REVIEW: Man Of Steel (2013) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Man Of Steel (2013)

Runtime: 143 Mins
Rated: PG-13
What To Expect: A head destroying tsunami of CGI debris running through a dull and mediocre screenplay

When Terrance Stamp showed up in Superman 2, shit got real.  He came not under some dull yarn of overwritten spaceling hokum, but simply to become the man.  To conquer.  This is a simple and manly premise that we can empathise with because many of us would do the same, had we such superpowers.  Admit it, maybe even 30% of us.  Stamp came to crush us and the hear lamentation of our women.  When Michael Shannon shows up in Man Of Steel, however,  he arrives to bore us to death with grim faced anxiety and CGI hailstorms.  He asks for Superman, but I say forget Superman, here’s Dr. Phil you miserable bastard.  And boy, has he met his match in the ‘Man Of Steel’, a man so dull and sullen, he had mastered the art of bellyaching long before any of his gifted superpowers.

The article that was posted recently on how we really have seen enough comic book movies still stands.  But Superman and Batman are in a league of their own, so even Manly Movie pays attention when either one is rebooted.  The plot does not even need to be explained, it’s a riff on Superman 2 with Zod assaulting earth and for a while, the movie is not bad and just about avoids pretentious Nolanist tedium  For a while… I’m sure that there is no better fit for this role than Cavill, that’s the major positive, but not 100% certain.  Not 100% certain because we haven’t seen 100% of the character – where is Clark Kent?  And can Cavill play this affable side of him?  Is he wooden or are they forcing him to be this serious by only playing ‘Superman’?  Shannon is also an interesting piece of casting for General Zod, but I stress that someone merely got the casting right.  As mentioned above, the writing of the character hits the mark.  Shannon himself seems to think along the same lines, that his character’s story was overwritten and too ‘dire’, he said recently that basically, this isn’t a comic book movie.

The first half of the movie is competent, although we were exposed to too much Krypton lore – some people don’t seem to appreciate the element of mystery and wonder, especially in a comic book movie.  When we pass the hour mark, though, something odd happens – we’re still having ‘origins’ flashbacks shoved down our throats.  Entertainment turns to impatience, we already know who Superman is – we don’t need to see this.  Are we being set up for future sequels and tie ins? At the expense of the pacing and story of this movie by itself, right here and now? That wasn’t part of the deal, man!  But anyway, then comes the death knell.  Fire up the IBM Processors! It’s that time again for another tsunami of CGI debris and garbage to assault the senses.  Another comic book movie, another overwrought half hour of action figures pulverising some fake looking city into rubble.  I’ve grown to expect this, but for Superman?  It’s just plain fucking lazy, boring and unsatisfactory.  It’s like watching Power Rangers at 5x speed, only with 2 trillion polygons.  Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  Can’t tell, it’s already ten frames ahead and I feel bewildered.

Richard Donner, if someone brings this movie to your house, don’t watch it.  It won’t be good for your health.