A bit of a late one but I watched it for the second time on DVD over the weekend so thought it was worth a review.
The film, which released worldwide in June 2013, is your typical Superman film rebooted with an edgy vibe. The film tells the story of how a number of Krypton soldiers are banished to the Phantom Zone for killing scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) for fathering the first natural born male on the planet for centuries; all other births being artificial for worker or military purposes. Years after the soldiers discover that the son (now named Clark Kent) is present on Earth and aim to take over the planet, wipe it of its inhabitants including Clark and make a new Krypton.
Henry ‘two weeks’ Cavill (as he is known to fans of Kaley Cuoco, Penny from the Big Bang Theory) is actually a pretty suited to Clark Kent or Kal-El if you prefer his birth name. According to IMDB Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and even Zac Efron (!) were down to play Superman. Henry Cavill does a more brooding, ‘I only speak to make impact’ kind of portrayal which fits seeing as he lost out to Christian Bale for Batman Begins (2005).
Sorry but not a fan of Russell Crow and he didn’t sway me here either. I felt someone unknown and less mainstream would have dragged me into his character a bit more. Bodyguard Kevin Costner gave as much of a performance he could give as Jonathan Kane and Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White felt a little restricted too.
Again I found myself siding with the performance of the enemy! The actor Michael Shannon – who I have not seen before even if he has one of those faces when you think you have – had me hooked and I really liked the menace and portrayal of General Zod. Antje Traue as Faora also kept my attention even if the script was a little poor at times.
The fight scene by the iHop was well done; the stunts were epic and fast paced. Movements such as one of the enemies grabbing Superman’s ankle as he tries to fly away, to me is so simple you wonder why it wasn’t choreographed into one of the other movies (or maybe it was, comment if I’m wrong!). The whole scene demonstrates well thought out story boards and awareness that the director Zack Snyder needed to bring that ‘something extra’ to the revamp.
Unfortunately I found the film very bitty. It felt like the writers were trying too hard to get too much in and cut bits out that it upset the flow. For example there is a scene near the beginning where he saves Lois Lane (played by loveable but not quite right for the part Amy Adams) from internal bleeding and rather than play out this scene as Lois and Clark had just met for the first time in unusual circumstances the scene cuts to a big spaceship flying away.
It was all very neat and shiny; the special effects were great don’t get me wrong but it almost felt like that was what the film relied on. However even some of these confused me such as a bit of a dodgy camera zoom, particular at the beginning when Russell Crowe is stealing the Codex. I;m not explaining this very well but it is a special effect which shows a wide camera shot with lots going on in the planet of Krypton and then quickly and nauseatingly zooms in on Russell Crowe flying a Kryptonian creature. I have only recently seen this type of effect in Star Trek: Into Darkness and my friends VFX projects. Maybe it’s the future for visual effects but if anyone knows what this technique is called please enlighten me.
Even though the visual effects were both effective but insignificant at times I did find myself thinking the budget for this film must have been friggin enormous! I just had to look it up. According to Wikipedia it was $225 mil and made around $688 mil!