By Sanjeev Selvarajah
Man of Steel is touched by producer Christopher Nolan’s sense of restraint and its director Zach Snyder’s bold vision. Since the involvement of both Nolan and Snyder is simultaneous, the overall production structure of Man of Steel is balanced. What follows is a spoiler-free review.
Nolan, the mastermind of the Dark Knight trilogy, knows how to use foreboding and rewards, for the waiting, to build a franchise. The waiting is the focus of this dissection because as much as Superman has gone in front of the small screen and Bryan Singer’s noble effort with Superman Returns, the landmark performance of Christopher Reeve and the birth and culture of the Internet has showed the highest resilience since every movie site is tired of Hollywood hijinks and fiendishly loyal to America’s number one super-hero.
Even if the premise and pitch doesn’t make it to the cinema, previous forays into Superman’s territory whether it was Tim Burton’s or McG’s ill-fated pre-production have had a taste of anticipation as early as the nineties drew its close. One producer wanted polar bears and a giant mechanical spider, which are both present here as an inside joke.
Whether any of the gossip regarding the Man of Steel is accurate remains to be seen in this version’s DVD special features. Alas, everybody can reap an amazing experience by witnessing the movie on a big screen. And at the same time as a sequel is being filmed, the nature of the franchise can allow for a resurrection of the Superman versus Batman idea that hints at the Justice League DC team-up, with a Wonder Woman series in tow.
The cult of the Hollywood-hive has its own transcending machinations. The movement of this side of American pop culture knows when to kill a movie and when to resurrect and channel what works.
Thus, in the performance department, the actors and actresses triumph. Unknown Henry Cavill summons Reeve, Amy Adams is on par with Margot Kidder and perhaps even better, but the awards go to veteran actors portraying the quartet of Kal-el’s parents, from Krypton and Earth and last but not least Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White. Nolan and Snyder pay dues towards a small show like Smallville, whose legacy shares a big heart with Man of Steel. Watch out for the old Emil Hamilton and Amy Adams herself, who had a bit part on Tom Welling’s career as the iconic hero. Smallville, as opposed to this new effort, wasn’t consistent in quality but it lasted a full 10 seasons and has fans all across the globe.
Ultimately, this is an action movie’s love song to the heritage of 40s and 50s sci-fi. More substantial than even the recent Star Wars and Star Trek offerings. Trust this, the fight scenes are out of this world and revolutionary. The kryptonian science is immeasurable, from the insectoid-like war machine to the spoiler about where little Kryptonian boys and girls come from. Something strange and beautiful is active here and it’s another homerun for director Zach Snyder as he adds layers and layers to the movement of theatrical 3D and cinematic god-battle. Man of Steel is playing at the Somerville Theatre.