23 June 2013


The much anticipated DC comics superhero movie "Man of Steel" produced by the Christopher Nolan of the well-known "Dark Knight Triology" did not live up to my expectations. It spent many years in its conception and casting before the movie was finally made. Heavily shrouded in secrecy and hyped to be a different and darker take as a departure from the earlier movie failure "Superman Returns", there were some hits and as many misses for this latest remake.

Starring Henry Cavill as the new leading man, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and other actors such as Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, this over two hour long movie was so packed in cation in the later part of the movie that it was a blurry mess for me. It was so deja vu watching the movie because the scenes of the city's mass destruction and alien space crafts resembled many recent action packed movies like "Transformers" or that involved alien invasions etc as the Man of Steel battled the evil Zod and his henchmen from Krypton.

The movie deliberately detracted from the comics and earlier movies in some ways in an attempt to inject some freshness into a superhero character that we all know too well and to create some mystery behind the Man of Steel. First of all, there was a radical change in the superhero's outfit to keep in time with the new age and gone was his embarrassing red underwear worn on the outside. They tried hard not to refer to the superhero as Superman and inferred that the famous S insignia was just a symbol of hope.

I have never seen a scruffy, bearded Superman but here he was looking more like the hairy Wolverine than the clean cut Superman that we all know of. The first hour of the movie was spent exploring how the troubled and confused young boy with superpowers tried to cope with his unusual and extraordinary abilities by hiding who he really was from everyone and subsequently was lost and ran from place to place after he failed to save his human father Jonathan Kent from a tornado. He only found his calling after he discovered a Kryptonian spaceship in the arctic, communicated with his birth father Jor-El through a hologram and learnt about his true identity and destiny.

I guess Henry Cavill fits the bill as the darker superhero with a lot of baggage but I am not used to his constant frown on his forehead. I did not like Amy Adams as Lois Lane and felt there was something missing about her. In my mind, Lois Lane is much more feisty than what was portrayed. In fact, I found her annoying as she was superhero's main distraction from saving the world. Never mind if many military men and civilians were killed, saving Lois seemed to be the order of the day when it came to the Man of Steel. Smooching was fine even though there was mass destruction and death around.

Unfortunately, I feel there was so much potential to this movie which was not tapped. For instance, they was a lot of inference to Lex Luthor with his name on buildings but there were no cameos of him or other superheroes like Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern etc from the Justice League, which was a formula that the Marvel Comics used to great success in the other superhero movies involving the Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and so on. There was also no suspense created in crafting a character in the movie as a possible upcoming superhero like Robin in the Dark Knight series.

I guess movie making is getting more and more difficult by the day. When the audience is used to see something in several movies, the formula loses its freshness and appeal. Unless the directors and producers come up with something new, movies with age old formulas become run of the mill and will soon descend into boredom. 

Having said that, if they make a sequel, I will still catch it no matter how bad it is. A superhero will always be an extraordinary being with the limitless ability to do what the common lay person cannot do. That in itself, is the allure of a superhero movie.