Sunday, 16 June 2013

Steel yourself for his return.

'Man of Steel' Review
Director; Zack Snyder
Starring; Henry Cavill
Amy Adams
Michael  Shannon

75th Anniversary this year.
'Man of Steel' is finally here, it has been a very long time since I found out that this film was coming to a cinema near me, for some it's Jedi, for others it's Elves, for me it's Kryptonians. After finding out that I  had won tickets to the London premiere and that I would get to meet Henry Cavill I decided that 'Man of Steel'  deserved a very special review. A review with footage that fans would love, so that's what I set out to do and I hope  by the end of this  review you'll agree that I succeeded. Before I begin my review, I want to say this, I have seen this film three times in a row, the London Premiere, a media screening the next day and then when it was released in Ireland I  saw it a third and final time.  When it comes to the analysis I wanted to  be ready,  so I hope I am.

'Krypton' is doomed, it's a tale as  old as time, instead of their Sun exploding on them however the writers of 'Man of Steel' decided to go with an issue that is very close to home. The character of 'Superman' has evolved over the decades that  he has lived, however the people of 'Krypton' still lack any kind of foresight which has been a recurring theme throughout the long history of 'Superman'. They have drained their planet dry of all natural resources and their last ditch attempt to recover their future has failed them. 'Jor-El', an absolutely bad-ass Russell Crowe, takes it upon himself to save not only his child but also  all of 'Krypton', even if it makes him a heretic in the eyes of his people. He commits crimes against  the counsel of 'Krypton' and stands against 'General Zod' and his regime, all for his family, more importantly for his son, 'Kal-El' who he bequeaths all his hopes and dreams to,  no pressure, and so begins a journey for a child that will not only affect the people of Earth and 'Krypton' but the whole universe.

There has got to be an easier way to commute.
'Superman', I've missed him, with the darkness that seems to be the theme for this years films, including the comic book genre, it  was refreshing to  see that the main element of this  film was hope. Henry Cavill encapsulates this perfectly in his portrayal of 'Kal-El'. There is a subtle charm to him, while at the same time there is a vulnerability. This is a 'Superman' who has grown up in a very real world. There  is a real humanity to him  in this iteration, he's afraid of the world, and what could happen to those closest to him. I could really empathize with this 'Superman', the outsider, the saviour, and the destroyer, he was all these things but what he is not, is unrelatable. 
Michael Shannon was superb as 'General Zod', in this version 'Zod' comes off as a  loyalist, a man who is fighting for his people, for their way of life. In many ways he and 'Jor-El' are men of born of the same belief. 'Krypton' is run by men and women stuck in a cycle of conformity and men like 'Zod' and 'Jor' are put down as crackpots or are judged as criminals, you really feel that if things had been different, even sightly, these two great men could have worked together to save their people. 'Martha Kent' and 'Jonathan Kent' were given new life in the form of Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. Diane Lane was fantastic and she gave off such dry humour and gave the audience a new kind  of 'Martha Kent'. If Diane  Lane gave us a wonderful mother than Kevin Costner gave us the  symbol of the greatest father. 'Jor-El' may have bequeathed all his dreams to  'Kal-El' but it was 'Jonathan' who gave 'Clark' the tools to make all those hopes and dreams come true. I've never really liked  Kevin Costner, the only film I liked of  his was 'Field of Dreams' and yet I found myself really engaged with his scenes with Henry. In a film with building shattering fights I found his scenes impacted me the most. On that  note, the fights, if anyone says "We need a 'Dragonball Z' film" you  tell them to watch this film. The level of  destruction is  on a scale I haven't seen between two combatants outside of an anime, it  makes the fight between the 'Avengers' and the  'chitauri' army look like a schoolyard brawl. This is  a film that  you not only believe that a man can fly but that he can demolish all around him. 
Very cool.
With 'Man of Steel' I had to make sure I wasn't biased, so I went three times to see it. First for fun, second for clarification and third for  justification.  I will tell you now that in my opinion there is very little wrong with this film. The one thing that stands out for me was how  Amy Adams 'Lois Lane' was the weak link in this otherwise superb piece of cinema. It wasn't that she was terrible, it's just that everyone else was giving us  new and interesting portrayals of very much beloved characters, while 'Lois' came off as very by the numbers which was unfortunate because I really was looking forward to her in the film.

There is  no doom or gloom just wonder and hope.  

One of the greatest experiences of my life.
One final surprise for everyone who couldn't make it to the premiere, click the link below. I hope you've enjoyed my review. It was a labour of love.

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