The Miserables Review: Man of Steel

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Fallon: Summer blockbuster reviews continue as we make our way through June. Below, Hillari, Andrew, and I review the much anticipated “Man of Steel.”

*******This review may contain spoilers*******

Hillari: Okay, so here is my little spiel…. I loved this movie. I loved the world that was created. I loved the overall message that was related. And, I don’t think there are many women who would argue with me when I say, I loved the casting! Now, it is long and it’s intense, but remember they call it action-packed for a reason.  If you’re looking for a movie this summer that will uplift you, empower you, and just generally make you want to be a better person — I suggest you see this film.

Andrew: As someone who has always been highly critical of the character Superman, seeing him as only a one-note barely flawed and unbeatable alien, I was surprised when the first trailer for Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” hit movie screens and I loved it. A grounded take on Superman that makes him a more relatable and flawed human being (although technically he is not from this world) was always something I wanted to see. It was with this expectation that I went into my midnight screening of MOS.

Overall, I enjoyed the film, as Snyder brought his visual flair (thank the heavens, no slo-mo!) to the table with vastly dynamic space sets and exciting action, the likes of which have not been seen in a superhero film before. With that said, the film did not do much for me in terms of creating a more interesting Clark Kent/Superman. It used a flashback device that is effective in making you feel sympathy for Clark as a boy, in addition to providing us with a very strong supporting turn from Kevin Costner, but when we move directly back into present day, adult Clark doesn’t captivate us the way he did in his youth. Although, I’m certainly willing to give Henry Cavill more time to make the role his own, when he’s barely given us anything even close to a consistent personality it’s certainly worrisome. That, however, may be a product of David Goyer’s incredibly flawed script. Easily the worst aspect of the film, Goyer seems intent on providing the supporting actors with nothing to latch onto in terms of character. Rather, they are provided with some cringe-inducing lines of dialogue. The only supporting actor who makes it out unscathed is Russell Crowe who is just fantastic as Jor-El, giving Clark his conscious and the push he needs to become something greater.

Although “Man of Steel” is certainly flawed and it wouldn’t be near the top of my favorite superhero films list, it has a willingness to entertain not seen in other more grounded superhero fare. The crowning achievements of the film are certainly the bombastic, yet clearly visualized, action sequences. They are big in scope but serve a purpose: they highlight the conflict between Superman and General Zod (Michael Shannon). At the end of the film, their conflict comes to an end in an unexpected, yet poignant way, and it gives me hope that perhaps there is more to this version of the Superman character. Let’s just hope next time the talented cast is provided with more interesting, human material.

Fallon: This was certainly a different Superman film than what we’ve seen before. There was a lot more origin story shown and overall, felt like a prequel at times, but certainly an entertaining one. I thought the elements introduced at the beginning paid off, resulting in a more complex General Zod than we’ve seen previously.

The action scenes were tremendous- visually dynamic, really impressive, and NON STOP. They continued to build from scene to scene, so whether it’s civil war on Krypton or aliens attempting to terraform the Earth, you are locked into your seat for a wild ride.

I really liked Cavill as Superman, but I had a problem with Amy Adams’ Lois Lane. Don’t get me wrong, I like Adams and she’s a GREAT actress… but where was the gumption? the moxie? I’m talking Rosalind Russell’s Hildy in His Girl Friday. That’s the kind of Lois Lane I grew up with. Perhaps it was a problem within the script (like Andrew had mentioned). She was just so… gah! I don’t know what.  But, I hope they sort it out before the sequel.

Overall, it was entertaining. I think the franchise has a lot of potential with Cavill signed on for the next installment. I just hope the second time around we get to see the characters take a few more breathers in between all of the action… But with Synder and Goyer returning, maybe not. Guess we’ll all find out soon enough as there are rumors of a 2015 release date.

MOS1

What did you think? Was “Man of Steel” super?

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