Man of Steel

Midnight showing of the new Superman flick Man of Steel. I can quibble that the opening hour or so doesn’t have the heart I think it wants to have and comic purists might hate the changes to the mythos, but damn if the last half of this movie doesn’t just amaze. Mind-blowing special effects and genuinely gripping action makes this film just work.

Superman skips right past rescuing kittens from trees or nabbing bank robbers to the Kryptonian villains (General Zod – baddie from Superman 2) and the scale and scope of the superhero battles is beyond anything I’ve seen… the immensity of the disaster and destruction is beyond ridiculous – Metropolis (and Smallville) realistically must have lost hundreds of thousands of lives and billions in damage… the destruction keeps going and going and going… and the sheer artistry of the visual effects and the money they had to put into it is just staggering.

When I was a kid, the superhero battle between Superman and the 3 Kryptonian villains in Superman 2 amazed me… I can’t imagine what this might be like for kids today.

I highly recommend this film – it DOES have heart despite my feelings for the first act and Henry Caville and Amy Adams (as Lois Lane) do a fine job… as do the guys playing the villains and even some of the supporting cast get scenes that are moving despite their minimal screen time (thinking of Perry White – Lawrence Fishburn – trying to rescue someone).

I’m not going to argue this is high art, but it’s not stupid and it’s clearly a expertly crafted action movie that doesn’t insult the intelligence (except for the usual shaky Superman science of yellow suns, etc). This is the kind of movie you point to when other Summer blockbusters put up the barest efforts, assume the audience is stupid, and people say, “Relax. Turn off your brain”. You don’t need to – even if the movie is only trying to wow, it can do so with style and craft.

Score: 89

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