Review: Superman – Man of Steel

Superman: Man of Steel
Superman: Man of Steel

A thrilling and feisty film that will no doubt wow audiences across the world, Zack Snyder throws Superman at you with such force that it feels like the man himself has punched you in the face.

Small hiccups along the way don’t stop this film being an action-packed ride through the beginnings of a DC legend but many will find that it might not be the dark and clever title they expected.

Cavill produces a solid, if a little clunky, performance as Kent, which sadly results in a feeling of apathy towards his well-being. Amy Adams and Michael Shannon do their job but they won’t blow your mind either. The veterans Crowe and Costner are probably the pick of the bunch, there’s an authentic and at times moving show from the latter and the no nonsense but loving father role Crowe executes feels both exciting and genuine.

Explosive, stunning and somewhat confusing, Man of Steel ticks all the right boxes in terms of visual and special effects. But as strong as the fast-paced, fantastic CGI and captivating battle scenes are, the constant battering of noise and crumbling buildings in the last half hour can find you experiencing some serious sensory overload (much like a young Clarke Kent at the start of the film).

The scenes are without doubt a fantastic piece of work, but it’s relentless. The failure to break up the sequences leaves you disorientated and out of sync. They would have been near perfect, but without any kind of break, it becomes too much.

Prior to that, several plot holes combined with a few ridiculous incidents mean that at times, it feels like Snyder is taking liberties with the artistic licensing. Such easy and obvious flaws in the story that are simply breezed over leave you feeling a tad frustrated at the lack of attention to detail. Whether Snyder is being lazy or simply thinks it doesn’t matter is irrelevant, even Superman rookies will be asking questions.

And while we’re complaining, a bizarre mismatch of flashbacks, cutaways and ghosts can create confusion as to what is reality and what isn’t. What the team clearly thinks is arty and clever is in actual fact a distraction that interrupts the flow of the story – which is desperately lacking. If you’re looking for something chronological then forget it, the film jumps back and forward between time periods so badly that it puts Memento to shame.

That said, it gives you everything you could really want from a Superman movie; enthralling fight sequences, spaceships and some good old-fashioned eye zapping. It’s easy to pick holes but what you are guaranteed is a heart-stopping set of effects that makes you feel like you’ve donned the red cape yourself.

It is very funny in places, a little try-hard in others and has a sprinkling of clichéd but expected comic book lines, but as films go it’s one of the most fast-paced and thrilling released this year. It is without question, worth going to see yet without the tongue-in-cheek and light feel of Iron Man or the darkness and authenticity of The Dark Knight, enthusiasts might find themselves ever so slightly underwhelmed.

Review by Charlie Ray (@charlieray47)