MAN OF STEEL

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Now show­ing Vil­lage Cinemas

Henry Cav­ill, Michael Shan­non, Amy Adams, Rus­sell Crowe

Zack Sny­der (

Stars:

Di­rec­tor:

WHAT should have been the Su­per­man we had to have is now a Su­per­man we will have to grudg­ingly set­tle for: a laboured mash- up of the com­pelling and the com­pro­mised.

Man of Steel opens very strongly, shrewdly re­duc­ing key ele­ments of Su­per­man’s fa­mous ori­gin story down to its bare es­sen­tials.

A baby named Kal- El is born on the doomed planet Kryp­ton. His fa­ther, the no­ble sci­en­tist Jor- El ( Rus­sell Crowe), jet­ti­sons his boy across the uni­verse to save the in­fant’s life.

Kryp­ton im­plodes, end­ing the lives of all oc­cu­pants. Ex­cept for the mil­i­tary mad­man Gen­eral Zod ( Michael Shan­non) and his cadres, re­cently ban­ished from their home planet for crimes against the state.

From here, we are swiftly shunted for­ward a few decades to meet the adult Kal- El ( played by Henry Cav­ill), now an Earth­ling trad­ing un­der the alias of Clark Kent.

The Clark we’re clock­ing here is still in the process of har­ness­ing his su­per- pow­ers. It will be his grad­ual de­vel­op­ment from haunted loner to fo­cused saviour that fl eshes out much of the tale told by Man of Steel.

If you iso­late the story of Man of Steel from the pic­ture’s other trap­pings, there is lit­tle to truly gripe with. Pitch­ing the char­ac­ter of Lois Lane ( Amy Adams) as a crack in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist is some­thing of a mis­take, but per­haps a nec­es­sary one if plans for a fran­chise pro­ceed.

What is most im­por­tant is that Kal- El/ Clark’s ar­du­ous quest to con­trol both his in­ter­nal demons and ex­ter­nal prow­ess is han­dled deftly.

By the time Zod and com­pany ar­rive on Earth to con­front their fel­low Kryp­ton ex­ile, the stage is set per­fectly for one heck of a megas­mack­down.

And then? Well, as much as I hate to say it, an overblown, over­long fi nal act for­gets all about giv­ing us a Su­per­man trans­formed. In­stead, all we get is a Su­per­man Trans­former- ised.

The iconic su­per­hero be­comes merely the most recog­nis­able fi gure in the eye of a dig­i­tal FX hur­ri­cane.

Kal- El’s ex­tended face- off with Zod – a skir­mish that will leave Metropolis close to ruin – will not let up, nor make much sense.

Com­pared to the sim­i­larly themed fi nale of The Avengers, this slick, yet slog­ging sham­bles of a cli­max is a bum note to end on.

The core act­ing tri­umvi­rate of Cav­ill ( very straight), Crowe ( very ironic) and Shan­non ( very mad) re­main on the right page through­out.

It’s just a shame the di­rec­tor threw away the play­book at such a cru­cial stage of the game.

STEELY RE­SOLVE: Henry Cav­ill as Su­per­man in Man of Steel.

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