Man of Steel

Star Trek Into Darkness - Rated 12A in the UKMan of Steel - 3 stars

When I was very young my parents took me to see the first Superman and apparently when I saw him on screen I exclaimed “Look at the big man!”, so following from that early event in my life and the intriguing trailers I decided to give this latest remake, Man of Steel, a shot.

PlotMan of Steel - Plot - 2 stars

Sadly the one thing which let this film down for me was the plot. It was nice to have more than just a baby being launched into space at the beginning, some of the back story about Krypton is a nice addition. This could have been built up more but Clark’s story then becomes a little disjointed. All too often there were either deus ex machina events, plot holes or just parts which required more than a simple leap of faith that I didn’t fully engage with the film.

Once again the background of Kal-El’s super abilities don’t seem to quite all fit together, especially as he initially jumps to move from place to place (which later other Kryptonians seem to do as well) then he seems to somehow suddenly master some sort of innate ability to control his own weight within Earth’s gravitational pull. This irks me, he may somehow be super strong and thus able to leap from continent to continent etc, but just floating on command strikes me as telekinesis or similar.

Oh, and clearly his suit is made of some phenomenal material which can resist re-entry into the atmosphere, and crashing through hillsides etc. I want some of that tailoring please …

CastMan of Steel - Cast - 4 stars

The balance against the plot for me was the cast, which I actually really liked due to the wide supporting cast. Laurence Fishburne was a bit of a surprise, looking a little tubby, and Kevin Costner is an old man now but somehow it fits really nicely. Russell Crowe’s paternal role seems very nicely done, the man does seem to suit playing characters which have major burdens of responsibility.

Michael Shannon’s rendition of Zod seems to falter a little in a couple of spots, but it isn’t terrible and it may be because Antje Traue is great alongside that it exacerbates these minor moments.

Visuals & EffectsMan of Steel - Visuals & Effects - 3 stars

As you might expect with a major summer film Zack Snyder pulls out quite the visual experience, there are sweeping scenes as Clark explores his super abilities and plenty of special effects throughout which are integrated seamlessly into the modern day world. J.J. Abrams could learn a thing or two about how to do simple yet appropriately strong lens flare from this film for instance, something I mention in my Star Trek review and noticed again in Super 8 which I watched the other night. Indeed the wardrobe is all very nicely done from average people from earth to the Kryptonian suits of armour.

What bothered me was the insistence on several scenes where it is simply difficult to have any idea what is really going on. Yes, he’s fast. So are the others from Krypton. Does that mean we should be subjected to jerking camera angles, explosions and fast moving characters all at once? My answer to that is no. I suspect that Snyder was going for that documentary visual style which was recently made popular by Battlestar Galactica combined with frenetic action of big movies which doesn’t entirely pan out for me.

SoundtrackStar Trek Into Darkness - Soundtrack - 3 stars

You might expect there to be huge and epic songs in the background, plenty of good explosions and various cool sounds when super abilities are used … and you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t expect to come away from the film with anything unexpected either. If anything in this film sticks to the old established superman more than anything else it is the soundtrack.

Conclusion – Man of SteelMan of Steel - 3 stars

I saw a number of comments about how there were religious over/undertones in the film online before going to see it, and yes I guess you could say that but it is more because of the plot angles than trying to comment on our own religions as a whole in my opinion. Simply put the movie was neither amazing nor terrible, just middle of the road Hollywood big budget film. Personally I think with a good HD TV and bluray when it comes out this is worth popping on one Sunday evening to relax and not need to engage the old noggin overly and be entertained.

Oh and the penultimate line? Very clever. Cheesy, but clever.