Completely unlike a speeding bullet, Man of Steel, sadly, did not move me. Was it graceful like a bird? No. Was it powerful like a plane? Nope. Was it Superman? …Yeesss? In all honesty it was just…meh. Now, let’s not knock the whole thing, there are plenty of good things to praise (great costumes, fabulous set-work, a first class soundtrack) but it completely loses you with the script. I mean: “He’s kinda hot.” …Yes. Yes he is. Thank you for the commentary.
Man of Steel is meant to be the start of something beautiful: DC’s cinematic universe. We start on Krypton with fancy tech, tight clothes, and Russell Crowe. After a rough 30 minutes of trying to put the baby in the basket, Jor-El (Crowe) and Lara (Ayelet Zurer) finally succeed in sending their only son off into the darkness of space. Who am I kidding, we all know the story. Kal-El/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) lands on Earth and grows up under the loving care of Johnathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane). That is, until he grows into a freakishly strapping young man and wanders off into the deep shadows of the world (North-Eastern Canada) to lift heavy things and find himself. Instead he finds his biological father… sort of. Jor-El pompously steps into Clark’s life to educate him about his DNA and lend a holographic hand. Clark is soon to face a ship of angry Kryptonians who land on Earth to repopulate, redecorate, and track Clark down to… um… assimilate him into the collective?
That deserves its own paragraph because it seems there were more explosions in the movie than proper dialogue. Explosion – look an angry – explosion – short monologue – explosion – save the girl – explosion… What do you do when the main character and villains are indestructible? You destroy everything around them.
Crashing through stuff.
…Not to be confused with explosions as you can, in fact, get thrown through a building without igniting any C-4 stashed in the insulation. Hollywood may try to convince you of otherwise, but it’s true. “Superman was here” stamps are plastered around the planet in the form of gaping holes left in just about everything: office buildings, houses, IHOPs, Seven Elevens, cars, trucks, trains, train yards, train stations, condominiums, mountains, alien tripods (why do all aliens love tripods?), ozone layers, spaceships, and satellites… to name a few. But don’t worry, Superman is fine, because he’s the Man of Steel! I’m aware that being invincible is sort of his whole purpose in life, but you quickly begin to wonder when one invincible alien is going to defeat the other invincible alien, especially if one of them refuses to kill. Eventually our hero will inevitably go super-saiyan, power-up to over 9000, and be wracked with guilt for a whole day and a half.
Man of Steel doesn’t boast a whole lot of laughs. It’s not Iron Man, I know, but a little snicker is never a bad thing. The only times such giggles are offered are in secret, with implied jokes that poke you with a “That’s what she said…”
After leaving holes across the planet (up, down, through, and around) Superman is rewarded with a charming desk job and a terrible disguise. When you are an almighty god, what more is there to ask for in life? Perhaps we will find out when Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne bond over the fact that both their mothers were named “Martha”?
Lois Lane (Amy Adams) disappoints me, but that may just be a sour result of her script. Poor girl. Henry Cavill, meanwhile, is as handsome as need be (although the bits of chest hair escaping from his spandex scoop-neck are slightly distracting), and he does a great job of being a human who is actually an alien but who thinks like a human while seeing life like an alien… all while pretending to be human. The CGI is gloopy in places, but there is so much of it that to make it all look “real” would have taken years, so… forgivable?
Man of Steel is not as good as Iron Man 3 and definitely not on par with the Batman trilogy but I can see room for improvement; change the script – please – and you may have something special. In total, I’ll give it 6 hollowed trains, 2 peek-less mountains, and 23 punctured office buildings out of 64 struggling actors. In other words, 3.5/10.