Thursday, 20 June 2013

Man of Steel (4 Stars)

Last night I went out to see "Man of Steel". I've never been a Superman fan, but for me it was an excuse to get out of the house and spend time with other members of the Birmingham Film Club. I had a lot of fun, even though I was shocked to see that almost none of them have seen my favourite film, "Lost Highway". It's my favourite English language film, anyway; at the moment I like "Summer in Orange" more, but it hasn't been released in English, and probably never will be. It's far too German to be popular abroad.

My problem with Superman, the comic book character, is that he's too strong. He can do almost anything. At least "Man of Steel" toned this aspect down by not giving him super speed and letting him run around in a blur. I've read very few of his comics, but the ones I read all seemed to revolve around an excuse for Superman to be weakened to make his battles more credible. Imagine a fight between Superman and the Joker, or any of Batman's enemies. One punch and he's dead. It makes me wonder what the point of Batman is in the DC Universe.

"Man of Steel" is a slightly darker take on the Superman mythology. He lives as a drifter, afraid to reveal his powers, but unable to stand idly by when people need help. He's drawn into the open when a fellow exile from the planet Krypton arrives on Earth, General Zod, who has powers similar to those of Superman. The final battle is over the top action, in which most of Metropolis is destroyed. It was an enjoyable film, but my lack of sympathy for the Superman character makes it unlikely I'll want to watch it again.

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