It’s not too often that I’m blown away with the beauty of a film trailer, and it’s even rarer that I don’t end up disappointed. Thankfully, “Man of Steel” lived up to every facet of my visual expectations.
Director Zack Snyder doesn’t disappoint and visually continues to build off his previous works, including “300” and “Watchmen.” In the spectrum of superhero films, it borrows some form “The Dark Knight” trilogy with its nitty-gritty feel, which comes as no surprise considering trilogy director Christopher Nolan also serves as a producer.
However, my one complaint about the film’s visuals is the overuse of the handheld camera. For the most part, it added to the action and really engaged the audience in being a part of the fighting. But it wasn’t necessary every time someone fell or was pushed around. It just became a distraction at times, much like J.J. Abrams’ overuse of lens flare in the first “Star Trek.”
I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into the Superman reboot plot wise. I appreciated the wholesomeness director Bryan Singer held onto in 2006’s “Superman Returns,” but like most I was disappointed overall with the film’s lack of excitement — something “Man of Steel” doesn’t have any trouble with.
Snyder gives us a bit of old mixed in with some creative story telling. Like 1978’s Oscar-nominated “Superman,” we are first introduced to a dying Krypton with Jor-El getting ready to ship off his son. Then we quickly jump forward to a grown Clark Kent out at sea as he journeys to discover his origins.
The first half of the film has a lot of jumping around from past and present, which doesn’t get confusing, but does take away from build-up to any emotional investment. With a running time of nearly two and a half hours, I was surprised with the lack of build up with some of the film’s major elements. For example, Clark goes from not knowing any of his powers to flying within a matter of seconds of trying it for the first time.
What I can’t complain about is the casting of Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel. He bears a rugged resemblance to his famous predecessor. Cavill manages to capture the good-hearted nature of the hero without coming across as naïve, which is the problem I had with the boyishly-faced Brandon Routh.
As a comic lover, I could nitpick every bit of the film, but it wouldn’t give it the due praise it deserves. “Man of Steel” does everything right in separating itself from past Superman films, and reintroduces us to the most famous of all superheroes.
It may not be perfect, but it certainly has re-energized a franchise many have wanted to see in the sunlight once again.