‘Man of Steel’, the highly anticipated re-boot of the Superman franchise was unsurprisingly grandiose, with extended action sequences and visual effects worthy of the $225 million budget for the film’s production.
Yet this isn’t entirely your ‘typical’ blockbuster. The non-linear exploration of Kal El’s (Clark Kent’s) origins and personal development makes for a film which caters to a diversity of interests in the original Superhero, aligning itself with a tone more reminiscent of ‘The Dark Knight’ series, compared to reboots such as ”The Fantastic Four’ where depth of character is secondary to cliché.
Henry Cavill (Kal El/ Clark Kent/ Superman) was expertly cast, fulfilling the all-American dream man role whilst bringing Kal’s vulnerability, moral anguish, and highly developed sense of conscience into sharp relief.
The visual effects were highly imaginative & detailed, constructed around the motif of metallics. From the scale-like quality of Superman’s costume; the cold terrains of earth & space; the planet ‘Krypton’ (a writhing mass of red canyons and clouded skies); and the complex, industrialised feel of the Kryptonian technology, the film maintained a strong, hard-edged visual identity, complimenting the emotional complexities explored in the storyline.
Despite some occasional gratuitous destruction, and the odd moment of ‘cringe’ within the dialogue, the film remained highly watch-able throughout its 143 minute running time. Kal’s character development, and the exploration of themes such as identity, acceptance, morality, and diversity, ensured the depth of story-telling required to avoid ‘Man of Steel’s’ descent into just another Hollywood action cliché. A highly successful contemporary reboot of an icon Superhero, and essential viewing this summer.