If there is one super hero whom I have liked the most, it would be Superman (No doubt in mind). Boy – who doesn’t want to fly – maybe some people with altitude sickness but who cares anyway. We wanna fly – lets stick to it for now. One has to note that, not just the flying attracts me to him but his urge to help and his sense of justice, these are the two aspects that give meaning to this character.(Well! The blog needs to make a point). Though the superhero’s character development involved a lot of thought, his alter ego is not very convincing (meh!). Who wouldn’t find out that the guy with and without glasses are the same person, Lois Lane (dumb), no less. But one cannot question Zack Snyder about this for two reasons. One – it’s not his idea that Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent and two – he changed the game. His movie doesn’t portray Lois Lane as the stupid reporter who wouldn’t know Superman if he stared her in the eyes but as an investigate journalist who uncovers his secret by tracking him down and finding him for who he really is – a farm boy.
Yes we are here to review the much awaited and not so disappointing Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. (Finally I said it).
Before going to a movie, it’s become a habit of several people including me to look at Internet Movie Database commonly known as IMDB not just to see the movie’s best special effects in the form of a trailer, but also to see what other people have said about the movie. You see the movie’s rating before you hit the theatre – if not the first day. So I did and I saw that the rating crossed 8. I am not sure if IMDB intended me to expect much from this movie that what actually is but I am sorry to say it did. So there I was sitting with high expectations and its Zack Snyder for crying out loud. The man made some very good movies like 300, Suckerpunch and one of my most favorite super hero movies of all time, Watchmen. He usually had this uncanny ability to bring out some unsettling truths about being a superhero. This for one was something that I wished to see in Superman. I mean – how bad could things get for Superman – I was waiting to see.
I have always admired Russell Crowe as an actor. He delivers. This movie is no exception. He sticks to his role, Jor-El and the portrayal is subtle. No complaints here. (Trust me, coming from me, this is a great compliment but the guy’s won an Oscar, so everyone knows).
Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van has this teary look throughout (her ten minutes of screentime that is) and even though she doesn’t evoke the powerful sentiment that I expected she is not a bad choice. I mean when Kal-El leaves Krypton, its as high as it gets, the sentimentality. But I am not a Kryptonian, maybe that’s the reason why I did not feel sentimental, I mean who knows right? The special effects in Krypton are pretty good – this is one of Zack’s trademarks. Every scene must be big and loaded with CG. So what we are trying to say so far is – Clark has left the planet.
Jor-El is dead and the villain has been introduced as General Zod – the rebellious militant commander who attempts a coup of Krypton. He is a villain alright – he kills Jor-El but that’s the extent of his achievement. He is captured and is exiled into space into a black hole – as most space movies do – no big surprises here. I have always liked Michael Shannon as an actor. He plays very complex roles with ease. His portrayal of John Givings in Revolutionary Road is a fine example of his skills. He is a man of theater and though he is good at portraying complex emotions, I found out from this movie that he is not good at something – a man cannot be all that perfect. He simply cannot scream. When he was crying “I will find him” in this movie, I felt like his throat was dry – I mean someone give this guy a glass of water. He is not as menacing as I would expect General Zod to be. He had to be taller, bigger with much deeper voice and menacing eyes. He looked the exact opposite.
This being said, Antje Traue is a true surprise. She was one of the best things that ever happened to this movie. Faora-Ul is as menacing as she can be. When she says, “You will not win. For every human you save, we will kill a million more”, I really wanna believe her. If I were to describe her portrayal of Faora, she was “convincing and real”.
Kevin Costner may be a good actor but he really requires screentime to showcase his talents. His scenes though meant to be emotional and help to define Clark Kent for who he is, are not very effective. One of the scenes explains the reason for Clark’s anonymity but I did not feel it (Sad story!)
Diane Lane is a fine actress. Now that said, she is not right for Martha Kent. What can I say? She just lacked the motherliness of the role. I was happier with Annette O’Toole as Martha in Smallville than with Diane Lane in this movie. What more, the relationship between Clark and Martha is not well established in this movie. There are good scenes but the necessary emotion is lacking.
Amy Adams auditioned three times under different actors for Lois Lane finally to become HER in this movie only to find out that there isn’t a flying romantic scene with Superman. Must suck! She doesn’t seem to complain but I will. When I saw her in the Doubt, I was convinced that she should win a supporting actor Academy award. But she proved to be a poor choice for Lois in this movie. The charm and the wit needed for that character is missing. She just seems older, tired – just doesn’t feel like the adventurous hot girl next to the super-hero.
Henry Cavill – a man who has proved himself to be one of the actors who can put in work for a role – why am I getting this feeling that I am hearing “hear hear” all around me. Anyway, well, (too many adjectives but what the heck!) the long and hard struggle to get into one such leading role proves that he’s done a lot of work to get here (Even though everyone knows this, it’s worth mentioning). But we are not here to talk about his woes (uh-uh) but about his work in this movie (Yus!). Does he look the role? The Oohs and the Awws from the gals in the theatre answers this question. He is certainly no Christopher Reeve but we are not asking for one now. He looks great, the costume is better, technology is advanced. But the real question is there are some moments in this movie in which we are supposed to really FEEL him (emotionally I mean). Well, well, some people feel this way either because they are so close to the character or because they like him not entirely because of his acting skills. In terms of looks he is an easy A but in terms of acting, he has a long way to go. I am not complaining that he did not do well, no sir, – he certainly is suitable and what more, capable (now what are we saying here?) but is all his acting talents showcased? This is a definite NO. I am hoping for better acting and looks (duh) in the announced Man of Steel 2. Zack (or the gym guy or the special effects guy), make it count!
Before I went to the movie, I had no idea who wrote the background score for this movie. The movie started playing and the horns started blaring and I knew, I snapped my fingers and I knew it must be MUST be Hans Zimmer. A lot of people compare him to John Williams and John Barry of our generation. Now I ask them why. When there is a John Williams, why can’t you take Hans as himself? Why is there a need to compare? Maybe people like comparisons but whatever. His score for this movie is awesome and gives Superman a brand new feel which is great. Well you ought to hear it to feel it is all I can say at this point. Magnificent! The tune was more like inception but different nevertheless and who cares about an Oscar nomination (I am surprised if he gets one for this but I don’t really care!). Great music is great music Oscar nominated or not. Same goes with movies but let’s stick to the point.
Only one question remains – should I see this movie or not? Yes you most definitely should. – there I said it! A lot of creativity and hardwork is involved and it is a good script. But I am not too fond of the making and emotions don’t fly high. See the movie and tell me I am wrong.