The story of Superman. A story most people know by heart and for the hardcore followers, there will be no other Superman than the one played by Christopher Reeve. You may be a bit shocked or a little leery when I tell you that I have never watched an entire Superman movie, that was until last Tuesday. I knew the gist of the storyline, basically from the television show Smallville, thanks to a roommate who enjoyed watching that type of program. Please don’t judge her too harshly, she also introduced me to Xena and Buffy. So sk, a fan of the original Superman, and I headed to the theatre last week. As we settled into our seats, I made sure my diet soda was located on the proper side, I had a sufficient number of napkins and the popcorn was in its correct spot, tilted at just the right angle, to provide easy access for both of us. Just to make certain I was on the correct memory path, I leaned over to ask sk if this was the story “about the man allergic to kryptonite.” The lights had not completely dimmed all the way and I was able to sneak a peek of wonder on my gal pal’s face. Then I felt her gently place a hand on my arm, she leaned over to me and whispered, “Yes, dear, that’s exactly correct.”
I knew she was teasing me, of course, but I didn’t mind. I was too busy trying to remember all I could about the storyline of the original movie. Years ago, and maybe still to this day, a TV station will run a Superman movie marathon. If I happened to come across this while channel surfing, I stopped to watch 10-15 minutes before I continued. Just long enough to become super annoyed by those humans that let a pair of black eye glasses get in the way of their common sense and can’t make the connection between Clark Kent and Superman.
I knew Superman was faster than a speeding bullet. . . or train. Okay, I knew for certain he was supposed to be able to leap over tall buildings and I’m almost positive there was something about a train. Oh well, I’ll just stick to the facts about the movie. Shall we?
First, this movie is not entitled Superman, it’s called Man of Steel. Second, the film is a list of who’s who: Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne and Russell Crowe. Plus, there are still other actors you will know by sight but you may not know their names: Christopher Meloni and Richard Schiff. When you first see Meloni on the screen, your first thought may be something like, “oh, that’s. . . oh. . . where’s he from. . . oh yeah, he’s that dude from CSI, NYPD Blue, Law & Order or some police drama on tv. Yeah, that’s him!” And as soon as you see Schiff, you’ll say to yourself, “TOBY! Oh how I miss West Wing!” Or maybe that’s just the words that zipped through my brain. . . . Anyway, am I the only one who does not know who Henry Cavill is? He is the caped crusader himself in Man of Steel.
Overall, this is a good movie. Will it win any awards, no. The cast is solid but no one stands out. If I had to tip my hat to anyone, it would be to Mr. Crowe. He recovered nicely from his terribly ill-suited role in Les Mis. (See my review here at Les Miserables. . . Les Poo?) Unfortunately, the worst part of the movie is the ending. I don’t think I’m ruining the film for anyone when I say that at the end there is a big battle. This battle went on. . . and on. . . and on. . . and, you get the idea. The “ending” seemed to last for an hour. I still don’t have a watch yet so I couldn’t time it but if I had one you can bet your bottom dollar I would know exactly how long that scene lasted. Also, there were some funky camera angles put in for fun. Later on, sk said there were times during this epic ending that she felt like she was watching a video game. I’m not exactly sure what she meant by that but I will attribute that toward the funky camera angles.
I do have one bone to pick about this movie, and it’s a big one. Again, keep in mind I’ve never seen a complete Superman movie nor have I ever read one single word from a Superman comic. The Superman I know would never help destroy an entire city or major metropolitan downtown area. My Superman would lure the “not-so-nice” people away from an area where there are lots of people. The real Superman, for example, would not fight in the middle of Metropolis or downtown New York City, thereby obliterating both places from the planet as we know them. Instead, the real Superman would have fought these “not-so-nice” people out over the ocean or up in space somewhere to reduce human casualties. For those viewers who compare violence in films today versus those of decades past, once again they would have a good argument that today’s Superman glorifies violence when compared to those movies made in the 1970s and ’80s.
So, based on this, how would I rate this film? (To read more on my rating system, please read Inner History Nerd.) I don’t think I would have looked at my watch one time, at least not until the drawn out ending in which I would have surely peeked to see the time at least twice. Out of five stars, this Little Butch gives the movie three: good but not great. A nice film but comes up short due to the length of the ending, the few times humor is tried it fails miserably and I don’t buy into this new breed of Superman, he is more violent than those portrayed in past films or comics.