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Superman 6 - Man Of Steel Review

Superman 6 - Man Of Steel
Samrat Sharma /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait for OTT
When Man Of Steel opens, an unprepared member of the audience will take a few moments to find his ground - this is the victory of the comic book and science fiction nerds, writ large on a tent-pole summer film from a major studio. The sheer amount of world-building detail expended on Krypton, Superman's home planet, is staggering to behold. Mixing futurist design with Geiger aesthetic and a surreal sense of the other-worldly, the opening shows an alien planet in the most alien, and yet relatable, way imaginable.

Right after Krypton is destroyed and Kal El reaches Kansas to become Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), the film slows down to a somber and slowly-paced story about a man hiding from the world. This part of the movie also contains most of the flashbacks that give us a glimpse of Clark's life as a kid, and none of it has any joy to it whatsoever.

Man Of Steel takes Clark and his overall demeanour very seriously, and never once lets up. Humourless as it all gets, it is still highly engaging, save for some bad writing.

With an absolutely pedestrian dialogue that is now a hallmark of writer David Goyer, serving as the backbone, the film plunges into a third act, where General Zod (Michael Shannon), a war criminal from Krypton, arrives on Earth to take Kal El - something that is never in doubt is a bad idea.

As Kal becomes Superman, he also unleashes a series of action set-pieces that have so many buildings totaled, so many railway cars destroyed, and so many lives ostensibly lost, that it feels incredulous that no one thought of the loss they depict.

These action set-pieces are the most incredible ever committed to film. Zack Snyder lets loose from his previous crutches, and does a stellar job of letting us feel heft and geography to the action at hand.

After 2006's Superman Returns, and its real estate scam plot point, this feels like major step up, and it is - the invincible guys punching each other feels dynamic, and suitably threatening for life on Earth.

As long as Snyder doesn't let Goyer's dialogues come from Henry Cavill, the action and spectacle on display wows thoroughly. The emotional heft, obviously, is lacking simply because Cavill, as handsome a figure he cuts in the ol' supersuit, does not exude the charisma or presence of a Christopher Reeve. He's fine, but for the most part, that is how we see Lois, or Perry or any of the other familiar faces from the Superman world. They're all fine, but are second to the spectacle unfolding in front of us. The only exceptions are Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, both lending gravitas and elegance to the film.

While most other characters suffer from less screen time and a dour film that forces them to be a certain way, the action takes center stage, and delivers. It lacks the emotional punch you'd require of it, but the action is genuinely amazing to behold.

The movie, too, is a microcosm of that - it's a fine film, with great times even, but without a central character that feels like he has genuine motivation and forward drive as a character, it flounders for a long time till the spectacle take over.

And ultimately the spectacle is why we will watch this flawed film again and again - this is simply the best, most mind-meltingly amazing action set to screen in a Superman movie. It is gorgeous to behold, and were it not for the lack of well executed emotional context, it would be a minor classic. As it stands, we have gotten a flawed but almost certainly one of the best, Superman films, and a great summer blockbuster. We now have a Hero we need, but may or may not deserve.
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Superman 6 - Man Of Steel (english) reviews
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  • Cast
    Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Kevin Costner, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne
  • Music
    Hans Zimmer
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Director
    Zack Snyder
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait for OTT - NA
Portuguese Man-of-War on 17th Jun 2013, 10:15am | Permalink
Bad movie.

A superhero movie ought to have enough interactions of the superhero with ordinary civilians in the initial stages of the plot, before it becomes a one-on-one with the Big Villain. We all want God on our planet saving us in our big travails, and a superhero movie comes closest. Man of Steel misses that almost completely, which is all the more disappointing since this is a reboot, a tale projected as Superman's coming-of-age. So while you go expecting Superman helping ordinary citizens in grave danger from human evil-doers / natural occurences, winning adulation (and a woman) in the process, the movie is basically almost an exclusive one-on-one between the superhero and super-villain.

And that is boring, too, since, as in most superhero movies, in all fights, the villain is in the superior position 90% of the time, with the superhero just having the last hurrah. Plus, there's no brilliance in anything that either the superhero or the super-villain does.

The non-linear narrative doesn't help with this movie - where we'd just want a steady Spiderman-like evolution of the superhero into superhero-dom, the movie is almost straightaway in Superman-vs-Zod mode, with what you really went for coming in flashbacks that are too little, too late.

And yes, the 3D is a pain, as always. I think movie-makers are confusing the popularity of a movie itself for the popularity of 3D. No one I personally know wants to watch a movie in 3D. And Man Of Steel has no 3D effects anyway.

8/10 is a rating a lofty critic would give this movie, not normal movie-goers.
Kris on 21st Jun 2013, 11:53pm | Permalink
I bet you don't like the Dark Knight trilogy either... As this film is made almost on similar lines as Batman Begins and adds a human (or Kryptonian) angle to Superman's character rather than forcing him as a superhero from the start...
and this movie is not for kids... Nolan (as a Director or a Producer) always makes intelligent movies for mature audience...
Portuguese Man-of-War on 22nd Jun 2013, 8:33am | Permalink
Interesting guess, but wrong. The Batman series (or at least the first 2 movies) had something Man of Steel doesn't - great dialogue. The hero and the villains had plenty of depth to their characters, and that makes for a lot of intellectual stimulation, something Man of Steel sorely lacks, at least for me. And that actually makes it a movie for kids - the prime draw being superhero vs super-villain embellished by visual effects, all stuff that adults have been there and seen that.
santosh kumar on 17th Jun 2013, 10:04am | Permalink
Good movie for a one time watch
PMVS Kumar on 17th Jun 2013, 10:02am | Permalink
Zack Snyder is definitely a winner here. His latest movie
abf on 16th Jun 2013, 1:13am | Permalink
i do not watched the movie and i do'nt
Kris on 21st Jun 2013, 11:50pm | Permalink
Nobody cares
PMVS Kumar on 17th Jun 2013, 10:03am | Permalink
then you are missing something in life:))))))
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