Zack Snyder’s Superman origin movie sets up the DCEU and splits the fan community like the Red Sea.
Despite being one of the (debateably) most controversial superhero films of this generation, Man of Steel provides both amazing visuals and performances, with some rotten spots in between.
Story: David Goyer’s writing has always been hit or miss. Some of his work has flopped (ie…Davinci’s Demons), whereas some of his writing has contributed to some of the greatest Batman films (ie…Batman Begins, The Dark Knight). In MoS, Goyer does a stellar job in making the big blue boy scout’s origin fresh, but he does butcher Clark Kent’s character in the process. The story is fantastic, inspiring, and takes it’s time. The pacing may be too slow for some, but fans who appreciate dialogue driven, cinematic films will appreciate Man Of Steel’s pacing. Touching on Superman’s characterization, it will, and does bother fans, but I’ll expand on that in the Performances section. There are some very well-written pieces of dialogue, but some, whether they are delivered poorly or just written sloppily are cringe-worthy. Nonetheless, Man Of Steel’s story is flawed, but stellar. I give MoS’s writing a 8/10.
Performances: Man Of Steel’s characters are well written, especially with General Zod, Faora, and both of Clark’s fathers. Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner steal the show as they portray two fathers with different moral agendas. Michael Shannon and Antje Traue are fierce villains with believable motives. Zod’s motivations were thoroughly fleshed out, giving him a credible reason for his actions. Faora, is a powerful Kryptonian woman with a severely misplaced loyalty towards General Zod. Henry Cavill manages to provide a heartfelt performance despite his controversial characterization. He does well with what he had, and he most certainly looks the part (yeah ladies, we know he’s hot). I particularly enjoyed his emotional range, from a quite farm boy from Kansas, to a confident hero nearing the third act. Amy Adam’s Lois Lane was great, Amy did well in delivering her lines, but unfortunately, she had some of the worst pieces of dialogue in the film. I also felt she was used a little too much as a damsel in distress, but then again, Lois is usually written like that in the comics. Overall, the main and supporting cast of Man Of Steel shine bright, and they perform excellently with what they have. I give the performances a 8.5/10.
Action: It is no secret that Zack Snyder is a fantastic visual director, and that truly makes itself manifest in Man Of Steel. Say what you want about the third act’s destruction, the action sequences in this movie are well made. True, the cinematography can be a little sub-par at times, but it works. Clark’s first flight scene is one of my favorite scenes in a movie, the way it’s shot, the Hans Zimmer soundtrack in the background, and the action, makes that sequence a beautiful piece of cinematography and always brings a smile to my face. I would also like to mention how Zod being killed in the end, despite being a polarizing scene, is a fine use of action to deliver an emotional reaction. I give Man Of Steel’s action a 9/10.
Soundtrack: Hans Zimmer is a fantastic composer, there’s no doubt about it. And the Man Of Steel score is probably one of his best works, in my opinion. The emotional pieces fit into the film seamlessly, as do the intense battle scores for the Superman vs Zod fight sequence. Overall, the MoS soundtrack is beautiful, and fits the film like a glove. I give the soundtrack a 10/10.
Verdict: Man of Steel is a good movie, regardless what the RT score may be or what fans may argue. Is it the greatest superhero film? No. Is it the greatest Superman movie? I think so. But despite any comic purist’s opinion, MoS delivers on what it is trying to be, and on setting the groundwork for the DC Cinematic Universe.
Final Score: 8.8/10
(NOTE: The final score is an averaged sum of the four categories I used to evaluate the film.)