Pin It
Favorite

The Most Super of Men 

Man of Steel adds more comic book heroism to the summer blockbuster slate

click to enlarge No briefs on this Superman
  • No briefs on this Superman

Comic books have become the go-to place for cinematic source material, so it should be no surprise that Iron Man 3 is still in theaters as Man of Steel begins its run. All of that metal, and all of those fans who are as divisive as Democrats and Republicans when it comes to being fans of DC or Marvel.

The differences between the two comic giants and the differences between the two movies are palpable. DC’s Superman and Batman stories are serious, with light moments. Marvel’s Iron Man and Spider-Man stories are serious, with goofy moments. DC often features touches of angst in its characters. Marvel usually overflows with it.

Superman, of course, has always been the heartbeat of DC, with Batman running a close second. Man of Steel was co-produced by Batman director Chris Nolan, and his fingerprints are all over it. But it was directed by a different sort of visionary: Zack Snyder, whose résumé includes 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch.

The special effects in Man of Steel are excessive, but that’s not a complaint. When they’re done right — as they are in the final act, in which Metropolis takes a shellacking that would make Godzilla proud — I’ll gobble up as much as Snyder wants to dish out.

You know the story. The distant planet Krypton is about to explode. Leader Jor-El (Russell Crowe, playing it stoic) and his wife can only save their newborn baby by shipping him off to Earth, where atmospheric conditions will give him super powers. After all hell breaks loose, the infant Kal-El is soon zooming through the universe, en route to the farmland of Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane).

From that point on, Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Dark City) go the nonlinear route. There’s a daring sea rescue led by a strong young man named Clark (Henry Cavill), which cuts to a younger Clark at school where he’s labeled a freak, which cuts to a reporter named Lois Lane (Amy Adams) working on a story and proving that she’s tough, feisty and inquisitive.

Yes, the action becomes relentless, pushed forward by Hans Zimmer’s propulsive, percussive score (some of which is credited to his “drum orchestra”). But this is a great film because it smartly and effectively examines some fascinating issues while things are roaring around them.

The film’s central concern, though, is heartfelt father-son relationships — the one between Jor-El and his son Kal-El, and the one between Jonathan Kent and his stepson Clark. 

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Seashell Secrets
  • Seashell Secrets

    Song of the Sea is a beautiful story of siblings struggling to cope and understand each other
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Con Err
  • Con Err

    Focus mistakenly emphasizes romance over sleight of hand
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • The Contenders
  • The Contenders

    A look at this year's Oscar field
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Northwest Bach Festival

Northwest Bach Festival @ Spokane

Through March 8

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Ed Symkus

  • Beyond the Matrix
  • Beyond the Matrix

    The Wachowskis return to form with Jupiter Ascending
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Tough Issues
  • Tough Issues

    Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer provide a thoughtful meditation on race in Black or White
    • Jan 28, 2015
  • More »

Most Commented On

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Music


Film


Folk


Hip-hop


Indie Rock


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation