Friday, 14 June 2013
REVIEW: MAN OF STEEL
The Steel Knight Rises.
143 Minutes: Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Richard Schiff & Russell Crowe. Director: Zack Snyder. Producer: Christopher Nolan. Screenplay: David S. Goyer.
Superman returns and begins again. This isn't the Reeve series, or the George Reeves one. This isn't 'Hollywoodland' (although now legendary 'Argo' and 'The Town', actor/director Ben Affleck was offered the directors chair (he turned it down due to a lack of special effects experience)). This isn't the new adventures of 'Lois & Clark'. This is far from 'Smallville', bigger than the tattoo on Shaquille O'Neal's arm and higher charged than the last reboot. This isn't a bird...this isn't a plane. It's the 'Man Of Steel'. The new Superman for a new 'Justice League' era. Deeper, darker but still with that 'S' on the chest hope, that even though the 'Dark Knight' trilogy has ended, Batman's alley begins and rises in his place. You saw the soaring, roaring teaser before last years most anticipated film and conclusion in 'The Dark Knight Rises' and this years biggest and eagerly awaited movie doesnt disappoint either the mainstream blockbuster circut, or the hardcore superhero, cult comic-book one.
That's thanks to director Zack Snyder. Even though there are production touches and typography of legend Christopher Nolan everywhere for fearful fans, this is still Snyder's flightplan. Set to a sensational script by David S. Goyer and a epic orchestra score from the one and only Hans Zimmer, Zack is back. After his dark visions of the most epic battle ever in '300' and his own classic comic-book darkness of 'Watchman' Snyder saves his best for his latest. Taking cues from his previous work and Nolan alike, Snyder balances the themes and the worlds of Krypton and Earth's Smallville to Metropolis perfectly. Weird and wonderful, the perfectly peculiar elements of this film can still wow the regulars. With all of Marvel's Avengers assembling more movie-goers and sequels then imagined it was about time that D.C. had more behind it's belt then the greatest superhero series of all time in Batman. The 'Justice League' looks ready to do battle with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk now, even if these dark Superman and Batman's will look strange standing next to Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern and of course that guy that talks to the fish.
If anyone can save the day however it's Henry Cavill who is THE perfect Superman. Sure this will aways be the late, great Chrisopher Reeve's role and all the series' have done so well, but this may just be the best Super film yet. With all due respect to Brandon Routh-whose great, Reeve channeling debut and film was better than people thought-this is Cavill's cape and glasses now. He's Clark Kent with a flick of the hair and new prescription in what may be the worst disguise of all time. Still, we can reveal that with a new suit and state of mind this Superman is here to stay, looking as strong as steel and even like Wolverine in some bearded scenes. A hero worthy of a trilogy that fans will want to see come faster than a speeding bullet. We haven't even talked about the girl yet, but Amy Adams investigates a new Lois Lane that finds herself perfectly in this new digital age of the Daily Planet. Speaking of which the edition of Laurence Fishburne in this matrix as Perry White is perfect and he leads a great supporting cast, which even features the likes of the great Richard Schiff and Diane Lane's moving mothering.
Still, it's the father figures that give this grandiose flying film it's gravity. Russell Crowe may be starring in all the biggest films this year...but just thank Zod he's not singing. As Superman's biological father Jor-El, he's perfect, rising to the special effects occassion of the beginnings and having a bold, Brando like presence throughout. He holds his nerve...I mean he even has time to put on his robes during an hour glass defying, life or death situation. As for Clark Kent's real dad, Jonathan Kent, the perfectly cast Kevin Costner reminds us of just what made him the legend he is today. Giving this film it's emotional weight and grounding guidance, the 'Untouchable' star shows that when he's at his best no one can mess with him. The only threat here is well...a big one in Michael Shannon's General Zod. Powerful and with his own purpose, Shannon who has been winning crowds as of late as 'The Iceman' gets even colder here as a sublime and seriously sinister villain that could even give the slimy Lex Luthor the creeps.
From an artillery of firepower to out of this world planets, the action and special-effects are like no other you'll see this year. With super-speed, break neck formidable fights you may find it hard to keep those 3D glasses on. Finally the super 'Star Trek' sequel has some competition as Superman plunges into his own darkness. Just when you thought this film couldn't get any IMAX bigger, bolder or better, the final day to night showdown between the flickering light skyscrapers of Metropolis could put even King Kong in New York to shame. Sure this may not be as classic as the first two Batman films, (and the real, enlightening religious references are spoiled by some potent product placement) but Snyder and Nolan help this Superman soar over 'The Dark Knight Rises'. With flashbacks for it's 'begins' moments and here and now, end of the world stakes the cape is not pulled over our eyes. Now could we get a Joker Card hint of a sequel?! As Cavill's Kent takes flight, this Superman has not met his Kryptonite yet. With justice to Reeve, this 'Man Of Steel' is in a league of his own. 'Step inside the booth, loosen up the tie, Superman is alive'! TIM DAVID HARVEY.