Saturday 3 May 2014


I came to the Superman franchise later than most people, being first introduced to Smallville I then went back and watched the 4 original films. I liked the cheesy take on superman but felt it had been explored as much as it needed to be. I was therefore looking forward to Man Of Steel. I wanted something edgy and different. I had some reservations about yet another 'origin story' but I put that behind me and got ready to watch the film. I enjoyed the start of the film, the mood was darker and bleaker and I loved the idea of Clark Kent going from place to place to try and find himself. There was a dark crisis of confidence and a muddled adolescence that came out really well. The depiction of Krypton was well done, although I felt there were similarities with the machines in The Matrix trilogy.

The decision to crowbar Lois Lane into the story as knowing Superman's identity from the start was an interesting one. I think it saves some of the questions over how anybody can be so naive that have always popped up in other versions. What it also did was to make the story unnecessarily convoluted in a different way. Her presence at each point in the plot, especially in the Arctic, made little sense, and for me the chemistry was not there and Amy Adams gave a weak performance throughout. She was not as feisty as I felt she should have been but that is just a personal opinion and I can see how the relationship could develop in future films.

My biggest problem with the film was the switch just over half way from being an interesting take on the story to being one big fight scene. The length was an issue for me, the repetitive nature was dull and more than that it was one big Matrix rip-off. I have seen people fighting through skyscrapers before, I have seen it in slow motion. There is nothing new offered here. The first fight was visually interesting but after that it was just too much. This is not the only film guilty of this, I would put Transformers and indeed the end of Star Trek: Into Darkness into the same category. The most unforgivable aspect of the film to me is the fact that Superman kills. He should not kill, he should not wipe out a city. He should have fought in space or even flown to a desert. After such a long and protracted fight scene that has wiped out Metropolis he kills Zod. If that really was the only solution then he should have killed Zod  if the first place and spared the civilian life.

There are many small pointers that bugged me in the end to due with continuity and plot but if I am honest then they only annoyed me because I was so angry with how rubbish the film turned out to be. I will not nitpick at those as if the second half of the film had been like the first then I would not have minded at all. Despite me not being over-awed by Amy Adams I felt that the rest of the cast did a good job. It was let down not by performance but by script and production and an inherent need to crash through skyscrapers. This film was made by people who watched The Matrix trilogy and are big fans of Alduos Huxley's A Brave New World but who forgot to research Superman.

I am intrigued by the next film. Like most people I want to see the Superman/Batman interaction and I have some hope for Lex as the villain. I do have a concern that they will mess it up again, although I think it will be one to watch on amazon prime and not worth a cinema ticket.

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