Sunday, 23 June 2013

Review: Man Of Steel 3D (spoiler-free)

World of Blackout Film Review

Man Of Steel Poster

Man of Steel (3D / Spoiler-free)
Cert: 12A / 143 mins / Dir. Zack Snyder

I was a few days late in catching Man of Steel, by which time I'd caught some of the 'mixed review' buzz that's doing the rounds, albeit without reading the actual reviews. Now, regular readers will have noticed this already, but I've always been a Marvel-kid, so Snyder was going to have to pull something pretty damned good out of the bag to impress me with one of DC's most old-fashioned heroes.

And it seems, to my jaded eye at least, that he's gone and bloody done it. I loved this. I've always found the weak-link in the mythos to be Clark Kent, by definition a necessarily dull character, but I enjoyed watching the film told from Clark's (well, Kal's) point-of-view, rather than the usual route of focusing on pointing/gasping members of the public. He doesn't get angsty to Spider-Man levels, but it's interesting to see his frustration coming from having to hold his power back (in the first half of the film, at least), rather than frowning over his glasses at general injustice. More on this in a spoilery-review in the future.

Once Clark gets the red-and-blues on it's a lot more straightforward, of course. Good guys are good, bad guys are bad, the army are typically-confused and Russell Crowe outstays his welcome. It never becomes unbearable (for me, at least), but it's certainly in 'comfortable territory'. The only real gripe I have about the movie is that it's way too long, considering the story they have to tell. The duration of the final showdown seems ridiculous, particularly once it ends, and it only serves to increase the number of 'hang on a minute' moments that occur (again, more on those in a future review).

I think Henry Cavill is the one to have done the best out of this movie. Everyone else is strong enough, but in a straight-down-the-line way, where they don't get to shine. The biggest casualty in this department is poor old Michael Shannon as Zod; I don't think I should have been quite that sympathetic toward the main villain. His portrayal of Krypton's Biggest Bastard was slightly too sympathetic for my liking. And again, more on this in the future.

But ultimately, I have to say that I really enjoyed Man of Steel. Sure, cynics are moaning about it being 'dark and brooding', but since Batman worked because of that and Green Lantern desperately needed it, I'll take all the darkness you can throw into the DC-verse, thanks very much. The Reeve-era films are still there for those who like their action a little more gleaming. Oh, and for the record, I really liked the "Reeve shot" in MoS, I know it's raised eyebrows elsewhere.

Given the limitations of an invincible, morally incorruptible hero, I think this movie is the best it could have been. Particularly if it's got to segue into JLA territory…

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
For me, yes.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
For me, cinema.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not really.

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Yes! Finally! It seems like it's been bloody months...

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
Would (ie. will) you be happy seeing this iteration of Superman in a Justice League movie, and can DC ever hope to catch up with Marvel, let alone best them?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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