow motion shot after slow motion shot. He does bring his visual flair with him though and the stuff on Krypton is particularly stunning.

The action is loud, chaotic and bigger than anything I think I have seen in this genre and it’ll be interesting to see if and how they can top it in the already green lit sequel. One of two reasons I recommend seeing Man of Steel in IMAX.

The other is Hans Zimmer’s score, the best I have heard in a long time and better or at least equal to John Williams’ original,  It’s more epic than his score for The Dark Knight trilogy and louder than Inception to the point where the room I was in felt like it was physically shaking. 

In regards to cast, Christoper Reeve is always going to be a tough act to follow but Henry Cavill is an excellent Superman. He has the charm and wit needed for the role and fits the physique better than the previous actors. This being said, the jury is still out as to whether he can portray the bumbling Clark Kent, a side we rarely see this time, just as well.

Amy Adams is great casting as Lois Lane and gets to play her with an integrity somewhat missing in previous versions. She slips into this role with ease and her chemistry with Cavill is spot on.

Michael Shannon is excellent as General Zod, my favourite villain in the Superman series. He clearly put his all into this role and is as menacing as Terence Stamps version.

The rest of the cast is flawless too, my personal highlights being Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Russell Crowe as Jor-El who to put it simply is a bad-ass in this.

Man of Steel is not only the best Superman film ever made but is the best superhero film ever made. A bold statement to make but one I firmly believe in. It’s summer film at it’s best, crammed with action and spectacle but at the same time an emotional resonance lacking in other blockbusters.

In a world filled with so much darkness it’s refreshing to take a break from the social commentary of Batman and see a film primarily about hope. I will be seeing Man of Steel again and I can’t recommend it enough. 

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