Man of Steel
Acting
Directing
Cinematography
Script
Timeless
1.3Overall Score

There has been some recent complaints about my too generous reviews which’s main reason that I pre-filter my movies and thus hardly watch any bad stuff…but ok. Man of Steel was one of these movies for which I had initially extremely high hopes when I saw the first trailer…but well a Christopher Nolan production does not equate to a Christopher Nolan movie, and that I think is the basic learning I take away from this film.

All along the movie, I thought they were trying to go for the “Batman Begin” elements of how the superhero is born giving him a more human element. With the huge production budget, the movie utilized all available Hollywood “weapons: an amazing (but completely underutilized) supporting cast, great close up shots, a Hans Zimmer soundtrack as well as pretty intense CGI. But do all these elements automatically form a great movie…as Michael Bay has shown us many times.

This movie has so many problems and it will be a long list to go through. So I will just try to list it out:

A bad script can destroy a whole movie

It starts with the script which just wants to address too many things at the same time without making it it conclusive and giving the movie a good flow. Starting with the birth of Kal-El (aka Clark Kent) and the downfall of Krypton, all tied in together with the journey of Clark to become accustomed to being a human while still being an outsider who then (of course) totally hits it off with Lois Lane. And of course the American military holds him captive but then notices that he is totally a bro…

Casting an up and coming but still “no-name” for main role can backfire

Another big problem is Henry Cavill – yes he looks like Superman(aka awesome) and yes is in fact a Man of Steel – but his performance is just so average and dull. It opens up the question if this movie should have given the role to a more season star who could have given the character a bigger ummpf. Another big character problem was the villain; an attempt was made to give General Zod a purpose (of prevailing the planet of Krypton) while still making him evil enough to root for Superman. Michael Shannon might be a good actor (even I personally haven’t seen anything groundbreaking from him yet) but he was just a complete failure in this movie. So characterwise, Man of Steel really had a huge problem with its main cast.

154 min is a long time if a movie sucks

I have my personal problems (as any movie watcher I assume) with movies which exceed 120 minutes…maybe it is also just my movie ADD. And agreeably so, there are in fact movies which just need longer to tell their story and if it is an interesting it actually can equate into an amazing and highly entertaining experience (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Dark Knight, Good Fellas, Gladiator … to only name a few). And to their defense, the film did cover a lot of ground to introduce us to Superman, but it just does it in the most non-engaging, disruptive and non-entertaining way. And then the finale seems like it was going on forever.

Why waste such a great supporting cast?

You have a movie with a supporting cast of Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe…and all you can come up with is this overly mediocre movie. Not that their performances are bad, everyone of these actors gives their character their own personal note which probably makes the movie somewhat better. But it is hard to overperform in an underperforming movie. And I assume they had all hoped for being part of the next Dark Knight franchise…which this movie clearly is not going to be (despite a decent box office performance).In fact after seeing this movie, I less than ever excited about the 2016 Batman vs. Superman movie – as it will also be directed by Zach Snyder. Luckily this will have no association with the Dark Knight Trilogy and thus will not “Star Wars-Episode-1” it just to milk the cow a little further

Decide which tone you want to give your superhero franchise

In the past years, the industry has gone for two types of superhero movies:

  • The Dark Knight Archetyp
  • The Avenger Superhero CGI Party

The mentioned trailer pointed towards the former which in concert with Christopher Nolan being the producer could only mean that this movie is aiming really high. It didn’t want to be just another Marvel party with lots of CGI, some cool and snarky Robert Downey Jr. comments and a flat story. No this movie was aiming to give mystery to the superhero who inevitably has the most problematic history in Hollywood. It tried to create another more interesting Lois Lane (which comes with the territory when casting Amy Adams) and it wanted to give the movie the depth and grandiosity which inevitably is supported by any Hans Zimmer soundtrack. But it lacked mistery, depth and grandiosity which it ultimately tried to equalize with the mentioned CGI bombardment in the finale of the film. And thus in my mind, the movie completely failed its mission.

You can’t be beaten to death but your neck can break?

By that time of the movie, I was already mentally checked out and if you don’t want to hear more about the final superhero fight (STOP READING NOW)…but seriously when a superhero can be thrown through literally 3 skyscrapers, be hit with a construction bar, kicked up to a space station and back…and still not be killed…how is it possible for him to die with the oldest of all tricks…BREAK HIS NECK. I mean if it’s that easy, they should have just hired John Matrix and he could have given him a taste of “Please don’t wake my friend, he is dead tired”.

Admittedly, this was a very long rant which the movie may even not deserve but maybe it was also the disappointment about the way the Hollywood studios bombed yet another attempt to make a good Superman movie (I admit that I was not a big fan of the Christopher Reeves ones as well). Maybe, the bar was just set too high and the Superman character doesn’t really lend itself to a Marvel “Iron-Man-esque” party movie but still in the end one has to ultimately say, this movie was boring, long and just not good at all. Please don’t make a sequel…

The Good

  • Solid supporting cast with “good but not great” performances
  • Nice camera shots and solid Hans Zimmer vibes

 

The Bad

  • Too many things to fit in only one list
  • Poor script, bad main actors and way too long
  • Movie which aimed way too high and landed way too low
Info

man_of_steel_xlg

  • Running time: 143 min
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Superhero<strong>
  • Year: 2013

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