Review: Man of Steel

Poster for 2013 action film Man of Steel

Genre: Action
Certificate: 12
UK Release Date: 14th June 2013
Runtime: 143 minutes
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: David S Goyer
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner
Synopsis: When a malicious alien warrior threatens the Earth, a young man from Krypton must come to terms with his roots to defend his adopted planet.



Any superhero film released post-Avengers has to carry the baggage of that movie’s genius. Similarly, any DC film must compete with the unbelievable success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Unfortunately, Man of Steel brings Superman back, not with a bang… but with an hour of tedious CGI explosions.

When Jor-El (Russell Crowe) defies the attempted coup of General Zod (Michael Shannon), he manages to transport his beloved son Kal-El (Henry Cavill) to Earth. Years later, Kal – now known as Clark Kent – meets journalist Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and soon must defend his adopted planet from the threat of Zod.

Man of Steel is a very bizarre movie. It’s one of the only films I’ve seen where every single member of the cast is underused. Each bit of casting makes perfect sense, but none of the stars seem to have been given any room to breathe by Zack Snyder’s direction or David S Goyer’s script. Only Michael Shannon really stands out – mostly because he’s hammier than Peppa Pig eating a bacon sandwich.

Unfortunately, there is tug of war going on throughout Man of Steel between the twin influences of Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder. The result is something akin to a collaboration between Terrence Malick and Michael Bay. Segments of the film feel a bit like ‘The Clark Knight’ and the latter stages are a wall of noise and sound that even trumps Snyder’s earlier efforts. There’s also gratuitous lens flare that would make even JJ Abrams wince.

Much of Man of Steel’s first and third acts involves boring CGI action taking place amongst boring CGI landscapes. There’s nothing fun happening at all, with a startling lack of funny bone for such a tentpole blockbuster film. If this proves to be the beginning of a Justice League universe, Aquaman is going to have to do a song and dance routine just to help the audience crack a smile.

In short, this was simply the wrong way to do a Superman movie. The cast are promising and there are grains of a good franchise lurking amongst the rubble. But there’s just too much pointless noise and not enough fun.



Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.

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