Father’s Day was the perfect occasion for some father-son bonding, so Sahaj & I decided to watch the Man of Steel in action to celebrate the day. For all of us dads who are the first superheroes in the lives of our young ones, Man of Steel did cash on the father-son relationship through the movie.
Superman has always been different from all the other superheroes. The others are humans first and the superhero is their alter-ego. Kal-El (Superman’s real name) is an alien/ superhero first and Clark Kent is his alter-ego, or more importantly he models his human character on how he perceives a human being.
Man of Steel commences from the birth of Kal-El and how is parents Jor-El and Lara, send him away from their Planet Krypton, before it is destroyed. Most of us have grown up reading Superman comics and watching Christopher Reeve (the original Superman from the series of 4 movies) play the part and know the story by heart of how superman was born and the journey of a child with super human strength from a baby to a savior of mankind. This movie however for the first time has gone in-depth tracing the origins of Superman and not only his birth but how the transformation and adaptation came about. The attention to these details seems to have dragged the movie a little to the point of sometimes being boring.
There are interesting points in the life of Superman highlighted and shot well, but the plot bounces around a lot from current day to flashbacks demanding a lot of focus and attention from the viewer. Every time I watch a superhero movie, I feel the high point is the grand entrance (preferably saving a damsel or human in distress) which makes you wants to clap and whistle. Somehow, the makers of this movie failed on that front. The human connect is almost non-existent, barring the scene where Clark Kent as a kid rescues a school bus (which was kind of cool), & his interactions with his Dad and Lois Lane. Man of Steel comes across more like a sci-fi movie rather than a superhero trying to save the world. The build-up to the character seems to have been the focus in the first half, which will keep you riveted, but the second half disappoints with the not-so-required action sequences.
Full marks to the special effects team for creating worlds beyond imagination, at times I was wondering men creating these concepts must be thinking way beyond any normal human’s realms of imagination. Zack Snyder created the cult epic 300 and I was really impressed with his take on Superman. Having to break the mould of so many past movies, TV series, printed comics takes courage and conviction and one thing I would like to tell Mr. Snyder, this one by far is my favorite superman, who looks and acts the part. The sequels to Man of Steel should be the ones to watch out for now.
Henry Cavill with his tough body, boy next door looks and intense eyes fits well into the part of a confused but strong individual. Cavill depicts the inner turmoil which Superman would have gone through with a terrific performance and ironically, a man of steel who can emote. Now that he has arrived, Superman is here to stay and only Cavill can do justice to the character.
Amy Adams as Lois Lane does her part as a journalist pretty effectively, but she is not as hot as we had always presumed Lois to be. Her character has been carefully written and she gets lots of opportunities to shine in an otherwise one man film. This movie is an ensemble of great actors like Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Laurence Fishburne & Diane Lane, all of whom have small parts. Kevin Costner impresses in his small role of Jonathan Kent (Superman’s earth father) especially in his interactions with Clark, the rest however did not get the screen space to make a mark. Michael Shannon as General Zod is menacing and a worthy villain to Superman with his towering personality. The young Cooper Timberline as the 9 year old Clark gets a meaty role and does complete justice to it with his surprisingly realistic performance.
Now that Man of Steel is here to stay on our planet I am hoping the subsequent plots would revolve more around and his arch nemeses Lex Luthor. Even though my rating would be a 3/5, I would suggest you go and watch the evolution of the first and the original superhero.
P.S. As I post this review on the blog, I just realized today is one year of my writing on the blog … another milestone achieved.