When Noel asked what I thought of Man of Steel, I took a long, painfully awkward pause. He and I agreed that the budding love affair left much to be desired. Yet, I’ll admit I didn’t come for the romance. I came for the donning of the cape. For his entire life Clark Kent has known he was different, felt ostracized and continually victimized. He had nothing to attract us to him and thus he was scorned and abused. The Judo-Christian scholars must be having a field day preparing this film for their Fall/Spring courses. And yet the geo-political repercussions of this “alien” reach out and over race, class, and assumptions of privilege. As well as beyond motion pictures, social media and Hollywood.
Zack Snyder pitched a relatively unknown actor as his leading man, and let Henry Cavill hit a home run alongside a league of veterans: Costner, Lane, Meloni, Fishbourne, Shannon, Crowe. Cavill is casted as Superman for his smashing good looks and brooding demeanor. But you don’t often win games with only one home run. The supporting cast carries the show. Perhaps it is a generational thing. None the less it’s a precedence that is worrying. Who will replace the likes of Michael Shannon or Russell Crowe once these lights of an era go out? There is no promised messiah and as much as there are a host of 20-30 something actors, there is little evidence of any true stars emerging. Interestingly, the surprise highlight of this film for me was actually, Amy Adams. I had had my doubts about her take on the role.
Now the script gave her only so much to work with, but I admire her for bringing spunk to Lois Lane. She portrayed an independent mind and a fearless spirit in a way that was believable. In a way compensating for the irritating nature of her untimely “misfortunes.” I wish scriptwriters and directors would make up their minds, and stop doing that though. For part of the movie you want me to believe that this woman is smart, fearless and capable, and then you let her fall our of an army aircraft. Of course, this is an elaborate rouse so that she can be the sole survivor when that aircraft becomes an agent of quantum physics.
Are you kidding? It’s those kinds of productional decisions that have added so many reservations to my recommendation of this film. Back to the first issue – the romance. The lopsided nature of the romance between Superman & Lois stifles the film. You see, Lois doesn’t quite love him like he loves her. Not just yet. The thing is, she’s his main priority while the rest of Metropolis is falling to the whims of Zod. Which is revolting in light of his propensity to destroy stuff. Between Kansas & Metropolis over one trillion in damages. No body has that kind of insurance. At this point he’s kind of shallow, but maybe he’ll grow into it. All the while he’s just smitten by the hard-nosed, tenacious reporter that dug through three decades of myths to find him. I would be flattered too.
All in all, Man of Steel is driven by the special effects, elaborate scenes and our irrational love of superheroes. So if you’re still waiting to watch it, that’s fine. You probably have until Tuesday night to see it in theaters. If not, you’ll be out of the loop when everyone’s referencing it.