15 days ago
Revisiting Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013).
This is part of a series of reviews of Snyder’s filmography by @katereviewsfilms and @cultcravings - thanks for their generosity in inviting me to join in on this one. 🙏
PART 1: Superman Lives.
Jor-El (Russell Crowe): “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 quote (meaningfully repurposed for Man of Steel from Grant Morrison’s “All-Star Superman”) helps to sum up my feelings about Zack Snyder’s revival of the Superman movie franchise: at times, Snyder stumbles and falls in the telling of this tale. But - and such is his skill as a filmmaker - he also accomplishes wonders.
Unlike Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006), Snyder’s reboot sets itself well apart from what has come before, and rightly so. From the title itself, with the film largely ignoring the “S”-word, to its non-linear narrative, and character beats that undermine some of the established ‘norms’, Man of Steel sets out to challenge our perception of who Superman is and what he can be.
I’m all for a fresh, new take on the Superman mythos - after all, the Superman we know and love today has been ever-evolving over the past 80 years. MoS does so many things right and well.
In many ways, this film is defined by what it is not, as well as what it is. There’s no kryptonite, no Jimmy Olsen, no Lex Luthor (although Lexcorp and Wayne Enterprises are both established as part of this world).
The relationship between Clark Kent/Superman/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is completely flipped - they meet in the Arctic, not at the Daily Planet. I love how, after her initial encounter with Clark, Lois is actively hunting for him, using her own investigative ‘superpowers’ to discover who this mystery alien man is. The movie quickly gets on with deepening the relationship between Lois and Clark while doing away with the normal dance of “does she or doesn’t she?” recognise that he’s Superman. 🤓
/ continued in the comments...