Man of Steel 3D (12A)
Director: Zack Snyder
Website: Man of Steel
The latest Superman movie is a film in three parts. The story of how Superman (Henry Cavill) was born on Krypton during the imminent destruction of the planet and the steps his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) took to save him, the story of Clark Kent growing up on Earth (Earth parents played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) and discovering his superpowers and then the story of how a good movie can become a slave to CGI and special effects trickery.
A modern Superman poses the problem of how does a thoroughly nice superhero who minds his manners, appeal to an audience growing up on first-person shooting console games while there is the constant background TV noise of yet another conflict and yet another country reduced to rubble by war? The short answer is a big chunk of the movie is spent on Superman and his evil counterpart from Krypton, General Zod (Michael Shannon), having a brawl that levels several blocks of a city with a blatant disregard for human life, in what becomes the most tiresome bit of special effects I have seen for a long time. It is a shame that no one took a firmer hand when editing because the rest of the movie is a visual delight.
Gorgeous, detailed imagining of the planet Krypton, lovingly framed super wide shots of a mid-west America and a fantastic cast means there is tons to love about this movie not least of all the return of a strong female lead in the form of Amy Adams as Lois Lane the gutsy reporter from the Daily Planet. Superman was always the thinking woman's favourite Superhero. The pants over tights combo might have been replaced by an ergonomic unitard this time but the movie remains faithful to the idea that Superman is still an all-round good guy working on our behalf. There is a delightful nod to a sequel with the placement of a LexCorp tanker in one scene (the only product placement I did notice) and of course, the introduction of the Daily Planet team, headed up by Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White.
Watch Man of Steel because you wanted to be Lois Lane when you grew up, because the summer needs a Superhero and because of the beautiful art direction:- four out of five stars.