Monday, June 24, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel (2013)

It's a good thing Kal son of El is actually stronger than Fe3C, given the utter demolishing of countless steel structures in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. This latest retelling of the Superman story starts out as a brooding contemplation of folly, isolation, and power that soon transforms into a heavy-handed Christ allegory, and then ultimately ends with mind-boggling citywide destruction that magically disappears by the end credits.

The single greatest thing about this film is a scene featuring Kevin Costner's character, Pa Kent, proving the strength of his own conviction. The next best thing is Russell Crowe. A very close third is Henry Cavill's godlike physique, insert sexually-charged joke here.

I suppose the writers had to contend with the fact that most audiences know the Superman backstory already, but that doesn't excuse the shortcuts they took to jam in more CGI action sequences. For instance, a major theme in the film is Kal-El's standing apart from humanity and his search for his true origins. So by the time General Zod comes and threatens the human race, the script should have established compelling reasons for Superman to fight against his own people to save Earth. But apart from his adoptive parents, and his apparent compulsion to save everybody, Kal-El doesn't really seem to have made a strong connection to us homos -- homo sapiens, I mean. Insert joke about actual gays and Henry Cavill here.

And thus, we speculate -- maybe Kal-El is really just super nice? Maybe Zod, played by an excellent-as-ever Michael Shannon, was just too clearly evil for Kal-El to support? Speaking of my spirit animal, here is Michael Shannon doing a dramatic reading of a viral email from a deranged sorority president.

On another note: why did Zack Snyder employ Joss Whedon's cinematography style from The Avengers? You know, the one where there's something plummeting from the sky at speed, and then suddenly the camera zooms in. Snyder uses that trick often. I guess it's appropriate, what with all the high-velocity flying, fighting, and exploding.

Also: boy, the writers couldn't stuff in enough Jesus references in there. Let's see: Superman assumes the crucifix pose before saving Lois Lane; a priest advises Clark to take "a leap of faith;" Ma Kent assures Clark that Pa Kent always knew he could "shoulder the burden" -- carry the cross, get it? Argh.  Good thing my boyfriend Henry does puppy dog eyes very well. I need saving, Jesus! Er, Superman!

Apart from those musings, my only other "Huh?" moment came when General Zod's perpetually bitch-faced commander pulled out a knife and intoned, "A good death is its own reward." But her knife looked like a box cutter that would be lucky to reach a capillary. Huh?

I recommend watching this film on IMAX, but only because the explosions will provide a nice massage . If you're s summer blockbuster aficionado, go for it. If you like staring at a beautiful man for over two hours, run, do not walk, to your nearest movie theater.

This post brought to you by Fragrant Husband's first attempt at pinakbet. Delicious!