I’m going to make this short. I saw the film yesterday and I’m still figuring it out in my head.
I’m going to watch the film again tomorrow to see if I can finalise my opinions and view the film on its own terms, rather than being measured by my own expectations, which no Superman film could ever match up to if it tried.
So for now, your just have an itemised list from me of pluses and minuses. I’m glad to say the pluses outweigh the negatives.
+Kevin Costner is Pa Kent, even if he comes off as an idiot half the time.
+I couldn’t keep my eyes of Micheal Shannon when he was on screen. His Zod is compelling, despite the third act of the film.
+Russel Crowe in a role where he doesn’t look like hes killing time? Thumbs up from me.
+Henry Cavill is a great Superman. Insanely beautiful as well, whilst managing to get in some chest hair that makes the MAN in superMAN stand out.
+Krypton is golden age silly, but in a way that its all consistent with its own tone.
+World building. Small bits here and there, but its nice to to see that Nolan hasn’t isolated Superman into his own pocket universe like he did in the Batman films.
+They finally ‘got’ how to show a bunch of superpeople would fight in a film. I think we have to give Snyder props for that.
-Apart from a few scenes, its entirely joyless. The film is busy trying to be serious and respected and it forgets to have a sense of fun.
-There are about 3 films crammed into 1 here, do the plot ends up powering things to the determent of character development. Its not as bad as the latest Star Trek film though. Thank god.
-On that front, there are several different points in the film, including half way into it where everything screams that it could be the end of the film. Yet it keeps going. The film in general is a mess structurally.
-The film has no concept of ‘less is more’. It starts off with a planetary civil war and (50+ year old spoilers!) Krypton exploding and decides to get bigger from then on. About half way into the film, I was fatigued from all the action scenes and frankly I was a bit bored. The last 40 minuets had me really shuffling in my seat.
-Just, I don’t get the feeling that Nolan and Goyer get superman as a concept. I mean all these points that I talked about in my column a few days ago seem to be lost on them, as their first thoughts of Superman are- wow, he would be a big menace the whole world would hate.Do you not get the whole comics thing Nolan? Sorry, stupid question. Of course you don’t.
-Zod has a bunch of underlings superman fights. These are used in the film literally as mini bosses, as in the are deployed by ship, get defeated and then a ship drops in to pick them up and take them away so superman can fight the big bad guy. I’m not even kidding.
Those are my initial thoughts. I would still go to see the film. Its a mess bit its a good mess, with enough moments that make it worth watching.
At the end of the day, perhaps disaster porn is your thing, in which case you will love the film. But I wanted more quiet moments of Superman learning who he is with Ma and Pa Kent and less invulnerable people causing enough explosions to fill 5 other films.
As I said, I’m going to see the film again tomorrow and post a proper review up soon. May take a few days as I’ve got stuff to do, but I’ve got a few pieces lined up to fill the gap before then.