June 20, 2013

Man of Steel - Movie Review

Man of Steel is Warners newest attempt to create a successful Superman movie and another DC Comic hit, beside the already ended Batman trilogy. Now they are trying the same formula with the biggest comic franchise. Expect a darker, grittier Clark Kent and an intelligent plot. You could say that the use the exact different approach than marvel, with their plotholes and humorous action movies. Did it work? No, at least not for me. The quality of Man of Steel tore me apart, because it jumps from magnificent to utter boredom within minutes, but let me explain right from the start.

The movie begins on Krypton with superman birth and the problem of his nation. I would see myself between someone who never read a Superman comic and a die-hard fan, but this beginning left me confused. There happens so many stuff without that explanation, that you just can accept them, without understanding anything going on. It was also a smart idea to start with action, but this didn’t work with a camera so near that you only see full view of heads and arms, without getting a clear picture of the whole fights. Also what happens is cut so short together without wasting time that it feels stupid. The criminal gets defeated, a cut later everything gets destroyed, without any warning. It also begins with so many cliché stuff like the hero father the only one understanding anything and a terrible council.

Afterwards begins a better part, in which we see Superman struggling with his life. Great that he has doubts and is afraid of the world and how humanity would see him if he would reveal himself. That’s the big theme of the movies, but somehow no human ever reacts to superman appearance. It's like all of them say “Oh, someone is floating in the air… but damn, he really looks hot.” (The terrible thing is that this is nearly a quote from the movie itself.) Sometimes they show glimpses of his past so the audience understands, why Superman thinks this way, which also falls flat. There are no surprises and there are too many times we basically get to see the same stuff over and over again.

Another time skip occurs and we see Lois Lane discovering an alien ship, which also Superman finds. There he gets information about his past through holograms, because everyone is dead and the plot cliché was the only way for him to get information. He discovers his great powers and try to fly for the first time. The footage of him flying around the world was probably the worst special effect that I saw in more than 10 years. The blurry mesh feels like a YouTube video and is really, without kidding, as bad as they were in all the superman movies before. Far away short with a puppet like superman and full view of his head to give the impression that there is really a real actor trying to look like he is flying.

General Zod, the villain appears and the searches for Superman, who is the only hope to recreate the destroyed Krypton. The makers tried to make him sympathetic, because he tries to revive his fellow friends, but this simply doesn’t work. General Zod is too cruel and merciless against humanity to feel appealing. The story itself is the same as nearly of 100 Hollywood movies before, centered around the idea that people have equal rights and deserve freedom. That around the first hour and it was so boring that I nearly get out of my chair, but the 3D ticket prices (~20$) kept me sitting. Good thing, because the second half was especially great.

Zack Snyder was never known to create meaningful movies with emotional deep, but his action scenes are simply saying magnificently. Nearly all of the second hour contains fighting scenes of different levels. Small fights from soldiers against machines, superman against villains in boxing fights and all of them were great. They felt like video games and were the best action scenes I ever saw. I talked with one of the guys who did the effects over a year ago and he was one of the reasons why I watched it and he didn’t lie. The action in the Avenger movies was decent, without much tension, but here it feels different. The climax has a big impact on the tension. If only they wouldn’t have thrown an awkward and misplaced love scene in between. Also the last fight feels harshly cut, because the power levels change too fast without any forewarning. The conclusion was especially well done and give the second installment a good starting point, but not for me. This was the last Superman movie I watched, besides the epic fights, because everything else was simply terrible. On another note, Hans Zimmers music was great as always, but is simple The Dark Knight music in louder. Don’t expect him to do something new, at least not as long he is successful with it.

In the end I can only say that I liked the movie only because of the action. If there were not the guy who worked on these and this many good reviews from high profile writer, I would have never watched it. It wasn’t that bad that I regret it, but it didn’t fulfil my high expectation for the movie that should revive the franchise and be the starting point for justice league. Just my opinion, but I don’t see them doing it successfully. Also the reception here in Germany seems bad. I was at the preview screening which was held at the biggest cinema in Hamburg and that was was only ¼ filled.

The Lone Ranger - Exclusive Preview

I also watched an exclusive preview for the Lone Ranger. Simply said it was Pirates of the Caribbean with Cowboys. The joke felt forced and the action was decent, because the scene was quite stretched. More cuts would made have made it more dynamic. Also the way Johnny Depp speaks turned me off. It was an extended scene about the railway you already saw in the trailer. I also saw a glimpse of a lot of other railway showdowns, which felt like the movie will be only them. Sorry, but the preview was so disappointing that I will seriously think about it if I will really watch it.

2 Kommentare:

  1. Good review. I saw this movie with my husband and we both enjoyed it. I too thought the action scenes were top notch. I think that it is a film worth seeing if you like action or comicbook films. You simply should expect a more mainstream movie.

    I disagree with you about the opening Krypton storyline. I thought it was excellent. It set up Superman's origins for those that might be unfamiliar with his basic story and I loved all the advanced tech of Krypton. Russell Crowe almost stole the movie and I was glad to see his character return throughout the film.

    In the past, I had always been highly annoyed with the way the character of Lois Lane was portrayed. This time, I found that she was believable to me and that there was true chemistry between her and Clark Kent. I also liked that she KNEW who he was and accepted him as a man first before being swept away by the Man of Steel, as it is usually done in the films.

    I'm still 50/50 about the actor that played Superman. I think that the role still belongs to Christopher Reeve in my mind. Yet, I will say that he did a credible portrayal of the character.

    Anyway, this was a good review as usual. I will look forward to more of your thoughts on future films.

    1. Thanks! Didn't know I have regular visitors. :)

      Regarding the Krypton opening. It should have been longer and more explaining. I believe non-comic readers were left confused, which would be most of the audience. Friends of me did, so I'm not so far off with my guess. I'm not that into Superman comics myself, anyone cares to explain why they have intelligent technology, but ride on dinosaurs birds?

      Lois Lane as better portrayed, but the love scene should have been foreshadowed carefully much longer or be set for the second movie. There was simply no hint that she cared for him and didn't do it only for her curiosity.

      Regarding the main role: I believe Christopher Reeve looks too much like a nice guy, which wouldn't be suited for this kind of movie.

      Till next time!