Sunday, June 23, 2013

You'll Believe A Man Can Punch!


Here is my obligatory review of DC's movie epic Man of Steel. This latest Superman movie is pretty impressive.

The new guy fills the costume out very nicely and frankly none of me minds the changes made to the classic look since those changes are largely reflected throughout the design of the Krypton and the movie in general. Superman (called that just once in the movie as I recollect) looks proper. The guy sure has the pecs for the part, as my daughter, who eagerly went to the movie with me, will attest. I went to see a Superman movie, she went to see a Henry Cavill movie. That's a strong recommendation that this flick will do very very well, as if that weren't already apparent.

Some mild SPOILERS beyond this point. 

What I was most impressed with was the fighting, which was blisteringly quick, so fast often that you could barely detect it, which communicated the feel of super speed excellently. The Kryptonians flick human soldiers aside like flies and that really showcases the struggle against Kal-El when it comes. There is a brutality to the villainy which gets under your skin, makes you feel threatened a person. Human beings barely register to Zod as something to be concerned about, and likewise his troops. We are truly considered insects in this one, and that's scary.

There is a lot of fighting in this one, and clearly seemed to be a remake of sorts of the classic Christopher Reeve Superman II. The battle on the streets of Smallville between the Phantom Zone villains and Superman was outstanding, though I have to think the death count in the small town was staggering. Likewise when the battle shifts to Metropolis the numbers of regular folks killed must easily be in the thousands. This is a very brutal comic book movie, one of the most brutal I've seen.

The 9-11 comparisons are obvious and for many folks I'm sure quite rugged to endure. I've read that some consider the scenes which evoke that tragic day too close to the bone, and I can see why. I was a bit startled myself at some of the choices. It does though add some emotional power to the story and makes the battle something we can apprehend more clearly. There's little aloof and above the fray about this movie. 

I loved how Snyder and Goyer structured the story so that the obligatory origin elements were embedded into the modern story. It solved to a very great extent the classic problem with a first Superman movie, the fact that Superman doesn't appear until late in the narrative. Since most folks know the gist of the origin, it's neat to see the storytellers here play with it in interesting ways. I found myself pleasantly surprised by how classic elements were revised and reinvented in this one -- for example the Fortress of Solitude, the link between Kal-El's rocket and the Phantom Zone, and how Lois seems never for a moment dimwitted about the identity of the Man of Steel. Smart and fun.

Mild SPOILERS endeth here.

This is a blockbuster, both literally and figuratively and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Oh and don't waste time sitting for a teaser, there isn't one. Sigh.

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