HomeNewsBusinessCultureHealthVideoNewsletter

FILM REVIEW: Man Of Steel Straddles the Line Between Dark and Fun

Director Zack Synder and writer David S. Goyer bring forth a more profound Superman film

By: Jake Horowitz
Published: June 15th, 2013 in Culture » Film » Reviews
Man of Steel

In our post-Batman Begins world, full of gritty superheroes and realistic, guilt-ridden protagonists, it's hard to find a superhero movie that's not all doom and gloom. The Batman Trilogy was deeper and darker than Christian Bale's Batman voice, The Amazing Spiderman took Peter Parker to new apprehensive heights, and even Iron Man 3 had its fair share of terrorists threatening the end of the world. But now, seven years after the dust has settled on 2006's bright and comic-bookey Superman Returns, comes a new reboot and a new take on the man of steel.

Fittingly, it's called Man of Steel.

In Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer take on the task of rebooting Superman for a new generation and grounding a character that is essentially an immortal alien. Though Superman may only have one weakness and has, not just two, but four loving parents who guided him through life, Man of Steel still attempts to find new ways to give Superman his slew of problems and reinvent him for our harsh and cynical superhero world.

However, much to the credit of Snyder and Goyer, as well as actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, Man of Steel straddles the line between dark and fun, explosive and quiet. While at one moment the film can be easily mistaken for The Dark Knight when seemingly all the odds are against a notably more human-feeling Superman, in the next moment Superman is flying around with ease, allowing the fun, and the action, to continue. While some parts of the film have an indie-like quality, with quiet scenes of rural farm life and dialogue-heavy character exchanges, other parts feature more explosions and punches in the face than any Transformers movie would dare. Though this combination of styles can often feel refreshing and even somewhat inspired, most notably near the end of the film, Snyder gets a little too giddy with action sequences that cause the film to lean towards the unrealistic. Entire 20-minute stretches become punch after punch after explosion after Superman flying through buildings after punch. By the end, it's hard not to feel about as worn out as Superman must feel.

It’s through the quiet moments and flashbacks of Clark Kent's life in Smallville that ascents Man of Steel into flight. It's here where the film has a chance to breathe and show off its restraint. These scenes also illustrate what I assume is Snyder and Goyer's intention: making a more serious and profound Superman movie. As we learn more about Clark's life in Smallville with his adoptive parents we can start to feel some empathy for him and really understand what he's going through, all despite the fact that he is still an immortal alien.

All in all Man of Steel is a successful reboot of an iconic character. The great script is underscored by great acting that has a chance to shine throughout the film's quieter moments. Though this is a Superman movie and though the Superman action, most notably the flight scenes, is undeniably great, Snyder does go a bit overboard with it all, giving the film a cheap (albeit very expensive) blockbuster-seeking ambience as opposed to the subdued and personal feel that is also trying to get through. Standing out above almost everything else in the film however is Hans Zimmer's score which, while not related to the score of the original Superman movies, is iconic, inspiring, and incredible in its own right.

Though it may appear that there were some missed opportunities here and there with Man of Steel, the bigger picture, and in some cases the smaller parts, still work rather well and will no doubt help to set up the king of all superhero franchises for this generation. Now where can I buy my tickets to Man of Steel 2?

Related articles: Man of Steel, Superman, Zack Synder, David S. Goyer, Amy Adams, Henry Cavill
0 times
FILM REVIEW: Man Of Steel Straddles the Line Between Dark

Director Zack Synder and writer David S. Goyer bring forth a more profound Superman film

REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had a tough road ahead of it. Luckily, Catching Fire saw that road, shot it up with arrows, lit it on fire, and kept on ploughing forward

Movie Review: When Jews Were Funny

Shalom Life reviews the award-winning documentary by Alan Zweig

REVIEW: 3D Space-Thriller 'Gravity' Could Be The Most Intimate Film

Alfonso Cuaron's latest masterpiece starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is more of a life-changing experience than a film.

REVIEW: 'The Way Way Back' Successfully Captures the Essence of

This coming of age film manages to capture the incapturable: what it's like to be young, the simple joys of summer, and the awkwardness that is your first crush.

REVIEW: World War Z

This big-budget zombie flick has more to offer than high action and gore.

FILM REVIEW: Man Of Steel Straddles the Line Between Dark

Director Zack Synder and writer David S. Goyer bring forth a more profound Superman film

REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had a tough road ahead of it. Luckily, Catching Fire saw that road, shot it up with arrows, lit it on fire, and kept on ploughing forward

Movie Review: When Jews Were Funny

Shalom Life reviews the award-winning documentary by Alan Zweig

REVIEW: 3D Space-Thriller 'Gravity' Could Be The Most Intimate Film

Alfonso Cuaron's latest masterpiece starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is more of a life-changing experience than a film.

REVIEW: 'The Way Way Back' Successfully Captures the Essence of

This coming of age film manages to capture the incapturable: what it's like to be young, the simple joys of summer, and the awkwardness that is your first crush.

REVIEW: World War Z

This big-budget zombie flick has more to offer than high action and gore.

news_scroll_down
OUR FACEBOOK FANS
Blogs
Take Responsibility for Your Own

The 19 year old sophomore sat on the exam table looking at the floor. A college student with obvious charm

The Stanford Prison Experiment at

In 1971, researchers set up a prison in the basement of Stanford University's Psychology Department. The idea was to

U.S. vs. Europe: Health Care

As I have tried to make abundantly clear the United States is the only country in the industrialized world that

Hands Off America

Alright, that does it.Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have been willing to do their part for

Fat Returns After Liposuction ...

A study appeared in a journal titled “Obesity” which was reported by a group from the University of Colorado. In

What does Victory Look Like?

Sixty-five years ago today, World War II officially came to an end. On September 2, 1945, Japanese Foreign Minister

Share This Story With Your Friends!

Your Name:

Friend's Name:

E-Mail:

Friend's E-Mail:

(This information will not be displayed publicly)

Optional Message: