“Man of Steel” - Review
With the film “Man of Steel” we are introduced once again to the timeless story of “Superman” literally from its genesis of where the planet Krypton is standing on the imminent precipice of destruction due to an unstable planet core. Scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara knowing that all is lost make the agonizing decision to send their new born child Kal-El in a ship along with all of the Codex Genetics of the people of Krypton to a distant planet called Earth where they believe it would be suitable for their son to flourish and ultimately help preserve the Krypotonian race.
We also see how the young boy grows up with his human name of Clark Kent; and how he learns both his honest and upright values from his loving and protective human parents, as well as how he manages his unexplainable powers that ultimately cause him great emotional confusion as to who he really is, to know where he really came from and what was the reason he was sent to earth.
I won’t bore you with any more background as I am certain you can take the story from here and the arrival General Zod. What is critical is does the story of “Man of Steel” work in 2013 with all of the possible and available magic of computers, blue screens technology and special affects wizardry not afforded the 1950s George Reeves’s TV show “Superman”. My answer is no.
When I heard Zack Snyder was going to be at the helm Directing this project and not Christopher Nolan who did a superb job with the Christian Bale Batman Trilogy I had immediate reservations on his ability to tell a coherent story. And while Snyder did a good job in the action film “300” and a passable effort in “Watchmen”, my opinion of his vision came to fruition; that being someone who probably in his youth played countless hours on Nintendo or Play station; became proficient at playing various video games and had the epiphany as an adult that directing feature films would be equally as easy.
His direction is like watching someone take a bunch of odd shaped pieces of quilt fabric being push pinned down to the floor to stay in one place and then transition into one huge cloth not with the subtlety of a fine needle and thread but with a thick rope threaded through a hammer. It feels heartless, jagged, stiff, rushed and unconnected from scene to scene and just like with video games where you have the flexibility to make things up as you go along, so was my feeling of “Man of Steel”, made up as it went along.
No matter what the genre (drama, action, comedy, and romance) making movies is not about simply stringing a series of vertically straight time line scenes together and hoping they work together as entertainment as MOS does. Snyder’s linear punchy approach filled the screen with what can only be described as an infatuation or preoccupation on his part with endless mindless chaotic explosions and zipping visual action across the screen without any regard for a smooth transition from one scene to the next.
From books, to plays, to TV, to movies, it always come back to telling a meaningful soulful story and making the reader or viewer genuinely care for the characters well being; making their plight your plight, their anxiety your anxiety, their fears your fears, their joy your joy and their triumph your triumph. MOS soul is about energy and nothing else.
“Man of Steel” is never boring, just not well made and not very interesting or memorable either. I felt especially disappointed today in what I saw, particularly in what could have be a fabulous reboot to a solid franchise that is currently in the process of it’s sequel as you read.
So if I can offer a hint to the producers on the sequel; find a different Director next time.
2 – 3/4 Stars