Friday, 14 June 2013

Superman Returns with a vengeance!

After Earth. World War Z. Fast and Furious 6. I’ve been somewhat disappointed by films lately. I’ve either been warded off by bad trailers, or enticed by a good trailer, and left the cinema massively underwhelmed. Enter Man of Steel. Intense music. A power team combining Zack Snyder’s style, Christopher Nolan’s direction and Hans Zimmer’s music promised something big, but I was worried that I would once again be disappointed by what I saw.

I had absolutely nothing to worry about whatsoever.

As I sat down, popcorn in one hand, coke in the other, I was a little nervous. I really wanted to enjoy this film, but I wasn’t sure if I would. Not only because of my bad experiences in the cinema recently, but because of the unspeakable atrocity that was Superman Returns. It seems now that Superman Returns was just an unfortunate example. Man of Steel is a Superman film done right.

Straight from the word go, Snyder flaunts his sizeable budget as we witness the destruction of Krypton, and unlike other Superman films we see this in lots of detail. Almost an entirely new origin story is told, and we see not only the destruction of Krypton, but the battle between General Zod and Jor El, the effort Jor El goes to in order to save his race, and even the birth of the Man of Steel himself. Other things  about Clark’s childhood on earth is shown in flashback sequences, each that show some incredible feat that he has achieved, and his father telling him that he must keep his powers a secret.

Jump to today. After being all heroic on a collapsing oil rig, Clark is trying to live his life as a normal guy, avoiding trouble and hiding away as much as possible. When he stumbles upon a Kryptonian ship and accidentally triggers a beacon, Zod and his followers come to Earth to claim Clark for their own, hoping to use his DNA to restore the Kryptonian race. Unfortunately, this means that we all have to die, because Zod isn’t one to share a planet.

This leads to some incredible action scenes. The last half hour shows off the size of Snyder’s budget on this film, as an entire village and half of Metropolis get absolutely obliterated. In having such a powerful hero squaring off against such a powerful villain, collateral damage was obviously going to be high, but the climax of the action is one of the most spectacular battles I’ve ever seen. 

Accompanying these incredible action scenes is an absolutely incredible soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. He did a great job on The Dark Knight, and has not disappointed here, delivering an amazing score to truly emphasize the action.

Henry Cavill is also pretty damn great. He seems to have slipped into his role easily, and really STEELS the show. Okay, that was terrible, but let’s just focus on the simple fact that Henry Cavill is great. Micheal Shannon supports as General Zod, and whilst he isn’t exactly Heath Ledger or Tom Hardy, he holds his role up rather well.

My only criticism is that the pacing is a little sloppy. The film isn’t too fast, or too slow. The scenes are paced perfectly. Unfortunately, there is no transition. The change is instantaneous, as it moves from slow to fast, calm to action with very little build up. It doesn’t take away from the overall experience, it’s just a little surprising.

But hey, when a film is this good, you can look past the tiniest of flaws. Great action, superb effects and a budget bigger than Simon Cowell’s self esteem all add up to something pretty incredible, and I would be committing a crime against film if I didn’t recommend it.


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