Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Man Of Steel: Impressively Messianic … 

9th December, 2013.
You know, I’m — and I swore I try and keep the use of the next word down — impressed.

Quite heftily so, in .fact.

You see with some of the last bit of iTunes credit I’ve had, I’ve rented a film, tonight: the 2013, Zack Snyder take on DC’s flagship hero, Superman, and I’m thinking it may not be stunning … 

But IS something I wish I had the money to buy on DVD.

I feel it may well be worth sitting down with, again.

It’s ALSO something I’m going to sleep on: it’s getting late.   Either way, I’ll back in the morning … !

10th December, 2013.
Right … 

Now I’ve got that sleep I was wanting, … ?   Let me tell you about Man Of Steel.

As I think I said, last night, I had a quiet night to myself, last night.   Quiet: with nothing to do, nothing on TV, and just enough money on my iTunes account to rent a film.

The film in question, of course, being the 2013, Zack Snyder directed, Christopher Nolan produced, Superman reboot, Man Of Steel.

The story opens by showing us the doomed planet of Krypton, where Jor El (Russell Crowe*) is with his wife, Lara (Ayelet Zurer), as she gives birth to their son, Kal El.

The pair are as doomed as their planet: and plan to send both their son, and a gene-bank of their race, as far as possible from their dying world.

Dying … 

And civil-war-riven.   Jor El’s arch rival, General Zod is determined to control the gene bank — or ‘codex’, as it’s called in the film — and to make sure the only Kryptonian’s who survive are the one he chooses.

Zod fails: and is sentenced to 300 years in the Phantom Zone as punishment.

Just before Krypton finally explodes … 


The film cuts to some years later.   And shows us Kor El wandering the world, having grown up on Earth as Clark Kent, having been informally adopted by John and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), having flashbacks to his Kansas youth, whilst anonymously helping, using his powers, where needed.

Interweaved with this story is that of Daily Planet reporter, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who we initially meet in the wintery parts of Canada, investigating an anomalous object being in a glacier.

It’s only when she’s poking around the camp at night, she notices Clark — who’s been using the name ‘Joe’ — seems to have found a route to the object: a 3000 year old Kryptonian Spaceship, and one that allows Clark to access the one small piece of home he’s managed to keep.

Access: and use to find out a lot more about his biological parents, his people, Krypton …

All in full view of Ms Lane, who’s kicking herself for having lost her camera.

It’s only AFTER Lois’ boss, Perry White — Laurence Fishburne — has turned down the story that Lois decides to leak it to the internet.

Which is ALSO the time a mysterious spaceship shows up, orbiting the Moon, broadcasting to everyone on Earth to help the ship’s captain find Kal El.

That ship’s captain … ?

Is Zod … 


Now … 

Impressed … ?

Hell, yes … !

For starters, this is a stunningly designed, and very visual film: with Kryptonian outfits, sets and kit looking like Mœbius designed Timelords,  with H. R. Giger designed armour.

On top of that … ?

On top of that, it’s well written — having Christopher Nolan along for part of the writing seems to help, although I’m sure the rest of the writing team are equally competent — and has an especially strong ensemble cast: I have to say, Crowe, Lane, Costner and Zurer as various parent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and, indeed, Cavill himself, as Superman, were great.

The REAL standout … ?   For me personally, the outstanding member of the cast was Michael Shannon, as Zod: giving the villain a humanity and depth I feel highlights the comic book nature of Terence Stamp’s version.

Additionally, while she’s not the feisty ball-breaker Margo Kidder’s Lois Lane was, Amy Adams is both a level headed, beautiful … and intelligent … alternative.

And, while the story wasn’t perfect, I’m also feel it was pretty damn good: offering danger, emotion, and origins in one and the same package.

And one that offers seems to have remembered a line from Alan  Moore’s Watchmen.

God exists, and he’s American.

I think Man Of Steel would repay a lot of viewings.

Personally … ?

Well …
Man Of Steel

*        Doing a far better English accent than he did in Robin Hood

1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Great review. Can’t say I was angry when it was over, but disappointed is definitely it.