Review: Man of Steel

Last updated 14:00 28/06/2013

NO HEART: Man of Steel is cold and heartless, writes Nick Keith.

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When the first Man Of Steel trailers were released, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Terrence Malick (Tree Of Life) was behind the latest superman outing, with its haunting voiceover and close-ups of, uh, pencil erasers. The final two-and-a-half hour film however is less Terrence Malick and more a Michael Bay explosion-filled popcorn flick.

Like all comic-book superhero movies made these days, Warner Bros and director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) aimed to make Man of Steel a darker, grittier film than its predecessors, but instead the movie is cold and heartless, despite Warner Bros acquiring Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) to produce the film.

In an opening scene similar to that of the 2009 Star Trek movie, the planet Krypton is moments before destruction and Jor-El (Russell Crowe) has just become a father to our beloved hero Kal-El. Without any time for father-son bonding, the child is sent to Earth for refuge and to give the planet hope.

Jump 33 years to the future and a bearded, reserved and a muscular figure is working on a fishing boat and is quickly jumping into action on a flaming oil rig to save workers trapped onboard.

It turns out that Clark (Henry Cavill) is conflicted about revealing his alien heritage and has kept moving around the globe while reminiscing on his childhood with Ma and Pa Kent, where he had to learn to control his senses so he could blend in with his adoptive home.

Meanwhile we are introduced to the instinctive reporter Lois Lane (played by an underused Amy Adams). After a near death experience, Lois investigates the origins of her mysterious saviour. Before Lois can say "Look! Up in the sky!" her story is interrupted by the appearance of our main antagonist and fellow Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon), who has come to earth with the old-fashioned plan of taking over the planet and turning Earth into the new Krypton.

Cue rampant destruction and loss of life.

Man Of Steel ends up being just another movie about bad guys toppling skyscrapers - nothing we haven't seen before in The Avengers, Batman or the Spiderman movies. The best visuals are all in the trailers and the use of 3D is pointless and not worth the extra admission price.

The moments between Clark and Earth-Daddy Jonothan Kent (Kevin Costner) give the film some much needed soul and warmth, but these moments are gone to soon and we recede back into the cold.

Do we get to meet mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent with the dark framed glasses? Not quite. Is there romantic chemistry between prize-winning journalist Lois Lane and Clark? Nope. There's not even any Tony Stark style clever one-liners to make the audience smile.

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