Superman is a product of the 1930’s, 1933 to be precise before the very idea was sold to DC comics. He is not and has never been a great favorite of mine. An alien who is for all purposes mostly human capable of incredible strength, durability and power seems too super for a hero. But then he goes and saves very often one of the dumbest women in the Comic’s world showing that perhaps not all of his muscles are super.
I was hoping that Man of Steel, the movie would change my view about this herculean wearer of red underpants. The story of the movie is not very different from the base of all Superman fiction. There is the alien kid who is shipped off by his parents to Earth, he is adopted a kind, pure bred American, childless couple. He at the onset of his adulthood discovers his origins and is out to save the Earth from doom impending which is an ex friend of his biological father. The father in this case is Russel Crowe who crops up more often than any other super hero parent before. The mother is Ayelet Zurer who manages to bring an ethnicity so lacking in the cast. Clark grows up among suspicions of the super natural by neighbors, school bullies and god fearing mothers. I quite liked how the trauma of a child who is aware of his differences is portrayed and not hidden under the veil of superness and undeniable strength. I am sure the writers and the director must be proud of this too.
The story progresses telling us of this Nomadic young man who leaves his job and life in one town after another when people start suspecting him. Henry Cavill, you realize at this point is perfect for this role. He is the exact shape and size as one would expect of a super hero with the iconic comic book hero square jaw and wavy black hair and sharp nose and kind eyes all thrown in. He also posses the ability to pull of a range of ages from early 20’s to 30’s making his role as the incident avoiding youngster believable. His encounter with Louis Lane and with his own past brings the story to comic book life again. Although Amy Adams doesn’t usually disappoint so much, perhaps her or the director’s enthusiasm for a perfect portrayal of the dumb reporter from the Planet leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There is only so much you can attribute to reporter curiosity and stereotypical characters of double X chromosome carriers who are the love interests of well meaning demigods.
As Clark realizes what he is and why is he so super come in General Zod with his cracking battalion of unfriendlies. At this point suddenly our hero slips into the spandex his dad left him and lands cape and all between the aliens and Americans. Here I have two bones to pick, first how many 20-30 year olds would let their parents pick clothes for them and secondly couldn’t we have some show of power prior to the alien invasion? When you go to a super hero movie you are there to be wowed. When a hero saves a kitty, kid or bus-full of pensioners you appreciate the stereo type but are happy for the drama it creates. Here no character building for Kent just battle with Zod? The movie from here keeps going down a slope for me . The proximity driven super powers of the Man of Steel don’t sit well with my Justice League loving mind and prolonged fights without any thing but brute force are not captivating.
In the final scenes where Superman battles it out with the baddies there is a CGI explosion every minute on the screen. Its like the makers hold all the action and animation till the end and deliver a great big orgasm at the end. I would have much preferred regular if small pleasures. Was my faith in Super Man redeemed? Nope it was reduced. All that Nolan touches is not gold that much has been clear before but this was disappointing.
Over all verdict : Very barely a one time watch, if you are a super hero fan this may give you something to crib about, if you are not you aren’t likely to become one after watching this. If you are a Nolan or Snyder fan you probably wouldn’t agree with this review.