By Suman Bhattacharya (Delhi, India)


Zack Snyder Delivers But With A Few Hiccups

When two names of stature like Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder comes together the expectation has to be enormous. No wonder Man of Steel is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Also it is an acid test for the Warner Bros. to spend around 225 million on another superhero movie when Marvel is doing pretty good with its own set of Avengers. It’s tricky, especially after Zack Snyder’s last outing The Sucker Punch didn’t really leave any mark at the box office.

Love him or hate him – Zack Snyder has his own style of film making. Be it 300, Watchmen or the unsuccessful The Sucker Punch one thing he didn’t compromise, his conceptions. Sometimes his imagination goes extreme and hardly makes any sense. Luckily for Man of Steel he stays on track and delivers Christopher Nolan’s story adaptation of one of world’s favorite Superhero – Superman with success but not without few “ifs” and “buts”.

The movie starts at planet Krypton where they have their first natural birth child in centuries – Kal. Krypton is a dying planet and Kal’s parents send him to earth as a final hope for survival of their race. Kal, the child, sent to Earth from Krypton, is adopted by a couple in rural Kansas. As a boy he learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. After few years he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. He connects with prosperous reporter Lois Lane, who sees him for what he is and doesn’t shy away. There came General Zod who wants the codex of all Kryptonian children hidden inside Kal or Carl Kent – the name by which he is known in this word. Rest of the movie unfolds how the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from extinction and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

The story took its liberty where a lot of popular characters are missing, General Zod is a different person in the movie and Superman is no more afraid of Kryptonite. But Zack should be credited for showing the humane side of Clark Kent and his struggle to adapt his own power. The screenplay is effective and in some places experimental with past moments flashing any time. But it works to keep the audiences hooked and they wait for the Hero to rise and it does.

One thing that doesn’t delight – is the fighting sequences. Although they are visually appealing and brilliant in terms of technology, but it shows a huge amount of destruction. When a movie is supposed to be about a Hero who saves the world – Man of Steel shows too much demolition. At a certain point you may think, are you watching Superman or Hancock?

Second thing that doesn’t work is the villain. A superhero is always as good as his/her antihero is. General Zod somehow fails to generate that terror quotient. Other than destroying few cars and buildings he really doesn’t have much evil within him. That’s a failure from writing and acting point of view.

In terms of performances, Henry Cavill is easily the most suited actor thus far to fill the role and frankly he looked the part in every frame. It seems the franchise will survive and so is Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent. I wish the screenplay utilized more the actor in him as much they utilized his looks. As a super villain, Michael Shannon doesn’t impress. In some sequences he simply overacts. He tries to look and be bad but it doesn’t leave a strong impact. Zod is a strong character and it never really comes out. The other miscasting is Amy Adams as Lois Lane. She never looks the part and any chemistry with Cavill is missing. On the other hand, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White does well but underutilized. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are effective as Clark’s Earth parents. Russell Crowe as Kal’s biological father- Jor El, does fair.

To sum it up – Man Of Steel delivers what it promised – to present Superman in a whole new Avatar. But while doing so there are certain hitches which even diehard fans can hardly overlook. Get your expectations set – Man of Steel‘ is no Dark Knight. But if you’re looking for an edge of the seat, 130 minutes popcorn Hollywood summer flick Man of Steel supplies that with flourish.

Rating: 3/5



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