Movie review: ‘Man of Steel’ lands with a thud

06/19/2013 12:52 pm7 commentsViews: 31

By Olu Alemoru, Staff Writer

After all the considerable hype — six months of teaser trailers and images — uber film genius Christopher Nolan, writing compadre David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder, did come up with a new twist on Superman.

Firstly, they dumped John Williams’ iconic score for an un-memorable background concoction by Hollywood go-to guy, Hans Zimmer

Secondly, they figured out how to blow $200 million on a beloved action fable and turn into a fitfully interesting philosophy seminar.

“Man of Steel,” starring chiseled Brit, Henry Cavill, is certainly not as disappointing as 2006’s “Superman Returns” — a criminal waste of Kevin Spacey — but with Nolan’s and Goyer’s Batman reboot pedigree one was hoping to re-invent new ways to say awesome.

They certainly had the best available talent: Amy Adams as feisty reporter Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Superman’s father Jor-El, Kevin Costner as the earthly patriarch Jonathon Kent and craggy-faced villain Michael Shannon as General Zod.

But in comparison to the first two and best Superman movies, “Man of Steel” underwhelms in most departments.

Introducing a Krypton very different from the original 1978 version — with flying dragons and hueish browns and deep greys — baby Kal-El (Superman/Clark Kent) is dispatched in a spaceship to escape the coming destruction of the planet.

Meanwhile, the power-crazed Zod and his chainmail lycra-cladded cohorts are imprisoned in a super-deluxe version of the Phantom Zone, ready to wreak havoc on earth and downtown Wichita when Cavill’s mournful, blue-eyed god reaches his 33rd birthday.

And herein lies it’s downfall; Nolan and company spend so much time flashing back and forth pontificating on the whys and wherefores of a super alien being living amongst us, that it derails the rhythm of the plot.

Then, when the action does crank into gear, the super-charged fight scenes descend quickly into loud monotony, like suffering through a new Tekken Streetfighter.

Maybe no one can improve on the near perfection of the original and first sequel — Superman 3 and 4 were pretty awful — but at least they had the music.

 

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