Now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League has finally been released, I feel like it is finally time to go back and re-watch Man of Steel and Batman V Superman before watching the grand finale at the weekend.
Man of Steel, which I haven’t seen since it released way back in 2013 kick’s off Snyder’s Trilogy. When I first saw this film I did not enjoy it, thinking it was too long and filled with silly moments that didn’t work for me. I still think there are some silly moments, but I did enjoy the film a lot more with the second viewing. Even the final fight sequence didn’t seem to drag on into eternity.
Man of Steel is the beginning of Zack Snyder’s DC trilogy and gives us Superman’s origin story, from humble farm boy to the saviour of the world. The film opens with the final days of Krypton, and show Kal-El being sent to Earth to survive the destruction of his home planet. We then get flashes of him growing up being cut into watching him do odd jobs here and there until he does something heroic or otherworldly and has to leave before someone finds out who he is. Eventually Zod comes to town and things go bad and that’s as much as I can say without entering spoiler territory.
The whole cast is brilliant in this film. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams shine brightly as Superman and Lois Lane and they work amazingly well together in the short time that they share the screen. It’s a shame they don’t get more time together and so much of the final sections of the film are taken up by Superman and Zod throwing each other around the city. The effects in the film are also really well done. It feels like Superman is flying around on screen and the city falling apart looks hauntingly fantastic.
My biggest gripe with this film is the overuse of shaky camera, which makes some parts especially the open feel as if you’re watching a pirated version that someone filed in the backrow of a cinema. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a silhouette got up and walked along the bottom at most points of the film, it’s that distracting. It doesn’t add anything to the film, unless the idea was to give a sense of motion sickness. It’s not a found footage film, so there is absolutely no need for it. It just serves as a distraction to what’s happening on screen.
I think the reason I didn’t enjoy the film back when it was first release was purely down to my own mindset going into it. This was supposed to be to Superman what Batman Begins was to Batman, it even had Christopher Nolan as a producer and co-story writer. There was a lot of hype and few things live up to that. I think with almost 8 years between the release and now, Man of Steel has some room to breath and I was more willing to give it a chance to be it’s own thing without the baggage of what came before.
Overall the film is still a standard superhero origin story with a great cast, there isn’t much that breaks the formula massively. It’s enjoyable, funny in places and has some cool set pieces, but beyond that it’s nothing to write home about. It’s worth a watch and I’m looking forward to Batman V Superman tonight. Back when BVS came out, I was expecting it to be so bad, not being a fan of Man of Steel and with the atrocious reviews. When I left the cinema I was surprised at how good I thought it was. I’m hoping it wasn’t just low expectations that let me enjoy it and BvS lives up to my memory.
Thanks for reading,