Cav­ill a dev­as­tat­ing Su­per­man

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

When walk­ing Su­per­man en­cy­clopae­dia Mark Waid re­booted the iconic char­ac­ter in 2003, he boiled down the first su­per­hero’s un­break­able bones to get to his essence – Su­per­man is, there­fore he pro­tects.

Waid’s comic, Su­per­man: Birthright, is clearly a jumping- off point for Zach Sny­der’s cin­e­matic re­boot of the Man of Steel, but where Waid con­nected us to the alien hero by em­pha­sis­ing his hu­man­ity, the film shoots off in the op­po­site di­rec­tion.

Know­ing their planet is doomed, two alien sci­en­tists blast their in­fant son into space hop­ing he will find refuge on dis­tant Earth. The child, Kal-El, grows up as Clark Kent (Henry Cav­ill), try­ing to bal­ance his ex­tra­or­di­nary pow­ers with the morals and fears of his adop­tive, hu­man par­ents.

On a quest to find his roots, Clark draws the vi­o­lent at­ten­tions of the last dregs of his race. Now he must de­cide what de­fines him – na­ture or nur­ture – in a bat­tle that could mean the end of the world as we know it.

It’s a pity Sny­der chose to weigh Man of Steel to­wards the lu­nacy of Kryp­ton rather than the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Clark and his earthy Earthly par­ents Jonathan (Kevin Cost­ner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), be­cause it’s by far the best stuff in the film.

The space opera sets us up for the ut­ter car­nage that fol­lows Clark don­ning the red cape, though.

With lev­els of dev­as­ta­tion that would make Michael Bay blush, Man of Steel de­liv­ers more of a su­per­pow­ered smack­down than pre­vi­ous Su­per­man films.

But while the com­put­er­gen­er­ated set pieces will de­light ac­tion fans, there is no worse in­dict­ment on this in­car­na­tion of the Big Blue Boy Scout than the fact that hu­man­ity would have been bet­ter off if baby Su­pes had blown up with Kryp­ton.

Scenes of Su­per­man res­cu­ing folks are few and far be­tween, and the grand fi­nale un­der­mines al­most ev­ery­thing the char­ac­ter stands for.

Cav­ill is su­perla­tive, though, play­ing Big Blue with grav­i­tas, emo­tional vul­ner­a­bil­ity and a sense of re­strained power. He’s also ridicu­lously good look­ing, which only em­pha­sises his oth­er­world­li­ness in this ‘‘first con­tact’’ re­work­ing of Su­per­man’s ori­gins.

A great start, but I’m hop­ing the fran­chise ends up in the hands of some­one who un­der­stands Su­pes bet­ter and isn’t afraid to let the ul­ti­mate good guy have his mo­ment in the sun. MAN OF STEEL

Di­rected by Zack Sny­der. Writ­ten by David S Goyer from char­ac­ters by Joe Shus­ter and Jerry Siegel. Pro­duced by Christopher Nolan. Star­ring Henry Cav­ill, Michael Shan­non, Amy Adams.

Ac­tion, Ad­ven­ture, 2hr 23mins, M, Vi­o­lence

Now show­ing at Read­ing Porirua and Light­house Pe­tone.

Man of Steel: Henry Cav­ill is a per­fect Su­per­man in a not-so-per­fect film.

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