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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Movie Review - The Man of Steel

Movie Title
Man of Steel
Year
2013
Genre
Action, Sequel, Comic Adaptation
Story
As this movie is still new, please be warned that there will be SPOILERS throughout the review

The movie begins by showing us how Krypton was in its death throes. Because of its dire scenario, Krypton's Military faction, led by General Zod (Michael Shannon), seizes control from the Ruling Council by force, just as Jor-El (Russell Crowe), representing the Science Faction, was presenting his case to the Council. 
Jor-El effectively technically becomes a fugitive after steals the genetic codes of the Kryptonian gene-pool, dubbed the Codex,and encodes it into baby Kal-El's genes before sending him off to Earth. Eventually, Zod and his crew were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone when Law Enforcers loyal to the Ruling Council retake the reigns. Not long after, Krypton implodes as Jor-El had warned.
Next we see Clark Kent (Henry Cavill, recently seen in Immortals) as a 33-year old adult. Wandering from job to job across America, using his powers to help people whenever he sees there is a need.

Soon he crosses path with Lois Lane (Amy Adams, recently seen in the Muppets) when the US Military was investigating an object buried within the ice in the Arctic Wasteland. Clark finds an ancient Kryptonian Probe Ship and learns of his Kryptonian heritage while saving Lois at the same time.

Unknown to Kal, his actions in the Kryptonian Probe Ship had betrayed his presence to Zod and his crew who had been searching for him (since their escape from the Phantom Zone when Krypton was destroyed) with the objective to retrieve the Codex in order to fulfill his plans to revive Krypton by terra-forming the Earth.
The rest of the movie was a major slug-fest between Zod's forces and Superman (with a little help from the US Military, Transformers-style.)

Of course, no Superman movie would be complete without Jonathan (Kevin Costner, best known for Water World...? >>snicker<<) & Martha Kent (Diane Lane), who were instrumental in Clark's upbringing and good ol' American values - Truth, Justice and the American Way.

Acting
Well, I noticed something I had not before, which was Henry Cavill has really bad (as in jagged) teeth in his lower jaw!

Amy Adams' Lois is also my favourite from among all the other screen Lois Lane portrayals. She's spunky, fearless, headstrong & tenacious! The only thing that's different here is that she's blonde.
Other than that, I really thought the main players had all done a good job. The only character that seemed to be hammed up a little too much was Michael Shannon's portrayal of General Zod. Yeah, I understand that Zod was a fanatical zealot, but he was also a highly disciplined militant who is not given to fits of rage...
Overall
I was lucky enough to be able to watch MOS in a premiere screening at the newly refurbished TGV Cinemas in 1-Utama. Unfortunately, I was seated at the very 1st row of the hall. What made the whole experience more painful than extracting your wisdom tooth was that the screen was less than 15 feet in front of me. So it was a miracle my neck is not in a cast this morning!

C'mon Malaysia, have a little pride and have some standards! I can't imagine anyone having to pay hard earned $$$ to sit 15 feet away from the big screen and having to strain one's neck for over 2 hours! That's just insane! If it wasn't the Man of Steel, I would've walked out.

Anyway, on to the movie. I thought it was the best Superman movie so far. I don't mean to take credit from Richard Donner's Classic Superman from 1978, which was a great movie, for its time! It was slightly campy and Lex Luthor was not very menacing.

Here, Snyder has made the threat of General Zod and his crew truly menacing, a planetary level threat that is worthy of a hero like Superman!

The fight scenes were intense & power-packed, as they should be. Many of the action scenes were a blur (I'm not sure if this was because I was seated right at the 1st row and the screen was simply too big to for me to see it completely or if it was meant to show the speed of Kryptonians in a fight.) 

The physics of the action sequences were also flawless, unlike many of the action movies that employ wire-work for their action scenes.

I really liked the pacing & editing. The flashbacks, which were necessary for general audiences to understand the back-story, were inserted at places where the questions in the minds of viewers would arise. Kudos to Snyder.
My beef was more Superman's new costume, which is of course in congruence with his new duds in DC's New 52 books. Despite that, I think it looks bad. To me, it looks like scuba gear with a big "S" in front & red boots. I also didn't like the latticed look on costumes - made popular by the Spiderman movies (which worked, in Spidey's case). To me, Superman without his red shorts, just doesn't seem right. I'm predicting it right now, that DC WILL eventually bring back the red shorts in about 3 years from now. Just wait and see!

My other gripe was the Kryptonian scenes in the beginning of the film. It reminded me too much of Avatar, but not in a good way... =(

There is 1 complaint which to me is most serious, that is as far as I know, Superman (and Marvel's Captain America) NEVER kills, but in he does in this movie. =(

However, there were a lot of things done right despite the fact that I thought Zod and his crew might have escaped from Kandor the Bottled City (because I had forgotten all about the Phantom Zone). 

Fans and Non-Fans alike MUST watch this movie! Hopefully, the success of this movie would lead to a Justice League movie soon!

Rating: 7/10