Howdy do, everyone, it's Papa Vinyard here.
I got a review here by "Super Christian Porn" who caught MAN OF STEEL 3 weeks early in Queenstown, Australia. While this isn't a super-detailed review, we can confirm that there was indeed a small, 180 person 2D screening in Movie World at 7:30 tonight in that city, and he's specific enough about what he saw that it seems 100% legit. It would seem like Snyder's affection for long-takes and clearly-defined action has benefited the world of Superman, as does Hans Zimmer's already-heralded score. Readers beware…he goes into some SUPER SPOILER territory, laying out stuff that happens in what is almost certainly the final reels of the film. I don't think it's anything so revealing that it's gonna ruin your experience, but if you purists wanna go in totally fresh, absolutely steer clear. That being said, the movie sounds awesome, and a little more thematically complex than what I was expecting. Anyway, here's Super Christian Porn:
Managing to catch a preview for a film has never really interested me – I don’t even attend the cinema that much anyway. But then I was contacted by my local multiplex, on behalf of a nameless big studio, I thought I would be a little too busy to attend. Then I heard rumours about what the movie was called. The studio was revealed before the exclusive screening – Warner Bros wanted to give a number of us registered members of the multiplex an early bird screening of ‘Man of Steel’. This happened in Queensland.
I am a moderate Superman fan. I’ve seen all the movies, read a few comics, worn an ‘S’ t-shirt or two. The trailers for this new movie demonstrated a no-holds-barred interpretation, something we haven’t seen before – plenty of dazzling sights and action.
Beforehand I only saw two trailers for ‘Man of Steel’, including a newer one which was played before the screening. I couldn’t follow any of it. Images were too quick. But as soon as the movie started, with its long drawn out shots, I was more comfortable. The visual effects are amazing, despite how outrageous and clearly CGI they are. Superman hasn’t been done better than this.
Overall, it’s gloriously flash and fun, bold and hallucinogenic, all the while having a touch of grit, grain and gravity. What it is is seriously geeky, and was probably made to appeal to Superman fans first and foremost. This is because it takes its mythology seriously. It’s a long movie, but it’s never boring. It does return to the greatness of the first two movies. I thought this movie delivered on what I was after all along: a physical match for Superman.
I didn’t know if it the right move to reboot the whole mythology and start over again. Superman’s origins are pretty well known and been done to death. I’d rather the story just start with Superman being a reality in the world and have him go up against a monster. There really isn’t a lot you can do with the Superman character in any case besides throw unique villains at him. He’s practically invincible and so far, in the movies at least, he hasn’t needed to change too much or adapt to something new.
Although I enjoy Christopher Reeve’s interpretation of the character, I think Henry Cavill is effective as Superman in this film. I don’t think anyone can beat the quirkiness of Reeve’s Clark Kent, his total cluelessness and all as well as his charm as Superman, but Cavil manages this side of the character well – a bit dark around the edges, and deep.
Having commended the visuals, and calling it a visually dynamic Superman flick, ‘Man of Steel’ does have an unhealthy message about hiding your true abilities to keep others happy, even if it’s better in the long run. It’s different to the usual stuff I’ve noticed surrounding Superman lore, which I can only claim involves the original five movies.
The stand-out is the music which is really energetic and fun. There is a lot of magic here and there in the flying sequences. One of the greatest scenes I think is when Superman cannonballs Zod. Also, the script is really well done, explaining where Superman got the idea to be Superman and who made his costume and why. I’d say the script isn’t as thought out as the first movie, it feels like the main action is delayed when it should have happened sooner.
The most interesting scene is not dialogue-orientated, but a non-stop tracking shot of a fight between Kal-El and the bad guys. Zod’s demise is unexpectedly shocking. There’s no blood which isn’t disappointing, but the visuals sell the moment more than the acting.
The filmmakers obviously spent some money on this one – seeing as there are plenty of explosions which I tend to lean towards. There’s another story concerning the Daily Planet, but the main story concerns Superman. He’s front and centre in this film.
I’m happy to say ‘Man of Steel’ is highly commendable.
If you use this review, please call me Super Christian Porn.
Honestly, who doesn't love long-take action scenes?
Man of Steel opens in the U.S. on June 14th.