Sunday, June 16, 2013
Man of Steel: The Superman move we have Long Deserved
Caught a showing of Man of Steel this weekend. I found the movie to be very enjoyable; far superior to the Superman Returns movie from 2006. Personally I think Man of Steel is even a better Superman movie than the ones done by Christopher Reeves. In my not-so humble opinion, this movie does a excellent job of being an origin film/reboot of the franchise as well as being a superhero action movie.
While some may disagree, I found the splicing of the childhood/backstory bits into select parts of the movie whole to work well. The intro sequence showing the fall of Krypton was also handled very well, setting up the initial mood and tone of the film and preparing the audience for the story and action to come.
On that note, the super-powered action of this movie is very well done. The masterful blend of CG and the actors in-play is something that could never have really been done before; outside of an animated feature of course. It is my opinion that this kind of Superman movie could not have been made prior to this point; a movie that does a good job of showing just how powerful Superman can be, as well as showcasing the kind of foes and challenges he should be pitted against.
Do not look to this movie for petty problems of a simple megalomaniac madman obsessed with economic schemes and land-grabs. An entity such as Superman deserves opponents who can challenge him; if not purely physically then by the scale of their menace or by their intelligence. For this first movie we see a bit of those first two; his strength tested as well as an assortment of foes of near-equal caliber. We will have to wait to see if further movies in this franchise will handle the intelligence of the character with the same aplomb.
This movie finally gives the DC franchise a better leg to stand upon; matching the bar set by the Nolan Batman movies. One would hope that the tragic mistakes of Green Lantern are learned from (and that movie is ignored and not drawn upon for a sequel). This movie is primed for a sequel, and should be used as a key to unlock the rest of the potential inherent in the DC catalog of characters.
A little more time is needed before Green Lantern is tried again (and do it better next time!) but I think the stage is now set for a few of the other major IP's. In my not-so humble opinion, The Flash should be high up on the list of properties to try again. The super-speed combat demonstrated in Superman would transition well to a new movie about the fastest man alive.
What next for superman? Well this movie has set the bar; as a standalone hero (barring a Justice League movie) there are still threats and enemies to draw upon that are suited to the kind of cinematic storytelling possible. DC may wish to stay away from Darkseid however; as Marvel is already pursuing that goal with Thanatos and the Avengers/Galactic Guardians (I presume). Doomsday would work better for a later movie in the franchise (say the 3rd+) or for the Justice League to handle.
As (far as we know) Kryptonite is not an issue with this current Superman, so Metallo may not be a good choice. Right after Zod Braniac may not be thematically appropriate either. Mongol would only be a good choice if a Lantern reboot is in the cards. Luthor may have to be the villain of choice for the second movie; especially if he tries to match superman not just intellectually but also physically with advanced technology.
Do I recommend this movie? Hell yes. Well worth the price of admission.