Superman leaps far but fails to reach the heights.
Directed by Scott Snyder (Watchmen, 300) and screenplay from David S.Goyer (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Dark Knight Rises).
The wait is finally over and we have the first step in the DC strategy of bringing their connected comic universe to the big screen. But is it a stride or a stumble?
Please be warned that I will do my best to avoid spoilers where possible.
Sadly, it seems as though the first step is a stumble. The film itself starts off on a bright note with a further look into the planet Krypton. Lavish designs fill the screen and an expanded look into the society and culture is fed to us while an uprising takes place by General Zod (Michael Shannon). A man who clearly isn’t happy with the way the race is run by the elders in charge, something quite similar to Sinestro and the Guardians in Green Lantern.
Single handily trying to stop Zod from creating more followers and in the meantime, trying to save his newborn son from the carnage and eventual destruction of the soon-to-explode planet, is Jor-El (Russel Crowe).
After various exchanges and some far out scenes, the baby is blasted off to Earth and it is from here that we jump forward 33 years to a Superman moving from job and place, trying to find his purpose and from here is where the film takes a turn for the worse.
Now I’m not going to expand on the story from there on but reflect on my feelings of the film as a whole.
Overall, this is a watered down movie. I say this as with the story elements in place, it felt as though scenes were cut short or dialogue was missing to really connect things and it only left me with more questions of logic from the characters actions and elements of the film which didn’t make any sense. And talking of action, this film has a lot, but I cannot help but feel as though too much. The action was relentless, possibly too fast paced, longer than required and I never got the sense that anyone was actually hurt (apart from civilians). I got the same feeling when watching Transformers that it was more for spectacle than any real thought into the execution.
If minutes had been cut from these scenes and extra dialogue was in place, then we could have had more fleshed out characters and it would have given more weight to the significant and pivotal moments during the film.
As such, I got the impression that it was a rushed film and that they just wanted to get to the fight scenes as quick as possible. Such a shame, considering the rich expansion at the start of the film which felt as though it was dropped to the wayside as soon as he learned to fly.
Sometimes less is more and that is the real lesson that needs to be taken away from this if Synder and co. really want to steer this away from becoming an empty and emotionless franchise, such as the Transformers films. That said, with the amount of destruction and death within the film, I can’t help but feel that they have made the second film a harder task. Where do you go from here? More destruction?
Acting-wise, the cast done as required and nothing more. Henry Cavill in the role of Superman was much easier than the task given to Christopher Reeve, as he never had to play the bumbling nerd version of Clark Kent. Hopefully he will be given more room to flex his acting chops next time around. The standouts though, were Russell Crowe giving a fine performance as Supermans father, Jor-El, and Michael Shannon, who seemed to enjoy the role of the panto-esque villain Zod.
All in all, a missed opportunity. This will certainly go on to make the money, but will it be considered nothing more than another mindless blockbuster to the masses? Only time will tell.
I’ll ask the questions that come to mind and outline scenes of the film that I believe fell short in another article and hopefully people can help me with them just incase I missed anything.