Man of Steel review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
The well known all-American story about a distinctly un-American, and un-human, superhero is back and this time under the supervision of comic book movie aficionado Christopher Nolan. Man of Steel is his reimagining of the classic Superman genesis story; the child sent from his doomed home planet to Earth with spectacular powers of super strength, flight and funky laser eyes, to save the world from evil.
The evil in this particular film comes in the form of General Zod, also a Kryptonian, one of the few left in the universe, banished from their home planet as a criminal, moments before the whole place explodes. Now in search of the genetic codex that holds all the information about any future Kryptonian’s Zod is determined to resurrect his race on planet Earth, at the expense of the humans currently living there that is.
Earth’s only hope is the handsome red-caped hero that is otherwise known as Clark Kent.
A very familiar story to most no doubt, and that is the overall feeling gained from the film as a whole, that there really isn’t anything new on offer here. Where Nolan’s version of the Batman story was strikingly different, darker and more adult when compared to it’s earlier on screen adaptations; Man of Steel still emanates the clean cut WASP sensibilities apparent in Christopher Reeve’s versions of the series in the late 1970’s.
So not only do you feel like you’re watching something you’ve seen before but the slow pace and gaps in the narrative also cause the film to fail to really hold your attention.
In what one can only assume is an attempt to conceal the plot holes Nolan has opted to fill the final act of the film with the complete and utter destruction of the city of Metropolis. Though visually impressive the violence is so constant and intense that after a while it loses all meaning; the pointlessness rising to a dull crescendo in the final, final battle between Superman and Zod where the killing blow appears significantly deflated and unimportant alongside the epic explosions previously witnessed.
I had expected something more from Man of Steel something with a bit more fibre and bit more grit, having never read the comics myself I can’t possibly compare the tone of the two, although the prevalence of the aforementioned clean-cut tone suggests that perhaps Nolan was being true to his source material.
Luckily the film has one or two saviours within its cast; Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Superman’s alien father is a surprisingly enigmatic choice, whilst Cavil as the farm boy Kent himself fits the part perfectly. Stealing the show however is Amy Adams as Lois Lane, her stunning smile and screen presence blowing everyone else out the water.