Film Review: Man of Steel
Directed by Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder has directed comic book movies 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, and that movie with the Owls in it, which might not be a comic book, but c’mon, it had talking owls, and now he is directing Superman, aka Man of Steel, which is the most American comic book movie any director could ever hope to direct, more American than Captain America even, and that guy has “America” built-in to his name, but Superman is on a Coca-Cola sorta level, whereas Captain America is Pepsi, no offense. Also Christopher Nolan, who wrote all those bummer Batman Dark Knight movies is a writer on this, but not THE writer, and it’s not dark like the Batman stuff was, which is good, because enough already with Dark Batman.
Anyway, the last Superman movie (Superman Returns, 2006) before this one had a super-boring guy playing Superman, and the best thing about it was Kevin Spacey as arch-enemy Lex Luthor putting the boots to Superman, seriously, just kicking the living shit out of him on an island made out of Kryptonite, which as we all know is Superman’s greatest Plot Device. Really man, just whaling the tar out of the Man of Steel, anything to make that guy more interesting, you know? Kick him for me, Luthor! Hey, we couldn’t have been the only ones rooting for Luthor in that one, Jesus that was a boring Superman. And Parker Posey, who did her hair and makeup? They really made her look bad, and not evil-bad, you know? She deserved better, because she’s way more fun than Kate Bosworth, who was Lois Lane in that movie, also super-boring, Bosworth, but she had way better hair and makeup. Parker Posey shoulda sued after the check cleared.
That other, crappier Superman thing was directed by Bryan Singer, who also made comic book movies with the X-Men in them, but he made that last Superman movie way too much about Superman’s feelings and romance and stuff, when it should have been about what this NEW & IMPROVED Superman joint is about, to wit: VIOLENCE, MAYHEM, AND LARGE-SCALE DESTRUCTION. Yeah! The fighting in this movie is some of the most kickass super-fighting ever. All kinds of Collateral Damage. The 3D didn’t seem to be much of a factor, so maybe save the extra three bucks.
This Man of Steel movie makes that whole boring Origin-part of the story entertaining because it has VIOLENCE, MAYHEM, AND LARGE-SCALE DESTRUCTION. Whoo! It’s not a SPOILER ALERT to tell you Superman’s real name is Kal-El and he comes from the Planet Krypton and the Planet Krypton blows the fuck up, and they get that done early in the flick, so it’s not too slow at the beginning, and everything kinda looks like Chronicles of Riddick, with metallic everything on the Planet Krypton. Then they cut every now and again to the boring Earth-crap about how Superman gets adopted by American Farmer Kevin Costner and his wife Diane Lane, who is disgusting because she’s playing way older in parts of the movie and she still looks good, and Kevin Costner just basically looks like Kevin Costner all the time, especially when he is standing near corn.
So Kal-El is taught by his parents in Kansas or wherever to keep his Super-ness, Powers and Abilities Far Beyond Those of Mortal Men hidden away because otherwise people will freak the fuck out. He is Different. Exactly. Anyway.
The guy on Boardwalk Empire, on Home Box, who plays Agent Nelson Van Alden, Michael Shannon, he plays General Zod, who is totally fucking psycho or else he is just super-focused and on-task, is a great Bad Guy, the way Terrence Stamp was a great General Zod back in 1980 in Superman II, which was a really good Superman movie for that time, because they upped the level VIOLENCE AND MAYHEM. That one had Christopher Reeves, who was tall and Super-looking, as Super, and this new one, this latest Superman Man of Steel one has Henry Cavill as Superman, and if you are a man, chances are, when you see this movie you will immediately realize you need to exercise more, in terms of appearing with your shirt off. Seriously, this guy Henry Cavill is built like Superman. Lois Lane knows! This time she is played by Amy Adams, who is a long way from Junebug as a hotshot Investigative Reporter for a Major Metropolitan Newspaper who wears tight skirts and sweaters. She is on Superman’s case, and she does a good job of looking a little squirmy every time she’s with Superman, you know? Nobody really knows he’s “Superman” yet because this is yet another Superman movie where they have to tell you the whole fucking deal about how Superman is an Alien from Another Planet. Superman is from another planet, doesn’t that get taught to the children in school? Superman is an Alien, living in the United States of America without the proper Documentation, OK, Associated Press, is that the correct way to do that now?
General Zod, man! Rrrraah!!! He is the straw that stirs the drink! He is also from Superman’s home planet, and he Believes in what he is doing, you know? He is righteous and expedient in his Bad-Guyness. He has his own Agenda on top of just plain Beef with Superman on general principle. GZ’s sidekick is Faora-Ul, who is played by Antje Traue, and she has a German Accent on top of being from another planet. She’s great, totally ready to commit VIOLENCE, MAYHEM, AND LARGE-SCALE DESTRUCTION, and the guy from television’s Law & Order: Super Victims Unit is in it, Christopher Meloni, and he’s an Army guy. He’s pretty popular, Meloni. He gets some good stuff to do, and Henry Cavill is a solid Superman, not as much humor as we would like, but a little bit, and he does lots of violent Super-things.
There’s all kinds of stuff in this movie that doesn’t make a lot of sense, like some SPOILER-y stuff about young not-Superman holding back on his Powers and Abilities, and the classic super-annoying thing where if Superman puts on glasses he can become Clark Kent and nobody will recognize him, and when Russell Crowe is Explaining everything (he is Superman’s Planet Krypton dad) the way Marlon Brando did back in 1980 with Superman II, but you will believe it, because if you Believe a man can fly, you’ll believe pretty much anything. It’s not as good as The Avengers, but it is Rated “S” for SUMMERTIME COMIC BOOK MOVIE CONTAINING VIOLENCE, MAYHEM, AND LARGE-SCALE DESTRUCTION.