Friday, June 14, 2013

[IGH] at the Movies: Man of Steel

This week marks the return of the first superhero to the big screen in Man of Steel.  Three of the [IGH] family got a chance to see it right before it opened and you know we all had different feelings.

Reboot's Review

Man of Steel gave me hope, but not in the way you might think.  The movie delivers well in some areas, but falls short in many others.  Let's start with what works.  The score is beautiful.  It really compliments the movie.  Never underestimate a good score.  I know we are inclined to overlook that and focus more on the directing and acting, but it really is worth noting here.  For the most part, the casting is spot on.  It's visually engaging throughout and keeps your attention the whole time through pretty solid pacing.  And at it's core, the story is very good.

Where the movie falls short starts with the script itself.  Though the story is solid, the script feels like it could have used at least one or two rewrites.  A lot of the lines fall flat, some of the pay-off doesn't quite work, and some of the dialogue delivery just doesn't work at all.  Zach Snyder as a director wasn't something I was thrilled with either.  Though this might be my favorite film he's directed, the shakey camera thing he does is very irritating and some of his cut aways and flashbacks are choppy and abrasive. 

The good does edge out the bad though in the end.  Without giving anything away, giving a darker tone to Superman and making it more Sci-Fi heavy than it has been in the past on the big screen is a good direction to take it and will help make this property viable in the future as far as summer blockbusters go.  Though this movie doesn't live up to what I would have liked to have seen, it gives me hope for the future.

Wilderowens' Review

I was so excited to see this movie.  I have been talking about it for so long because so much depends on Man of Steel succeeding.  Seeing the Justice League movie happen, finally getting some attention for Wonder Woman, all comes down to MoS being a box office success.  So I went into this film with hefty expectations.  While I wasn't necessarily disappointed, my full expectations weren't met.

MoS really features Henry Cavill as Superman, and he is fantastic.  Everyone who complained that a Brit couldn't play a Kryptonian will be eating crow.  He was Superman, through and through, from the hair curl to the resonating angst.  The rest of the supporting cast was a little shakier because they lacked development and direction.  My biggest complaint was Faora, played by Antje Traue.  Great character, with some nice one liners but the performance was just missing passion.  I could say the same for a lot of the supporting characters which means that Snyder just failed in getting the most out of his cast.  This goes double for the almost completely ignored staff of The Daily Planet, who will be back for the sequel.

While the character development wasn't all it could have been, the story-line (not the script) was enjoyable and solid.  This film really showed a different side to Kryptonians that made them a little more realistic and less god-like.  My favorite part was still the effects.  The fight scenes were fantastically coordinated but easy to follow.  The sound effects were also amazing.  When Superman takes off, the sonic boom resonated through my body.  I felt it and it was like I was there.  The sound brought a whole new level to this movie going experience.  So while it wasn't the tops of what I wanted, MoS brought a solid foundation to (hopefully growing) DC Cinematic Universe.

Wysefyre's Review

I enjoyed Man of Steel but while the basic plot was good, and the visual & sound effects, and score were fantastic, its flaws were too obvious for me to fall in love with it. 

The biggest issue I have is how poorly handled the character development is, particularly with the females. Superman, General Zod, and even Jor-El are nicely fleshed out characters, but Lois Lane and Faora-Ul are reduced to bland stereotypes. Faora is a complete badass. She's an incredible warrior, but she is also ice cold and emotionless. Had she been allowed to displace even an ounce of the emotion that Zod did, she would have been a more complete and interesting character. Then there's Lois. I like Amy Adams but she's miscast as Lois. That doesn't stop her from trying; however, her development is awful. You get to see a little bit of Lois' curiosity, but where is her strength and nerves of steel? Not only that, her relationship with Superman is so forced. There are some really nice exchanges, but the way their relationship jumps from one level to the next is completely inorganic. It feels like it was thrown in to appease the fans. 

The other supporting characters are also oddly and poorly developed. Laurence Fishburne is a serviceable Perry, but like Lois, he's lacking. I like my Perry White to be forceful and demanding and butting heads with Lois. They have a few exchanges, but they're tame. If even one of those exchanges had been heated, it would have been great for the characters. There are too many scenes with Fishburne, not enough with the other Daily Planet crew, and the military guys get a lot of unnecessary extra screen time. It's a weird mish-mosh of development.

Superman is a decent movie, but unlike Star Trek, which is another flawed movie, it does not have a strong cast chemistry that allows you to overlook its flaws. If you're a Superman fan, I'd recommend seeing it because a strong foundation for what the franchise could be has been laid, but if you're not a huge fan, wait until it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, but whatever you do, don't waste your money on seeing it in 3-D. It's not worth it.

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