DVD Movie Review | Man of Steel (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Leo Epema 06.10.2016 1

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Man of Steel (UK Rating: 12)

Once again, here is a Superman movie. The difference is, though, that this time around it's not called actually called Superman, but Man of Steel. Obviously, that name calls into mind buff men and helpless women, and that's actually pretty much what it is. If you've missed it so far, and were a fan of DC Comics' recent rebirth, especially after seeing Henry Cavill reprising the role in the excellent extended DVD version of Batman vs. Superman (forget the poorly edited cinema version...), should you get excited about watching this? Well, the trailers certainly make it look impressive...

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The first hint that this movie is actually nothing more than a large mess, is when it begins to throw around flashbacks left, right, and centre. Not only that, but the flashbacks don't really add anything of note. It would have been better if Clark Kent/Superman, in his youth, had actually decided to let people die instead of saving them. Instead, his father dies in a ridiculous way, trying to save his dog, a family pet that is never once seen after that, either, removing any potential emotional connection. A few oversights like this make Man of Steel far less human than it could have been.

That is, in fact, the greatest flaw present: it's not human enough. There are no moments that will leave viewers rather misty-eyed, no elements that inspire rage... a big fat nothing. Sure, Superman can use his kinetic powers to fly and make impressive thumping noises as he hits the earth again, but that's not what fans had been waiting for after Superman Returns. Perhaps Brandon Routh's version wasn't quite as bad as everyone first thought, after all! Man of Steel was never meant to be a typical action movie, it was meant to be something extra-special, yet instead is nothing of the sort, and, to make matters worse, one that's badly paced.

The acting, arguably one of the most important aspects, lacks that human touch, as well. Take Zod, for instance - he is an amazingly bland villain, due in part to actor Michael Shannon's under-acting. Superman is not always believable, either, such as when he calls Zod crazy, not exactly putting any oompf into it; he just doesn't sound like he really means it. Russell Crowe makes for a fine parnetal figure as Jor-El, but, then again, he played his usual character style, so it was more like Russell Crowe as "himself," but mixing talking in with a bit of fighting. Him and his son, Superman, don't even say goodbye to each other. As for Clark's adoptive mother, Martha Kent, Diane Lane took the role in her stride, but if she had had a larger role, she would have no doubt fumbled like the others, just so is the pacing of Man of Steel in general. As for any special effects included, nothing stands out as being original in any way, which is a big problem considering the focus on special effects for the most part.

Rated 5 out of 10


What else can be said? Man of Steel is mediocre, at best, unable to even get within touching distance of the far better Superman movies from the past. The story should have been an important focus, in addition to the characters featured within, yet instead everything takes a backseat to the action, which in itself is disappointingly underwhelming. There comes a point when the multitude of bangs, thumps, and oomphs numbs the mind, and here it didn't take long for that to happen at all. For those that enjoy a good flick without any depth, maybe it's one to consider on rental, but just remember that it comes with a lot of action and a dull silvery filter laid over the screen. For anyone else, skip this and check out the extended DVD release of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice instead.

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I always thought Superman was one of the most boring superheroes. Since his only weakness is kryptonite, it limits the story so much. In my opinion they should throw some of the old ideas out of the window and try and do something new with him, even if it goes against traditions with the series. (bear in mind I've only ever seen some of the films, so my opinion is based of  those).

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