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... the S stands for Hope

Oh, Superman.
We all love ourselves some Henry Cavill. Many of us, I'm convinced, have been left with a dry mouth after The Tudor pilot and in hope that one day, when the time was right and the planets aligned, we would catch a glimspe of Henry's genitals. Somewhere along the way and several (6) Tudor wives later, we stopped hoping and settled for his pretty face and hairy therefore surprisingly masculine chest.

Nonetheless, many of us (I know of at least one other person) squealed in delight when the news reached us that Cavill's masculinty - our favourite Brit (apart from Cumberbatch, McKellen, Gleeson, the Monty Python's, Mr. Bean, Maggie Smith, Beckinsale, Picard, Brian Cox, everybody at the IT Crowd and many more) - would be lending his loins to America's favourite however boring superhero: the Superman. We hyperventilated in anticipation, and our boyfriends mocked us and rushed to the gym in a desparate fit of inadequacy.

And then came the film and the exchange of silver for 143 minutes of entertainment and Henry Cavill's charms.

Admittedly, if you look closely it has some moments. And it also has a lot of other moments.

We follow the journey of an extraterrestrially handsome and athletic fella, who - despite his good looks - just wants to fit in with us normal folk. We feel the pain he goes through as a young boy when his x-ray vision just wouldn't stop x-raying.

Okay.

We also get an insight into Lois Lane's (allegedly) pulitzer-prized dilemma when her editor (Morpheus Fishburne!) refuses to publish her well-researched scribbles on aliens. Lane is embodied by ok-cute redhead Amy Adams who we have seen in every film that made it to the theatres since Enchanted hit the screens in 2007. As usual and precisely why we love her, her performance is clean, immaculate if not bland and without any edges.

However, the actors' choices and direction leave us in bewilderment as to the unmotivated lip-encounter between Superman and Redhead - the lack of chemistry and attraction between them is palpable.

We like a good bad guy and theatricly trained Michael Shannon succeeds at being bad pretty goodly, and his preferred armour looks like a Warhammer (40,000) Space Marine. Kudos goes out to the costume department under the witty ingenuity of James Acheson (Spiderman, Daredevil, Highlander, The Man in the Iron Mask) and Michael Wilkinson (300, Sucker Punch, Tron:Legacy) who not only crafted a slick and sexy new design for the Superman suit (deploying honeycomb texture we learned to love in Spiderman and Hathaway's Catwoman suit), but also made Russel Javert Crowe feel super uncomfy in spandex.
MTV dared write this funny article about his plights: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1708684/man-of-steel-russell-crowe-costume.jhtml

Last and oh-so least, the story, well, the story. Christopher Nolan supposedly had his fingers in this little pie and failed to add the cleverness and grandiosity of his other works (Memento, The Prestige, and a couple of Batmans). There are plot holes and story lines that make it difficult to suspend one's disbelief, one lazy time jump, and not enough words are given to Superman himself to make us really root for him. Three-dimensionality seems to limit itself to Cavill's suit and musculus pectoralis major. His finely chiselled features remain sadly wooden while delivering punchline-absent dialogue hammered into commonplaces by David S. Goyer. FYI, Goyer is that fast typist who proudly gave you Call of Duty (yes, the Black Ops games), Ghost Rider, and who will continue to proudly give you Metal Gear Solid and Man of Steel 2.The inherent humour of the 1978 Superman: The Movie is lost on Goyer and Snyder and you will look in vain for the charming lightness created by Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Gene Hackman, frolicking their way through a script reforged by some famous Tom Mankiewicz, son of some very famous Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Goyer and Snyder's injected gravity reduces the "fun-and-popcorn-factor" of the Man of Steel where it would have certainly not killed Snyder to tell his lead to smile every now and then.

It pains me to convey this excerpt in my own words:
General What's-His-Name: "You have saved many of our lives and protected us for the past two hours, Superman, but we still don't trust you. What if you ever decide not to fight for America?"
Superman: "I grew up in Kansas. You don't get any more American than that."

Lois Lane's last line (alliteration into perfection) exhibits the language skills of a fourth grader and subtextual significance of diet coke: Imagine the Daily Planet. Imagine that awkward moment when Superman puts glasses on for no apparent reason since his face has been exposed to the world for the entire length of the film:
Redhead: "Welcome to the P/planet, Mister Kent."

The mystery tears the audience apart: Does Redhead mean Planet or planet? Will we ever know?
Do we really care?

Having said all that, Diane Lane is a hot momma and you'll witness some of the most epic bare-knuckle-fights between super-people that have ever been attempted to be put on screen (Zack Snyder's successful surf and turf recipe). Superman and Space Marine bludgeon Metropolis to pulp, presumably only leaving the Daily Planet unharmed for further use in Iron Man 2. Woops. Man of Steel 2. Kevin Coster's performance is touchingly gentle. And it made $125 Mio Dollars on opening weekend. Can so many people be proven wrong? Perhaps, but take it for what it's worth, go out and support your local cinema, don't steal the 3D glasses, and hope that one day, when the P/planets are aligned, and all members of the MPAA have withered away and can no longer censor amusingly shaped body parts, well, let's not be so shallow, shall we?

If you want to read a much better critique of this wee philome, please go here:
http://austin.culturemap.com/news/music_film/06-15-13-atx-man-of-steel-movie-review/

In case you are interested in how far the new Superman flick redefined movie financing via the ways of product placement, check this out:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342059/Supergreed-Pow-He-drinks-Budweiser-Zap-He-shaves-Gilette-How-new-Superman-film-100-million-cynical-product-placement-deals-ever.html



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