People are afraid of what they don't understand

Occasional kaos contributor Oura has been taken to the pictures by a responsible adult to watch "Man of Steel". Here's what he thought.

Man of Steel

HERE'S WHAT I liked about the film: Taken purely as entertainment, I really enjoyed it. The actors were amazingly good, the story was evocative, the special effects were breathtaking (if slightly disturbing in places, I’ll get to that later), and the overall look of the film was extremely polished. The leading man Henry Cavill is naturally likeable as Clark Kent, and also vulnerable as he tries to find out more about his Alien heritage, and struggles to come to terms with his super human abilities. He’s also hot as all hell, on the summer solstice, in the middle of a heat wave, on the sun! *faints*

The opening prologue, an adaptation of Superman’s origins on Krypton, is intelligent and modern. Personally I think Superman’s birth mother Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) stole the show. Yes there are some great action scenes here too, but for me she was the star. She gave me everything I needed and more; vulnerability, strength, determination, a mother who has to give up her only child in order keep him safe. Russell Crowe as Jor El completely surprised me as I’m not a great fan of his, but he definitely gave an excellent performance.

Skip forward to Earth and the talent just keeps coming; Martha and Jonathan Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) do nothing short of break your heart as they do everything to support their otherworldly hero. The story expertly highlights the conflict of Superman’s character, being an Alien trying to gain acceptance from Humans, and wondering if it will ever be possible. In one scene Clark hides in a broom closet desperately trying to control his super senses, only being able to do so with his mother’s help. Clark later watches as his father forbids him from saving his life, in order to protect this secret. Powerful stuff, and the movie is full of moments like it.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the film: As a fan of the Superman franchise... I was a left feeling more than a little disappointed in our hero. However you go about re-imagining the origins of a character, the fundamental fact about Superman is that he saves people… a fact that was almost glossed over during this film, in favour of showing internal conflict and spectacular fight scenes. Superman barely saves anyone, apart from Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who gives us a stunning performance of damsel-in-distress-trying-to-act-tough like she invented the role. I found this diminished level of heroic actions quite shocking given who the main character is. In fact almost all of the major fight scenes with General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his second in command Faora Ul (Antje Traue), put everyone in the immediate vicinity in extreme danger, despite knowing that the bad guys would have chased Superman (they were pursuing him at the time) if he'd led them away to a less populated area; something which seemed entirely contrary to how Superman should behave.

A large amount of Clark’s hometown is destroyed during one of these fights, and later on, Metropolis is quite literally flattened by a huge Kryptonian terra forming machine, meanwhile Superman has only managed to save two soldiers and a few men from an oil rig. The sheer multitude of slack-jawed civilian faces that appear on screen, running for their lives as Metropolis is destroyed with quite horrific imagery recalling 9/11, was staggering and felt entirely unnecessary. So to were the blatant and heavy handed religious undertones; Superman assumes a crucifix-like position while Jor El tells him “You can save them all”, giving up his only son.

In conclusion: Despite these fairly large holes in our new Superman’s cinematic armour, I can't deny that I really did enjoy the film overall. This iteration does quite a lot to give the character more depth than simply being the invincible “Man of Steel”, and while he doesn’t save as many individuals as I would have expected, he does save the day, and by extension the world! This film will keep you on the edge of your seat, will send adrenaline pumping through your veins, put tears in your eyes, and the extremely delayed kiss between Lois and Clark will hopefully leave a smile on your face. Oura


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