Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Man of Steel Film Review

It’s hard to describe what I thought of Man of Steel. I genuinely enjoyed some moments in the film and how they were arranged. Though, ultimately the troubling and more derivative diatribe takes precedence in place of any sophisticated character development, or any meaningful legacy imparted on the viewer. I liked the flashbacks and how they were used towards the beginning of the film, but they went a little too far with them about half way through which left awkward moments in the pacing. The villains with the exception of Zod were perhaps the stupidest I’ve ever seen in a film. The Avengers with the crappy one-dimensional Chitauri creatures had more worthy and effective villains. 

The last half of the movie is filled with enough explosions to make Michael Bay piss his pants. I just wanted to stop watching the film it was that terrible. From small hysterical chuckles at how inane the action was, the destruction of all Human life in Metropolis and Smallville became unbearably solemn and I thought to myself “Here’s Clark Kent, an alien whom had just discovered his ancestry and literally just put the suit on, now has no other development as a character other than create a carnage of absolute mayhem and destruction in some fight scene which is indescribable by any means. Why do I care for anyone in this film?” Actually, I felt great sympathy for Zod and his plans is more what I was thinking. 

The special effects by Weta Digital were great, but all for naught when they failed to grasp any meaning whatsoever and turned my mind to mush about how childishly they were used. The scene with the world engine with the phantom drive pulsating through the earth and affecting the gravity causing everyone In the vicinity of the singularity to be repeatedly lifted then smashed into the ground reminds me of what my brothers and I used to do with our toys when we younger – slam them on the ground!

At times I felt the need for Clark to keep his identity secret was unnecessary given the circumstances. Jonathan Kent lectures Clark about his choice to use his powers to save people on the bus as one of the parents became aware and concerned with. I didn’t think it was necessary in the sense that no one would have believed either party in the situation – from Clark’s side he is just a kid whom no one would believe could have saved a bus full of other children and from the other side a blatant religious nut who thinks it was some divine intervention. That parts up to you I’m afraid, and I’ll let you decide as to its necessity in the film.

Snyder and Nolan wanted a more gritty, more real Superman which doesn’t work and didn’t entirely work in this film. A character like Batman, a vigilante, not a superhero is more believable and more reasonable therefore the grittiness and essence of the Nolan films are befitting of the character and tone. But here you have a super powered omnipotent being who is outwardly patriotic in the character’s history and it is being forced and squashed to be something it isn’t. Superman is a jolly character who is there to save people not just Lois Lane. He smashes ENTIRE cities in this film and he’s congratulated for saving the earth? By the time we make it to the end of the film, Clark is introduced to the Daily Planet team and wearing disguise, glasses and all, and we are meant to feel as if some great adventure awaits us in the next film or that we should care anymore for the characters than the few minutes of screen time they get. With the older films, I enjoyed the fact that Lois didn’t know who Superman’s real identity was and this gave a reason for Clark to be situated working there for the benefit of the story arc to be fulfilled!

The portrayal of the military in the film is insulting to say the least, making them have no useful part to play in this movie other than to cause more visual mayhem to bombard the screen. The level of inaccuracy as far as I can tell to the response effort of the armed forces and purely stupid actions they undertake is disgraceful and without taste. You can have the military in films, but when you involve them, you make sure that they are handled appropriately and effectively -

 Not the mess in the film.

This film left me conflicted and hoping that if this trilogy evolves and continues on in the future that the stupidity and coldness evoked by the first film is discarded and we can truly have a Superman film, not the Dark Knight Trilogy repackaged.

Oh and Hans Zimmer’s score was blatant, in your face, and so repetitive that it became everything a film score shouldn’t be. The score should carry the emotional connection between the visual and the audience and underline it, not highlight it in the sickliest of fluorescent pink marker. The theme had its moments and it matured, but this was only in the first half-hour or so making it become overstated . It won’t be remembered like John Williams’ iconic theme will be, thank goodness.
I would recommend this film if you enjoyed Transformers: Dark of the Moon or films on that level of maturity as this film is devoid of any whatsoever.

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