Man of Steel (2013) Review

It's good, it's REALLY good.

It’s good, it’s REALLY good.

It’s not an S. On my world it means hope.

You don’t know summer is here by the change in weather. Nor by the way people start to dress. Only when you begin to see trailers and posters for the next big superhero movie, do you start to believe summer is actually upon us. It will never feel like the summer unless we get superhero movie, they’ve proven to be safe money for studios. 2013 has already seen the return of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3 (Review Here), now it’s Superman’s turn to hog the limelight. But does his long-awaited return succeed in making Superman a hot topic? It certainly felt that way to me!

Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan and written by David S. Goyer, has the credentials behind it to make any movie lover go crazy. Zack Snyder knows his way around an action movie, and the people behind the greatest superhero trilogy ever conceived are helping him. This movie was going to be great before it had even been made. Man of Steel is about Clark Kent trying to find his purpose in life. He is then forced to confront his heritage and who he really is when Earth is invaded by members of his race.

Henry Cavill plays Superman in the movie, and if you didn’t like him now, you’ll like him after the movie. He’s an excellent Superman, being both a sympathetic character and an absolute badass when needed. Michael Shannon plays opposite to that as General Zod. We’ve not had the pleasure to such a greatly played villain since Heath Ledger was the Joker. He felt like a menace when on-screen and was able to hold his ground in fight scenes. Not to mention, he don’t give a flying fuck about us humans, he’s totally ready to kill everyone on earth. At Shannon’s side we have Antje Traue as Faora-Ul, she also plays a great villain but I feel as though she was a little underplayed in the movie and deserved more on-screen time.

Both Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner play Jor-El and Jonathan Kent respectively. They are the father figures towards Superman in the movie and do well to drive forward the more emotional moments in the movie. They both shape what Clarke is to grow up to be, and are both responsible for the birth of Superman. Amy Adams unfortunately didn’t quite nail Lois Lane for me. She felt like more of a forced love interest to me and didn’t do much in the story for me to care about her character. I literally wouldn’t have bat an eye lid if she had died or not, and it serves her right, she even flew into battle with the military at the end of the movie.

Unlike many other superhero movies that have blessed us in the past, Man of Steel features very little comedy relief. DC Comic movies generally go for that tone anyway, and it’s usually Marvel that love to put a lot to chuckle about in their movies. That works to Man of Steel’s advantage though, giving it a serious tone. That in turn, makes the overall movie seem more violent, we may not see blood everywhere, but having people punched across a city certainly makes you feel the contact. You can tell the guys behind The Dark Knight Trilogy had their hand in this movie as it features the same dark, adult tone you would get from one of the recent Batman movies.

Being directed by Zack Snyder, you’d expect nothing short of amazing from the action in the movie. No problem here, there’s plenty of it and it both looks and sounds amazing. To movie has few quiet moments, but those that are there give great motive and reasoning behind why Clarke wants to find out who he is and where he came from. On the other side of the coin, the action is spectacular. Zack Snyder uses his experience to great advantage here, with fight scenes where anything is possible, to seeing Metropolis fall victim the General Zod’s scheme. It’s eye candy at it’s very best, we know a lot of it is CGI, but we simply don’t give a shit. It looks that amazing and is extremely entertaining to watch.

The real highlight during the movie for me however is Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack. This guy knows his stuff when it comes to creating memorable music that truly resonates with the characters on-screen. He showed this with The Dark Knight Trilogy. I am also a big fan of his work in Inception too. Is this my favourite work he has done however? I’d have to listen to the whole soundtrack on its own, but it has a great chance to be his best work yet. The way the music and scenes on-screen are moulded together was a treat for both your eyes and ears. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but when we’re getting explosive action on-screen and epic music behind it, I shake a little with excitement. It may be just me, but it happened on a regular basis during Man of Steel. I can’t wait to get my hands on the OST as soon as I can. It’s the kind of music that builds up tension over time and then explodes with the orchestra in full effect.

I felt something I had never felt after watching a movie before. I’m not quite sure what, I was speechless, immediately wanting to watch the movie a second time. Was it the sheer scale of the movie? The kind of fights scenes were we can see people punch each other through buildings? A Superman that we can relate to? How about all of it and more. Not only is this Zack Snyder’s best movie to date, this is the best superhero movie we have ever gotten. This comes from a big fan of The Dark Knight movies, but it’s only when you watch it for yourself will you truly believe me. Now all we need is some worthy sequels and an equally worthy Justice League movie.

If your still reading at this point, please don’t. Open another tab, book some tickets to go and see Man of Steel, and experience one of the best cinematic experiences I’ve ever had. Whilst you’re at it to, try to make it an IMAX 3D booking if you can, it will blow your mind. Whilst not quite a perfect movie (what is?), this may be as close to perfect as we’re going to get this year.

10 Laps Around Earth out of 10

-ast

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