I’ve been avoiding something for quite a few months now. When I say ‘something’ I mean a particular movie. Admittedly it piqued my interest when I first read about it in the showbiz section of my beloved Daily Mail.
You see from a very young age I’ve always been a Superman fan.
A HUGE Superman fan.
The main reason for this was undoubtedly the late Christopher Reeve. When I first saw his chiselled chin, piercing blue eyes and dominating 6′ 4″ frame he got my vote, like, instantly.
Not even a dodgy bright yellow plastic belt and Bridget Jones sized red undies could tame my lustful thoughts and desire for a man so goddam physically attractive. Although, my x-rated musings are probably heavily intertwined with the appeal of a man who demonstrates raw masculinity in his unwavering desire to protect, AND has no issues when it comes to showing his sensitive side.
Which is more unrealistic; a man who can fly or a man who has all of the above attributes? Hmmmm…
I’ve alluded to my liking for this fine specimen in a previous post where, thanks to Photoshop, I transformed into Wonder Woman and had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the man himself.
I know. Awesome, huh?
By now you’ll have probably guessed that the movie I’ve been avoiding (up until last night) is Man of Steel. I was already disgruntled with this movie, before watching it, when I heard the disgusting rumours that the ‘S’ no longer referred to the title Superman and was merely a Kryptonian symbol of hope.
If it ain’t broke, people! Silly Directors trying to make a cinematic statement by ‘modernising’ and distancing themselves from the original format/ethos should know better than to meddle with this stuff.
S is for Superman. End of.
Even before the opening scene of Man of Steel I found myself incredibly disappointed. There’s a simple reason for this: the lack of an impactful soundtrack. I distinctly remember watching the original as a child, and in particular the sense of anticipation and excitement as the initial dull rumblings of the Superman score started and then gradually intensified in pace and volume. The opening scene was accompanied with what now would be considered fairly mediocre graphics but they were splashed across the screen with ‘swish’ and ‘swoosh’ sounds that were successful in creating a dramatic and atmospheric introduction.
Man of Steel had lots of impressive computer generated imagery; rustic distressed metal seemed to be the choice de jour but the soundtrack sounded like something you would hear a choir sing at a funeral service. Haunting? Yes. Punchy and riddled with a sense of anticipation? No.
I can remember the opening titles and soundtrack of the original Superman movie in an instant, I would bet my entire weeks shopping (that would be Sugar Puffs and Cheetos) that you do too. It’s been a few years from I watched Superman.
As for Man of Steel? Wouldn’t have a clue. And I watched it last night.
There were certain glaringly obvious weaknesses dotted throughout Man of Steel, when comparing it to the original movie and to me, the entire movie lacked the humour and comedic quality of the original. Yes, the essence of the Superman plot is centred around fighting the forces of evil but isn’t light-hearted humour important when engaging the audience? Actually, it helps to further expose the individual personalities of the main characters.
Personally, I found that the charismatic, charming and sensitive qualities that Christopher Reeve injected into his interpretation of Superman were completely absent in this revamped version. Henry Cavill is a good looking dude, there’s no question about that but his physical attributes were not enough to endear me to his character. Yes, even when he appeared in one scene gloriously bare chested. Ultimately he portrayed a Superman who lacked depth, personality and charisma.
Actually, that sounds like most of the dudes I meet on a Saturday night out.
His interactions and dialogue with Lois Lane were also ridiculously lacking. Where was the sexual chemistry? The coy flirting? I’m a woman, I still (stupidly) believe that love and romance will conquer all and when I watch a movie featuring a chunk of hunk, I wanna see some action, ok?
Let’s take a closer look and make a few comparisons:
Then we have the very unanimated, frosty and zero sexual chemistry of Superman and Lois in Man of Steel. My chair leg, quite frankly, has more sexual appeal.
Lois Lane in the original movie was a loud, feisty and opinionated chick. And in Man of Steel she was a very diluted version of this; actually come to think of it the entire contrast and saturation levels of Man of Steel were as dull, wishy-washy and grey as all of the characters portrayed in it.
In Man of Steel, Superman (or the superhero previously known as Superman), spent most of his time bouncing around like the cartoon character Tigger, as opposed to flying. It was sometimes impossible to actually see him flying. Where’s the fun in that? The fighting scenes with General Zod and his motely crew also consisted of ferocious bouncing and catapulting displays. Not very imaginative, right?
The special effects guys behind the original movie didn’t have any of the gadgets, gismos and CGI technology of the present day. They had green screens, rope, cardboard and glue. However, the scenes that they delivered had the vision, imagination and creativity sorely lacking in the modern day remake.
But there is one thing that I will admit goes in favour of the Man of Steel…and that’s the revamped costume. It looks damn good.
I like it.
It seems that in his quest to create a more edgy and moody portrayal of the legacy of Superman, the Director Zack Snyder, completely lost sight of the simplicity of the original storyline and the importance of the individual quirks of its characters.
His overuse of modern technology and specifically CGI, left the audience with uninspiring and creatively lacking scenes. I would hazard a guess that he felt the audience would be so impressed at floating, teardrop shaped robots and animated steel storyboards that he would be forgiven for a weak storyline and characters lacking in substance. He was wrong.
There is only one Superman.