By: Holley Sinn
It is with much trepidation and plenty of disappointment that I write this review. After months of build up, watching the trailer for Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" over and over again, I sit here trying to decide whether I would have been quite so let down had I not succumbed to the excitement over this film's opening or whether I would have made the same judgments and comparisons regardless of the hype. The truth is, I believe, I was tricked. Marketing is ever so important in painting a picture of a film that fans will embrace...especially when the subject matter is as tricky as reinventing Superman....again. And, the marketing for "Man of Steel" was exquisite, but not all together accurate. What I was hoping for was the sentimental triumph I saw in two minute clips. What I got was a dusting of THAT and a mélange of "bash and crunch" that eventually had making taking off my 3D glasses so I could hold my ears.
"Man of Steel" stars Henry Cavill as Kal-El, son of Jor-El, played by Russell Crowe. As a baby, Kal is the last remaining hope for the Kryptonian civilization as the over-mined planet begins to implode, and its inhabitants face extinction. Against the wishes of Krypton's General Zod, played by Michael Shannon, Jor-El launches his tiny son and all of the genetic codes of the Kryptonians to Earth, where he finds a loving home with Martha and Jonathon Kent, played by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. Clark's odd strength and superhuman tendencies begin to show themselves early, but it isn't until Clark is an adult that his quest for his true identity begins to unlock his destiny.
When Clark inadvertently sets off a beacon while communing with his father's spirit in the ice caves of Antarctica, General Zod and his minions, who were set adrift in a black hole following their treasonous crimes against Krypton, set a course for Earth where they plan to reinvent the Kryptonian race. A newspapers reporter named Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, accidentally turns the world's focus in Clark's direction, and all of a sudden the boy in hiding has no choice but to don the red cape left for him by his Kryptonian father and become a reluctant savior for an uncomprehending planet.
"Man of Steel" has effects out the wazoo - from the strange, metallic nature of original Krypton to the total destruction of Metropolis, Zack Snyder knows how to create and destroy with a strange, ugly poetry. But aside from that and the fact that Henry Cavill is simply stunning to regard, "Man of Steel" is more of a traditional smash and crash super-hero film. In fact, if you are noise sensitive in the slightest, the last hour might become unpleasant, even laborious to experience. At 2 hours and 40 minutes, this film is LOOOONG, and it feels like it too, plus the prevailing grey tones are dampened even further by the film's 3D.
"Man of Steel" is rated PG-13 for some language, super-hero violence and adult themes, and it opens Friday in theaters all over the Bay area.