We went to see the long-awaited Superman reboot “Man of Steel” last night but were universally disappointed in the result. Perhaps the bar has been set too high by The Dark Knight and The Avengers. Or perhaps Hollywood is in a bit of a rut. In any case, this is the third reboot of a popular series (after the abysmal Amazing Spiderman last year and this year’s mediocre-at-best Star Trek Into Darkness), and none have been particularly good. Even if the effects back in 1978 were primitive, we all preferred the aesthetic of that Krypton to this one. And this Krypton sequence never seemed to end – they could have easily cut out 10-15 minutes and not hurt the movie or the story. Worst were the endless fight scenes – they were unclear and hard to decipher in most cases and in particular the battle between Zod (played, I’ll admit, with pizzaz by Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Shannon (don’t you love his Van Alden?) and Superman at the end was so drawn out. We have seen the whole office building fight thing several times – this wasn’t significantly improved over, say, The Avengers. And, how is it that in the middle of Metropolis, there is this massive swatch of grey emptiness for the beginning of that fight? Were there some invisible bulldozers running while we weren’t looking?
There were lots of familiar faces: Laurence Fishbourne as the Daily Planet editor, Kevin Costner as Clark Kent‘s dad, and Michael Kelly (I love his Doug Stamper on House of Cards!), but an all-star cast cannot save this virtual world from mediocrity. Despite all the action scenes, I actually started yawning and felt sleepy during the film. I guess it was also due to the over-the-top music which was constant, too-loud and too insistent on trying to guide my emotional reaction to the characters and situations. I think that perhaps they use music as a crutch when they cannot write sufficiently good dialog for the actors. A sad state of affairs, but I prefer to form my own opinions and conclusions (look at a film like Taxi Driver with nearly no spfx or soundtrack and yet its story was far more compelling and universal than this). The other criticism that I wish to level is that I really didn’t even like Superman all that much. He didn’t seem to make choices on his own and did nothing that wasn’t motivated by an over-developed sense of altruism. There was no personal drama at all, no personal tension, no hard decisions to make. I think that there needs to be some central conflict in the character himself (Batman and his dark side, Iron Man and his insecurities and post-traumatic stress disorder) to make him interesting and worth watching. That was entirely absent in this film.
Preposterous and over-bearing, I found that I walked out of this film feeling a bit more empty than when I walked in. Definitely just a back-of-the-airplane-seat-cos-I-got-nuthin-to-read kind of movie in my book.
Fino rating: 2.0/5.0
- Man Of Steel – Satisfactory, not Excellent (pforpadya.wordpress.com)
- My Top 5 problems with Man of Steel (fanonfiresportswire.com)
- Man of Steel – review and thoughts (ameirblogs.wordpress.com)
- Man of Steel (weeklyfilmreviewer.com)