In which I pretend to interview myself about a movie I’ve seen, which isn’t at all what a crazy person does. This is a spoiler-free review.
What’s it about?
It’s about Superman, obviously. However, like Batman Begins, Man of Steel is an attempt to reboot a Superhero franchise that is long past its prime. Man of Steel abandons the Christopher Reeves-era Superman and everything associated with it, including the classic John Williams theme, and starts fresh.
What was good?
- The music, as is expected from Hans Zimmer, was fantastic.
- The special effects are as good as they get for modern films.
- The choreography. This film has created some new ways to show how Super-powered characters move and react to each other that I highly enjoyed.
- The cast. This film was filled with some of my favorite character actors, who all did their jobs wonderfully. They helped bring an appropriate depth to the world on screen.
What was bad?
- Oddly enough, in the early parts of the film some of the acting seemed exceptionally poor. The line readings felt completely flat. Thankfully, this disappears for most of the film, and only returns during one brief out-of-place exchange at the end.
- Some of the characterizations were… novel. During the course of the film, Superman makes some decisions, including one large one, that seem to go against everything we know about the character.
- The treatment of the women in the film, while not awful, wasn’t very good. The female characters aren’t given much to do, and the end of the film focuses on multiple men trying to save multiple helpless women. It felt somewhat cliched
Who will love it?
Younger audiences, especially those with little exposure to the existing Superman mythos. If this is your first introduction to a character you’ve heard about but don’t really know, you will almost certainly be interested in learning more about Superman and his world.
Who will hate it?
Superman purists. If you hate the very idea of any changes being made to the character, or his world, in order to make a successful transition to film, this movie will make you very angry.
Can my kids see it?
There’s not much to take offense to. There’s no sex or innuendo, and the cursing is very light and context-appropriate. They may feel bored, especially given that there is next to no action for the first ninety minutes, but the last hour or so should be exciting enough to keep anyone’s attention.
So, how was it?
It was “very good”. Not great, not the most fantastic film I’ve ever seen, but it was solid even in its worst parts, and excellent in its best. In the end, Man of Steel is an admirable attempt to build a new cinematic universe. There are some missteps to be sure, but I both expect and would welcome more adventures from this version of the character.