Man of Steel [2013]



Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: David S. Goyer (story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer; based on characters by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster)
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Christopher Meloni, Ayelet Zurer

I’m liking 2013. In less than 3 months, the year has presented us with a string of films that collectively achieve blockbuster greatness, something we’re used to seeing only every other year. Huge-budget actioners Iron Man 3, followed by Star Trek: Into Darkness and now Man of Steel have made the first half of 2013 a damn great semester to spend at the movies. Who says mass appeal and quality storytelling can’t go hand in hand?

America’s most iconic superhero gets a brand new, darker treatment, courtesy of director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and producer Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception). Aided by a cast that should have Oscar geeks (like me) drooling from the sheer number of nominations and wins among them, Snyder and Nolan ensure a really fun, albeit far from flawless, time at the cinema.

In the words of one Derek Zoolander, “really really ridiculously good-looking” Henry Cavill is very solid in the title role, but even Superman can’t help his scenes being stolen by his nemesis (naturally) and his loving mother, in the form of a justifiably over-the-top Michael Shannon and a restrained Diane Lane, respectively.

Expectedly, the score by Hans Zimmer is rousing and the visuals are breathtaking. But surprisingly, for a movie with so much hitting, this one packs a strong punch of the emotional kind.

It’s a damn hard thing to achieve a balance between the goofy, preposterous nature of a comic book -especially one that thinks that a pair of glasses is enough to conceal one’s superheroic secret identity- with heavier, deeper themes like fascism, discrimination and the difficult task of raising “someone else’s” child, but these guys do the trick.