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Man of Steel (2013) Movie Review

June 15, 2013

The character of Superman comes with many different expectations depending on which prior film and TV versions of his story you have seen. After the fizzle of “Superman Returns” in 2006, we are finally given a true re-imagining of the story in the aptly titled “Man of Steel.” Gone are the days where Superman faces nothing but human villains. This new variation infuses the story with more realism, giving audiences a look at the origins of the character with a scope that few recent films have delivered.

By putting more focus on the alien world where Superman came from, the film has a much more science-fiction feel than ever before. It is  a mixture of the old Superman with Star Trek and Transformers. It is fitting then that Hans Zimmer decided to take a completely different approach with the music. Gone are the soaring themes of John Williams played by full orchestra. Instead the music is largely driven by heavy percussion and any traditional instruments are made to sound closer to synths. The result is a musical feel that is different than what we have come to expect from modern blockbusters. The music manages to present a number of intimate cues for solo cello and solo piano that heighten the emotion of major scenes.

The story opens with a bang, with major action as war breaks out on Krypton and Superman is sent off to Earth. We are then given a development of Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) through a number of flashback sequences followed by heavy action in the second half of the film. Amy Adams plays the young reporter and love interest Lois Lane and does a fantastic job. Cavill manages to come across as both likable and heroic and makes a fantastic Superman. The supporting cast includes a number of big actors, including Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner, who all deliver satisfying performances. Michael Shannon is phenomenal as the villain, giving a heavy dose of menacing anger.

“Man of Steel” delivers huge spectacle and plenty of action while delivering a fresh plot. The movie is much darker than previous films and the destruction is jaw-dropping. It is unlikely that any other movies this summer will deliver anything as epic as “Man of Steel.” If you are not particularly attached to prior Superman films, you will find an engrossing film that moves by quickly despite its long run-time. I look forward to seeing where this new Superman franchise takes us in the years to come.


From → Action

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