UK Release date: 14th June 2013
Watched at the cinema on Friday 14th June 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
With a surname like mine I really couldn’t miss out on a film that is, after all, named after my family (at least the male members of it). It’s a film with plenty of pedigree with David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan involved and I have no problem with Zack Snyder directing (so long as he doesn’t give us another ‘Sucker Punch’). It covers well trodden ground with the origins of Superman having been portrayed many times before whether in comic book, film or in prose. I was interested to see how it would be dealt with this time around. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
We begin on the dying world of Krypton, Superman’s home planet, where his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) is at odds with General Zod (Michael Shannon) over how to preserve their civilisation. To this end Jor-El steals the codex which holds the genetic codes of the entire race and sends it to earth, along with Cal-El, his baby son. Zod, having failed to topple the ruling council is condemned to be frozen and exiled, along with his followers. Flash forward and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) has caught the attention of reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) when she follows him and discovers some of his powers. She digs deeper and finds that he was brought up on a farm in Kansas by his adoptive parents; Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane). Jonathan had always taught the young Clark to do the right thing; he knew he was special due to the circumstances that brought him to them. When General Zod comes to the earth looking for the Codex, and Cal-El, Clark decides it was time he made himself known to the world and Superman makes his entrance.
The opening sequence on Krypton is quite spectacular with some truly stunning CGI and some great dialogue. It sets the scene for the entire story and I think it was just about as perfect a beginning we could possibly have had. We then come down to earth (literally) where we find Clark Kent discovering who he is and coming to terms with his powers and what a responsibility that places on his shoulders. Much of this is told in flashback with some great fatherly advice from Kevin Costner. It’s a section of the film that may have lost some (probably due to the lack of explosions) but I really enjoyed it as it gives us a chance to get to know what motivates Clark/Superman, and just what makes him a superhero. The third act, however, is where I had the most trouble. The plot wasn’t hard to follow and the acting was great, particularly Michael Shannon, no, all that was great. The problem was with the fight scenes; why is it necessary to topple skyscrapers and destroy entire city blocks. It put me in mind of climactic battle in ‘The Avengers’ movie; I had the distinct impression I had seen it all before. Yes, it was quite a spectacle but I would have liked something a little more original. But don’t let that distract from the fact it is still a very good film and one I would happily watch again. Top performances, well everybody really but Michael Shannon really does stand out; definitely worth a look.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.3/10.
IMDb Score: 8.4/10 (based on 27,531 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 55/100: (Based on 45 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 82/100 (based on 81,641 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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