Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel takes pride in giving us doom and gloom, and the tale that was one of our most exciting childhood memories has been turned into rather joyless bombast. Keen to insert biblical references, whether they fit or not, and assaulting us with a maximalist visual treatment, Snyder's reboot inherits the stern-faced self-importance of The Dark Knight (it's no coincidence that Christopher Nolan is one of the producers), but lacks the menace and the nihilism that gives rise to Batman's (imagined) existential crisis. Superman is supposed to soar, to fly us to the Moon or, farther afield, to the fantastic nebula where his home planet is, or was _ but the loftiest emotion that Man Of Steel is capable of stimulating _ and I hate to say this _ is indifference.
Man Of Steel Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner. Directed by Zack Snyder.
The film is caught up in its own schema of being a Book of Genesis, of laying out the cosmic purpose that goes into making Kal-El, later Clark Kent, who is played _ without a cowlick but with a weight around his neck _ by Henry Cavill. Superman suffers for us all, and when he torpedoes himself into the infernal core of the enemy's gigantic, gravity-sucking thingamajig, it's the Passion of Our Saviour all over again, with his cape standing in for the Cross. Snyder even attempts a mystical Midwest swirl, a la Terrence Malick, but his flamboyant hyper-destructiveness shreds Cavill's efforts to appear delicate and makes our rooting for him perfunctory rather than hard-earned.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.