"You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders." This is the essence of this year’s DC epic Man of Steel. This superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan, written by David S. Goyer and based on the DC Comics character Superman. A young itinerant boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he is forced to discover where did he come from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation, and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.
Development began in 2008 when Warner Bros. Pictures took pitches from comic book writers, screenwriters and directors, opting to reboot the franchise. In 2009, a court ruling resulted in Jerry Siegel's family recapturing the rights to Superman's origins and Siegel's copyright. The decision stated that Warner Bros. did not owe the families additional royalties from previous films, but if they did not begin production on a Superman film by 2011, then the Shuster and Siegel estates would be able to sue for lost revenue on an unproduced film. Nolan pitched Goyer's idea after story discussion on The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Snyder was hired as the film's director in October 2010. Principal photography started in August 2011. Zimmer was confirmed to write the film's musical score. To completely distinguish Man of Steel from the previous films, the iconic Superman March by John Williams was not used in the film.
The film stared Henry Cavill in the title role with Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Antje Traue as Faora and Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van. Cavill's performance was mixed, it has its share of pros and cons. His performance was brilliant on one hand in trying to portray Superman as a vulnerable being who has extraordinary powers and is trying to make the right decisions. But on the other hand, his performance was weak in terms of living up to the responsibilities that make Superman powerful. In addition chemistry with Adams was awful. Shannon's performance was imposing and determined, but just not ultimately threatening or even scary. The only one that was scary was Traue as Faora. She was scarier than her leader. When it should have been the other way round. Costner and Lane as the Kents were great performances on a human and emotional level, but failed to meet the onscreen chemistry in the film. Crowe's performance was somewhat of an improvement from Les Misérables (2012), but again suffered from lack of expression.
It's technically impressive and loaded with eye-catching images, but without real characters or a cohesive plot to support it, all of Man of Steel's visual thrills are for naught. With its quests to retrieve DC’s classic superhero, clearly demarcated story, and non-stop action, Snyder's clattering concoction sometimes feels less like a movie than an extended, elaborate trailer for its redundant comic book adaptation. It is the most boring, poorly put together, infantile, crass, adolescent, stupid, chauvinistic twaddle that I've sat through in a very long time since Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).
Simon says Man of Steel receives: