People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
I’m pretty burnt out on the gee-wilikers world of the Marvel Universe flicks. Iron Man 3 just about did me in with its de-balling of one of the great comic book villains of all time in favor of, er, Guy Pierce with a sunburn. Zack Snyder hasn’t always made perfect films (I’m still that guy that thinks 300 is puh-retty boring) but his adaptation of Watchmen is as strong a bit of comic-book filmmaking as any out there, and the fact that he’s helming the perpetually troubled Son of Krypton gives me hope. Also, Captain Serious himself, Christopher Nolan is back-seat driving this motherfucker. We’ve got nothing to worry about! Right?
Man Of Steel is, quite frankly, an amazing superhero film. Zack Snyder has managed to take the most iconic aspects of Superman (the flying, the world of Krypton, hell, even the Fortress of Solitude) and blended them together to tell a real thematic stack of pancakes. There was worry that Snyder would just tell another Superman origin story and though this is, at its core, the story of Superman, Snyder edits the film as three story-lines at once, bouncing back and forth in time, so the origin doesn’t become the focus, it becomes a part of the character of Superman. This is less about Clark Kent and how he learned to fly, and more about Superman and how he became a hero to the world of man. Henry Cavill, as British as a this man is, is perhaps the most perfect looking Superman of all time, somehow managing to look like all of America squished through a juicer and poured in to a hugely-muscled man mold. Is he a great actor? At times (in particular the moment with him below the underpass was a strong out-pouring of emotion) and at others, who cares, he’s a big, strapping superhero who just needs to look intimidating and beat the hell out of some rogue Kryptons. Oh, the Kryptons in this film led by angry-faced Michael Shannon are absolute treats as villains. This is evil defined by purpose and then escalated to an immense new scale. These aren’t Iron Man v. Sunburn Guy Pierce, these are forces of nature that will destroy and kill to get what they want. The battles in this film are epic. From the streets of Smallville to the center of Metropolis these are game-changing battles that leave cities and towns in ruin. So much so that at one point at the end of the film as Zod and Superman are leveling buildings by punching each other through them I said to myself, “Yeah right Metropolis is going to accept Superman after all this, he just destroyed their city in a punching match.” But hell, it’s a superhero movie and the first of its kind (though Joss Whedon’s Avengers tried so hard) to really showcase the power and danger of god-like strength opened up in the middle of a public place. These are weapons of mass destruction and Snyder uses them as such. This is the best superhero flick that’s hit the screens since Nolan’s The Dark Knight. You need to see it, and you need to see it on the big screen.
Superman is actually Clark Kent! Someone call scrappy news-hound Lois Lane and break the story! C’mon!