Prepare the World Engine! and other cheesy lines…

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Well, it finally arrived. We–me–had been waiting month after agonizing month for the release of this epic event.

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I had gotten my hopes pretty far up there anticipating a dark and gritty story of the original god super hero. Those grainy images of Henry Cavill making his way along the Alaskan coastline working on rickety old crab boats in the vein of Deadliest Catch caught my attention. Then came the real good stuff. Superman’s deification cycle. 

Oh, I was there. Ready and waiting to absorb the tale of Superman’s humble sepia-toned beginnings on the farm straight to godhood. After all didn’t the previews promise it?

Well…I googled my “go to” site for all movies I’m about to see or thinking about seeing: Rotten Tomatoes. Of course, Superman: Man of Steel got a big green splat. This didn’t really surprise me. R.T. has been off before, in my opinion. And I was “all in” anyway for this particular superman so there was just no way I wasn’t going to go. 

I went to the 3D viewing in La Crescenta California where the seats recline in big Lazy Boy fashion, got my milk duds and, in true Clark Kent style, put on those annoying glasses. 

My review: eek. 

Eek because there was a lot there. And eek because it came so close and yet, as the saying goes, so far away. All the trappings of an epic episode that fell flat for lack of heart. Or as my old grade school teachers liked to say, “If only he had applied himself.” 

Now, people clapped at the end, but then again they also clapped when Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader got his mechanical cyborg helmet in the new Star Wars franchise and we all know how that series ended up. Anyway, people loved this film. And in some ways so did I, but it did not scratch the itch for me. 

By the way, all the technology was really cool. Krypton’s super computerized organics still left much to the imagination of how this strange world had come to be. The world engine and terraform technology, excellent.    

Story wise…you’ve got a long and somewhat complex series of events with a shit ton of computer graphics that were over done and in many instances hard to follow. Too many punching through building scenes when they fight and like that. Lot’s of cool fx too. Just too much of a good thing. 

I felt all those flash back scenes were really well done–I mean really good–but then they were just flash back scenes. I would have rather watched his coming of age linearly. You had an all star cast with old pros like Kevin Costner as Superman’s earthly father…but he just seemed so lifeless and cliche, like he hadn’t suspended his own disbelief. 

That’s kind of how everyone seemed to act with two exceptions: Michael Shannon as Zod. Whoa, what a performance. He really brought the goods. And I do have to hand it to Russel Crowe as Jor-el. I found myself really enjoying his part and character before and after death.

And I’ll give a nod to Amy Adams as the tough Lois Lane, female reporter in a male dominated world. She’s fierce and sexy and that’s kind of what you’d expect. 

 

As for the big star, Superman himself. I don’t think he believed it. He sure was handsome in his disbelief, but God as a character is kinda boring. God can do anything so we always know who will win. But I found Cavill’s performance lackluster. And his lines didn’t help. So cheesy half the time like, after Superman just destroys a satellite–millions of U.S. Defense Department dollars–used to conduct surveillance on him, he says, “General, I know you want to find out where I hang my cape. Well, not gonna happen.” 

His whole rationale is how much he loves humans. I couldn’t really figure out why since every time he helps them they just get mad or jealous. Yet, he loves humans so dearly that even one death makes him howl in rage. 

Yeah…no. 

They also kept calling him by his nickname, Kal from Kal-El of course, which is just my little pet peeve and really doesn’t have anything to do with much. 

And there were a couple of nice touches like a chapel scene where the stained glass image of Christ praying just happens to be directly behind Superman so you see Christ and Superman together in one long shot. Or how about this one? How old is Superman once he puts on the suit? 33 years. The age that Christ started his ministry. Clever.

So, do I recommend it? You kinda have to see this one, so yeah. But don’t expect the deeply moving philosophy promised in the previews. And don’t expect Kevin Costner to say anything too profound.