Wednesday 12 June 2013

Man of Steel review

Man of Steel (12A/PG-13, 143 mins)
Director: Zack Snyder
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Continuing what’s been a fairly decent summer season so far, the year’s most anticipated movie arrives with high hopes of successfully furthering the adventures of the most iconic of all superheroes, Superman. Henry Cavill dons the cape as Kal-El, the only survivor of the doomed planet Krypton, sent to earth as a baby by his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe).

Part origin story and part continuation of the mythology, it’s a smartly structured blend of Superman and Superman II that flashes to Kal’s childhood, filling us in on adoptive parents, the Kents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) who bring him up as Clark. It’s this that gives the film a real emotional depth, as Clark struggles with who he is, coming to terms with his powers in a film about choices and decisions on a massive scale.

Steeped in the classic Superman iconography and acknowledging but not overplaying Kal-El’s status as a god among men, Man of Steel is respectful to its cinematic predecessors without the need for the suffocating reverence that blighted Superman Returns.

The serious threat that forms the comic-book conflict of the second half comes from General Zod (Michael Shannon), who was banished from Krypton and has made it to earth with plans of resurrecting his planet at the expense of ours. A properly menacing Shannon facing off against the perfectly cast Cavill is the backbone of a rousing adventure, while Amy Adams adds layers of strength and intelligence as Lois Lane.

The action is truly cataclysmic, fully recognising the fact that these are near indestructible super-beings fighting, so when they hit each other, they stay hit, and entire cities crumble in their wake. It’s stunning stuff, with director Zack Snyder gleefully taking advantage of the $200m worth of resources available to him as all memories of the disappointing Returns are wiped clean, and the best Superman movie since the first one in 1978 reaches the stratosphere.


  1. So why only 4 stars instead of 5 ?.

  2. That's a fair question. I was writing the review against the clock but if I'd had more time I guess I'd have pointed out that it doesn't quite have the level of gravitas that the trailer suggested, and some of the action can be a bit samey. And I'm just very mean with my five stars!

  3. Cheers my old mate, thanks for the explanation.

  4. Is it worth watching? And is it better than the rest of them?