Wow…I was quite surprised by this movie, especially after all the trailers and reviews i’ve seen. I do wish advertisers wouldn’t show THE ENTIRE MOVIE in trailers, there were some surprises, but so few. Pretty much the entire first act of the movie can be seen in trailers, c’mon people. ANYWAYS: in short 6.5/10 Not Bad. Watch it for the Kyptonians, they were AWESOME. the humans…not so much.
I’m breaking away from my typical review mode and just grouping thoughts. GENERAL: it’s funny, i couldn’t help but draw several parallels between this movie and transformers. The opening is very similar, coup to take control and “save” the homeworld. Also the big bad is very similar. Zod is no longer the power-hungry despot “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD” type. Now he is Megatron, seriously. An amoral military leader that will stop and nothing and sacrifice anything to rebuild his race. And it really works in this movie, it really does.
Where it went right:
- Visual effects: OH LORD it was pretty (Zach Snyder movies have always done that well, but sadly at the expense of the rest of the movie most of the time). They really built a full Krypton and it was cool. So what if it borrows heavily from H.R. Geiger designs, Avatar and other things. So what that they’ve got Jor-El riding a dragon? I still think it was pretty cool. Explosions, alien ships, the fight CG (get to that later) all good things.
- Action: (now is later) This movie had some of the best superhero action I’ve seen in ages. It’s right up there with The Avengers, ESPECIALLY in taking full advantage of the powers at their disposal. Lots of laser vision, cool bursts of speed, throwing trains, wanton destruction (half of Metropolis is essentially leveled in the finale ) it was stunning good action.
- The Kryptonians and their tech: This is where the movie REALLY hit its high notes. Their armor looks totally sick (the supersuit is ok, I’m talking the armor on top of that) same goes for their architecture, A lot of it is based on…i don’t know, some kind of particle based A.I. It looks really cool. The people of Krypton we see are mostly simple, but it works, they’re just cold and hard.
- Kal-El and Zod: Henry Cavill is solid as Superman, does a fine job. Michael Shannon as Zod was just epic, he really stole the movie.
Where it went wrong:
- Camera: Whenever there weren’t a lot of effects dominating the shot, the camera resorted to the standard and really annoying shakycam. It really makes it hard to focus and is REALLY pointless when it’s just people talking.
- Pacing: There’s a bit in the middle where superman turns himself in, next scene he’s in a cell talking to Lois, then he’s immediately back in the desert being handed over to Zod’s men. The movie is full of moments like this that just don’t flow, but they lessen as the movie goes on. It’s funny I never realized how much I value a good intro for a superhero. Superman is introduced to the world BY ZOD (we’ve seen him a bit before) first time anyone sees him is when he turns himself in. Zod had a great re-entry into the middle of the film with the You Are Not Alone speech, really had solid tone.
- the human characters: they totally lacked any relatability, they had no stories and I found myself not caring about them. At least the Kryptonians had badass action to accent their simple characters. They all feel like they’re there just to be there, so we have recurring faces. worst offender is:
- LOIS LANE: (please note that Amy Adams’ performance was just fine) Her character makes NO sense, she’s WAAY too important. She’s there thru the entire story, she knows Clark’s identity before he’s even Superman. her romance is very arbitrary and totally without chemistry. Plus her presence is just weird, Military arrest her, yet they drag her out when superman turns himself in. When Superman is taken by Zod, they demand to take Lois too…WHY? they don’t know her, they never do anything to her, all it does is get her on the ship to be helpful. They also try to make her into an action woman for a bit, Iron man 3 did that much better. I just don’t get it :/ ah well
- (EDIT) Emotion weight: So I’ve looked thru other reviews, and they really made a good point. The movie TOTALLY lacks emotional weight, it never conveys the feeling that millions are being obliterated in the destruction of metropolis (which is beyond extensive). Avengers (it’s my go-to super hero comparison) certainly made it clear how much was at stake and that the destruction at least had some consequences, at least we saw civilians during the fights. Once a fight starts in Man of Steel, the fighters are pretty much alone. So many elements are just…there.
Though it may not be a great movie, I still enjoyed it (seems I’m a minority there). go see it for its action. If you go for story and character depth, you’re probably gonna leave with a bad taste in your mouth. D.C. is still fighting a losing battle, trying to keep up with Marvel after they’ve already hit it out of the park. If The Avengers, showed us anything, it’s that a superhero movie can be well written, funny, have great action, great story, and just be well made ALL IN ONE MOVIE. All you other guys need to catch up now that we know its possible.
That’s all i got, See you next week for WORLD WAR Z or Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, maybe both, we’ll see .