It wont be surprising for anyone to learn that regularly Geek Apocalypse contributors and I have many an argument as to who is the best superhero. To us Geek it’s a bit like which is better, chocolate or double chocolate? sex or lots of sex? its still awesome! But its an interestig debate none the less. What needs to be known is rather like what CM Punk said on the Nerdist Podcast, I never liked superman, because I never believed he wouldn’t make mistakes. As in somebody annoyed him and he burned them to a crisp because he got angry….I mean who hasn’t done that before?? Exactly!
I think one of the reasons for example the batman franchise has been successful in comparision is you get to see batman’s other identity Bruce Wayne suffer in staying Batman. He makes mistakes just like we do. I don’t think that was every really explored in the earlier superman films. It was the Wham Bam Thankyou Superman approach to superheroes in that everyone loved him as long as he was flying around saving the day. Thats why I highly recommend you watch the smallville tv series if you want to see that side of superman over a long period of time, as thats the best superman product thats been made in the last 15 years.
Before I get into reviewing Man of Steel, I want to underline that in order to combat that, I thought they made some very good choices in fixing this particular franchise. Now I know that they will be someone somewhere not happy with the fact that Christopher Nolan produced and wrote some of Man of Steel, and those people are known in the regular world as idiots. Seriously, If you were in that position of trying to resurrect a struggling franchise, wouldn’t you want someone that knows what they are doing and cares about the product? That’s why I never understood the problem with J J Abrams taking over Star Wars and Star Trek. He isn’t going to be doing both at the same time because just like the hobbit and lord of the rings they take forever to make and come out, and if theres a longer wait for things wouldn’t it be better to wait for it to be good then for it to come out earlier and be shit? I also think they made another couple of great choices in Man of Steel, using David S Goyer is one of them! Being a huge fan of blade (ok the first 2, never liked the third one) I was pleased to see Goyer invoved as it made sense being that he co wrote dark knight and dark knight rises with Nolan (christopher not the sisters). He also wrote the brilliant crow 2….yeah I dont remember either ,but just like superman, everyone makes mistakes!
I also think they made a great choice in picking Zack Snyder as Director. For those that Don’t know he directed 300 and also one of the best graphic novel adaptation in watchmen which I thought was genuinely brilliant. So they were sensible, reliable choices. Actually, no that I think about it, they made sure this wasn’t going to fail, as if you look at the all star cast, they really wanted people to know they were trying. But in a sense, Hollywood failing is a good thing as it makes them realise that they can’t just bish bash bosh things together and expect it to all work out. Because as we all know, that never ever happens……(insert film from millions of choices)
So to the film (finally! Also small spoilers from here on in). Based on what I said earlier I thought it was great that they essentially started again with Superman. I think with technology in motion pictures being as great as it is now its great to see Kryton in all its glory and see how superman ended up at earth in decent detail. To give you an example of how much back story they go into , superman doesn’t fly for over an hour into the film? Because they show you the struggles he goes through as a child trying to fit into a planet that he is not from. I always say in regards to Superhero films, you have to make people feel its believable than just letting them see its believable, as in feeling an emotional connection aka a reason to care about whats happening in the first place. And I generally think that they achieved this, It definitely worked on me anyway as I felt I should be rooting for him . I think in a lot of these films (I think ironman 3 made this exact mistake) they are so afraid of the serious scenes, not realising in reality that its the crux of the films. In this I think they got it exactly right.
As i said earlier they made some really good acting choices. I thought Russell Crowe did a good job as Jor-el and I cant lie in saying I was worried he wouldn’t be good in a film such as this. Diane lane is one of my favourite actress (she should of won an oscar for unfaithful- there I’ve said it) and she does a great job as superman adopted mother. Kevin Costner also adds emotional punch to the film and is kind of the moral voice in the whole of the film being superman’s adopted father. I also thought Michael Shannon played an excellent villain as General Zod and Henry Cavill was a suprisingly good superman as he looked vulnerable yet you wanted him to be with in a bar fight. What I love is that the brits are slowly taking over the film industry, being that Caville, Garfield (spiderman) and bale (batman) are in three of some of the most well known franchises around. And we have james bond and doctor who! We are getting there america!
So whats my final verdict? think I might have a sandwich for dinner…but in regards to the film, I really thought it was great. If you want to see action with super special effects then go and see fast and the furious, but in regards to the latest superhero films that I’ve seen, I generally think this is one of the best. Its no surprise either that some of the best films made in this genre in recent years have involved christopher nolan, which you can see his input in Man of Steel that makes this the success that this film is. I love that when the action comes along in this film, your ready for it, cos they let you wait in an entertaining clever and entertaining way that makes the film believable and emotional.
easily 9 out of 10, maybe I do like superman now!
here is the video version of my review from our youtube channel!