Josh Wilding Reviews: MAN OF STEEL (IMAX 2D)

If you're hoping to read a glowing 5* review for Man of Steel, you may want to turn away now! While Zack Snyder's reboot is a very good movie, it sadly fails to live up to the hype in more ways than one. Hit the jump to read my spoiler-free verdict!

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By Josh Wilding - 6/14/2013

Man of Steel is not a bad movie. It's just unfortunate that the trailers made it appear as if it would rival the likes of The Dark Knight and The Avengers, because it most certainly does not. It's not even close. You can blame David Goyer's screenplay on that, as the decision to show pivotal moments from Superman's early years in a series of random and sporadic flashbacks kills the momentum in the first two thirds of the movie. There's nothing wrong with what they contain - one of them arguably features THE most powerful scene - and you can't fault them for wanting to just show a handful of important moments rather than spending too much time with a young Clark Kent. However, a more linear approach to this would have made a lot more sense than showing him mooching around the country in bars and oil rigs.

That's far from the only problem with the screenplay though. Very much like how it constantly oversimplifies and explains everything to the audience, this is a Clark Kent who also needs to be put on the right path by a hologram of his father who seems to exist simply as a story device. Without tearing Man of Steel to be pieces (that would not be fair, especially as you could do the same with something as good as The Avengers and most other movies) the fact is, it just doesn't have the necessary character development or powerful story to truly make it soar. Not enough time is spent on Clark deciding to take up the mantle of Superman (he's 33 when a hologram of Jor-El tells him to, and that's about it) and the fact that the momentum never lets up means that even the stellar action sequences are ultimately a little forgettable.

Regardless, one of the many things that Man of Steel does do well is action. These are fight scenes as you imagined them when playing with action figures as a kid or reading comic books now. They're fast paced, exciting, perhaps a little too similar here and there, but still the kind of scenes you will want to watch over and over and over. There are only a few moments when you can tell that the live-action actors have been replaced with CG models, but other than that, this is a very good looking movie in terms of special effect. These sequences also blend seamlessly with Hans Zimmer's score, although this is most certainly not his best or most memorable work. Man of Steel is arguably not as strong visually as 300 or Watchmen, but it is still a great achievement for Zack Snyder. The decision to shoot the majority on hand held shaky cam was not a wise one however. Part of what makes Christopher Nolan's Batman movies stand out from the rest is how cinematic they look. This does not.

Henry Cavill is superb as Superman. He never fails to convince and easily conveys the power of the character and the conflicted side of the character before he's put on track to becoming the hero we all know and love. Michael Shannon is an effective villain as General Zod, and while his plan may be rather generic, his performance at least saves the character even if it isn't up there with his work in the likes of Boardwalk Empire and The Iceman. Amy Adams also has all the necessary ingredients to be a great Lois Lane, and while it's hard to fault her performance, we only get glimpses of that; the rest of the time, she seems to be conveniently involved in everything and anything. The supporting cast are all very good for the most part (although there are still some notably weak performances from some), with Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe proving to be stand-out's. Unfortunately, the latter outstays his welcome as a plot device.

Similar to The Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel omits some of the most well-known aspects of Superman in a bid to offer a fresh take on the character. In this case it works, but like that other film, it's hard to escape the feeling that the sequel will be considerably better. It may not have lived up to the hype, but Man of Steel is still the best Superman movie yet and well worth checking out even if it does ultimately leave you feeling a little disappointed. More than one scene - especially the last - will give you chills, and those glimpses of greatness are enough for me to want to see more of Snyder's Supes.









In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) is a young twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond his imagination. Transported years ago to Earth from Krypton, a highly advanced, distant planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question 'Why am I here?' Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark discovers having extraordinary abilities means making difficult decisions. When the world is in dire need of stability, an even greater threat emerges. Clark must become a Man of Steel, to protect the people he loves and shine as the world’s beacon of hope – Superman.


STARRING:

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman
Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent
Diane Lane as Martha Kent
Michael Shannon as Zod

RELEASE DATE: June 14th, 2013.
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265 Comments
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gillri - 6/14/2013, 10:58 AM
awesome film, its more of a first contact story and certinaly Superman s story has been presented exactly how Goyer and Snyder said it would

id give it 4/5
DarkKnight2010 - 6/14/2013, 10:58 AM
this article is shit lol this movie was pure awesome
JDUKE25 - 6/14/2013, 10:58 AM
Yeah I'd give it a 4/5. Really good, but not great. Definitely looking forward to what the future holds for Superman and all the other heroes.
PsyGuy - 6/14/2013, 10:59 AM
I actually really liked the non-linear storytelling! I think it might have been a bit boring if they placed everything in order.

I also liked how Lois was involved in the actual story, it made sense to me and didn't seem unnatural.


Other than that, I agree with everything you said! The movie was excellent in my opinion and deserves 4 stars...
Tony93 - 6/14/2013, 10:59 AM
I'll unfortunately be seeing it tmrw night
EdgyOutsider - 6/14/2013, 11:00 AM
Good review Josh. Unfortunately, my mind is already set and waiting for DVD or for it to be bootlegged on the internet.
Bobevanz - 6/14/2013, 11:01 AM
5/5..... Nothing less. Pure excellence
gillri - 6/14/2013, 11:01 AM
@Crossbones

your gonna pass up seeing the best CGI and fight scenes you ll ever see on a bootlegged copy? your mad
Bobevanz - 6/14/2013, 11:02 AM
Cool Crossbones, no one cares!
ComicFan1134 - 6/14/2013, 11:02 AM
Great Article, I'm Going To See It Regardless, Just To Form My Own Opinion..
Euphemia - 6/14/2013, 11:03 AM
I thought the non linear storyline was one of the best things about this movie.
Avenger87 - 6/14/2013, 11:03 AM
another good review thats what we need to keep seeing iv seen it and i think that man of steel is fantastic but some people are like its the same as batman begins as its very good but the sequel is greater by far hopefully this this is the case
GodzillaKart - 6/14/2013, 11:04 AM
I have not seen it yet, but I can't help but wonder if it was a mistake to release that first (or second?) trailer that made the film look like a character driven, emotionally charged, dramatically heavy film. By all accounts it is a Wham! Bam! action show.
TayDee - 6/14/2013, 11:05 AM
I have not seen it yet, but based on what I'm hearing a 3.5 sounds right. Enjoyable movie but disappointing, at least for me.
ParisSun - 6/14/2013, 11:06 AM
But did you cry?
EdgyOutsider - 6/14/2013, 11:06 AM
@gillri: I don't trust Snyder and Goyer. I want more than action from CBM's, I also want a good story with interesting characters that are developed well. Due to reviews I've read, the combination of Snyder and Goyer and that I won't have a way to the theater for a while. I'll watch it bootlegged by choice and also cause I have no choice, if that makes any sense.
glynthomas86 - 6/14/2013, 11:07 AM
People are being way too nit-picky. Awesome movie.
MrReese - 6/14/2013, 11:08 AM
bad ass film.
DamienA - 6/14/2013, 11:09 AM
Just saw it again today. Wow I is still the word in my head and if this is to be my SR so be it.

Also great to see some love for Amy Adams as Lois I thought from the start she would be great and its' nice to see people are recognizing that.

Russell Crowe still is great to watch second time round. He was the stand out actor.
Brainiac13 - 6/14/2013, 11:10 AM
@Crossbones

You're no CB fan.....bootleg my ass!

No respect for you.

People like you were calling us trolls when we went to see IM3 and rest of the Marvel movies.

Support the comics and movies.

No one gonna respect you from here other than Intruder and co.
PsyGuy - 6/14/2013, 11:10 AM
By the way... everyone should see it in 2D IMAX if you can! I've seen it in both 3D and 2D and the 3D definitely wasn't all that.
Brainiac13 - 6/14/2013, 11:11 AM
@Crossbones

Your new name is now BOOTLEGBONES!!!
TheBaroness89 - 6/14/2013, 11:12 AM
Agreed that the sequel will surpass this movie the same way The Dark Knight surpassed Batman Begins. But was not disappointed nor was it underwhelming for me. I could nitpick the film but ultimately it is better than all but 2 of the MCU films and its much better than TDKR. It is just short of TDK Avengers Iron Man 1 and Batman Begins but that's based off one excited viewing. I will give it a another viewing tonight to see if the shine wears off.
heisei24 - 6/14/2013, 11:13 AM
Josh rate this 3.5 stars?
Something is wrong here.
n1ghtw1ng2832 - 6/14/2013, 11:13 AM
I swear people complain about the stupidest shit. Ungrateful bastard!
Amazing512 - 6/14/2013, 11:13 AM
Maybe next time WB
EdgyOutsider - 6/14/2013, 11:14 AM
Brainiac: Actually, I was considering it until I realized I literally have no way to the theater. Even if I wanted to, I literally can't. People like me? I've never accused anyone on here of being a troll, I'm not like that.
Fortress - 6/14/2013, 11:14 AM
Josh! your review is pretty much how i see it!!

There were some epic moments, but a lot of rushed moments! a little let down!

Henry is amazing as Superman, and the last scene is epic!
hush - 6/14/2013, 11:14 AM
You're wrong. I would explain why but everyone is doing a fine job already.
lxgnzlslxgnzls - 6/14/2013, 11:15 AM
I give it a 7.5 like my family jewels bwahaha
prettynucIear - 6/14/2013, 11:15 AM
little unfair to bash amazing spider-man now that it is rated 15% higher than Man of Suck on rotten tomatoes
TheWolverine08 - 6/14/2013, 11:15 AM
I not disappointed about this because I wasn't expecting this movie to be the return of Jesus like some people on here did. It'll be just pretty good.
FOOM - 6/14/2013, 11:15 AM
Skipped the article and the comments. I'm off to see this in ten minutes. I'll make up my own mind.
SpectacularJoShFest - 6/14/2013, 11:16 AM
LMFAO grif that video made my day...no homo tho :)
ATrueHero1987 - 6/14/2013, 11:16 AM
@psyboy Yea, the 3D was basically non existent.
spidey1994 - 6/14/2013, 11:17 AM
I thought it was a damn good movie! It's not perfect (no movie is) but it was so good to see Supes kicks some serious ass and throw down with General Zod.
AnonymousGuy - 6/14/2013, 11:17 AM
I actually liked the non-linear storytelling. Instead of dragging the film down, I felt like it kept my on my feet a little more. I also like the handheld approach.

"...Man of Steel is still the best Superman movie yet..."

I usually don't like comparing Man of Steel to Donner's films, especially because they belong in different time periods and are aimed at different generations, but if Man of Steel is better than those classics, I'm more than happy.
Lindsey35 - 6/14/2013, 11:18 AM
I haven't seen it yet, but after seeing the trailers, I think this movie could be better than the Avengers. No hate, I love the Avengers, but...SUPERMAN! I'm not even a Superman fan and I'm EXTREMELY excited for this. Unfortunately, I probably won't get to watch it until tomorrow.
Gmoney84 - 6/14/2013, 11:18 AM
Ok, I've read like 10-15 reviews for this movie now. The ones that have problems with it, thos problems are so wide ranging it's like people are looking for something to be wrong with this movie. I've seen people say, "Oh, the pacing is terrible. Should have been linear." Others will say, "Snyder doesn't do enough to elaborate and develope character."

I'm starting to feel like the DC vs. Marvel thing may be bleeding over into the mainstream on things like reviews and such.
thewolfx - 6/14/2013, 11:19 AM
Hmmm

Thewolf is ok with this review josh

I wont bash u , i will see for myself later on today
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