Laurence Phelan reviews Man of Steel (12A)
Dir. Zack Snyder, Starring Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner, 143mins
Friday 14 June 2013
It is a sign of the kind of inflationary bombast that typifies modern Hollywood summer blockbusters in general, and Zach Snyder movies in particular, that in his latest incarnation, Superman – who was already the most monolithic of superheroes, a symbol of American exceptionalism, and a movie icon – becomes no less than a Christ-like figure and the salvation of all mankind. “You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards,” says the ghost of his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe).
But before all that, and despite the fact that Superman’s origin story is already widely known, there is a huge amount of exposition and backstory that this film wants to put in place. We spend almost an hour on Krypton, which as Snyder envisages it is a weird mix of medieval fantasy worlds and apocalyptic sci-fi; a dying planet swirling with dragons and spaceships.
Even after the film comes back down to earth, and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) has more fully assimilated into the human race, the non-stop action continues to be pitched at an oversized and exhausting level. And with too few moments of believable human interaction, too little humour, and characters who are too thinly drawn, it’s easy to lose sight of what Superman is fighting for, and whether it’s even worth it.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
JK Rowling pens new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians