I’m not a huge fan of the Superman movie series. Actually, I’m old-school. I liked the old television, low-tech version. You know. The one where the criminals would shoot at Superman, run out of bullets, then, in the most illogical fashion, throw their gun at him.
Henry Cavill is your new Superman, and he’s terrific. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane, and she’s terrific. And even though this genre of film is all about the special effects, the overdone battles between good and evil that are usually depicted in long, drawn out fight scenes, on whatever level this Superman film succeeds, it’s because of the “humanity” of the movie, not the latest Hollywood technology.
This is basically a re-telling of the story we already know. Krypton is falling apart faster than East St. Louis, and the decision is made by “baby” Superman’s father, played by Russell Crowe, to strap him into a spacecraft and send him to Earth. That’s where Earth “parents” Diane Lane and Kevin Costner pull him out of the rubble and raise him as their own. The young Clark Kent, displaying one of the worst cases of ADHD ever known, has trouble in school balancing the perception that he’s different, with his own knowledge that he could….if he wanted to….rip all the local bullies heads off without even breaking a sweat.
Henry Cavill portrays Superman in such a cool manner that he could make John Hamm or George Clooney look like Andy Dick. The man is just oozing with confidence and charm. Amy Adams possesses the perfect balance of strength and vulnerability, not to mention the ability to look better in a grey pants-suit than any other female in the history of grey pants-suits. As an actress, she’s shown again that, right now, she’s at the absolute top of her game.
My criticisms. There’s very little new here. The story, basically, is a re-hash of everything we already know. The big, climactic, obligatory battle scene between Superman and his nemesis goes on forever, and just sort of gave me a headache. And the near-destruction of Gotham City, which for all intents and purposes IS New York City, is eerily and disturbingly similar-looking to all the 911 footage many of us would like to forget. Would it have killed the producers of this movie to bust up….I don’t know….MIAMI…instead of New York??
I’m giving “Man of Steel” three-and-a-half “CORKS” out of five, largely because of the performances of Henry Cavill and Amy Adams. I know that’s not what the makers of this movie were looking for, but they may have accidentally made a different film than they had intended.