Directed by Zack Snyder, Man Of Steel is the latest superhero blockbuster that follows DC‘s comic book character Superman. His return to screen tells the origins of his story, as a young boy, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. Journeying to discover where he came from, the soon-to-be hero must figure out what he was sent here to do if he is to save the world from annihilation when it is invaded by a member of his own race, General Zod (Michael Shannon), and to become the symbol of hope for all mankind.
First off, I’m yet to see any of Christopher Reeve‘s Superman films so I can’t comment on how they compare, and the only Superman film I have seen before this is the 2006 Superman Return.
As the first instalment in a new Superman franchise, Zack Snyder‘s Man Of Steel is epic beyond all measures. A film about Superman’s origins, the story that Man Of Steel follows is both surprising and fascinating to watch. Split into two halves, the first set on Krypton and the second coming back down to Earth, the film works on many levels; as a stand-alone film, aside from being a superhero blockbuster, Man Of Steel is a brilliant science fiction. The CGI world of Krypton is incredible and it’s great to see so much back story to Superman’s character, which kicks the film off superbly.
As a superhero blockbuster on its own, as well, Man Of Steel is still amongst the top of the pile. Snyder is well-known for his brilliant action sequences, and Man Of Steel is filled with some of the best. One of the biggest flaws of the film is that it suffers terribly from shakey-cam syndrome, but at the same time this hand-held camera technique works amazingly during these many moments of action. Whilst some of the sequences are overly long, they also emphasise Superman’s Godly powers and the gigantic amount of destruction that has been created through his conflict with Zod, and that’s what makes this film so epic.
Whilst it doesn’t quite have the emotional impact I thought it would from the trailer, Man Of Steel is certainly tense, but that’s a given when there is so much at stake with a superhero like this. Unlike many other superhero blockbusters, however, Man Of Steel didn’t need to rely on any comedy to fall back on. Maybe it will have to include a few, better, one-liners in the sequels after such an intense first instalment, but ending on a regular note, there’s obviously a lot more to look forward to in its future releases.
As for the casting, Henry Cavill undeniably looks the part. I don’t feel as an actor he was given enough time to shine as the use of flashbacks meant we got to see a lot of a younger Clark Kent, as well, but his performance was certainly promising. The supporting cast was good too, and I’m surprised that I enjoyed Amy Adams as his love interest Lois Lane at all, but the two worked well together for the most part. It was Michael Shannon who excelled, though, as his villainous character was one of the best performances he has ever given, and was overall a terrific and equally terrifying superhero villain.
Thoroughly impressed by Man Of Steel, I can’t wait to see the next instalment in this franchise and also to see how this will lead the DCEU. (Update: It’s such a shame that all of the other films in the DCEU weren’t half as good as this one.)