Having watched 154 hours worth of Smallville, it was a little difficult to see the whole ‘birth of Superman’ thing get done again in just two and half. Nevertheless, I suppose it had to be done, and who better than to make it an all-out visually spectacular Hollywood blockbuster than pyromaniac producer Christopher Nolan, and homoerotic director Zack Snyder. I say homoerotic because Snyder previously directed 300 – possibly the most oiled man flesh in one film – and Watchmen – that swinging blue penis cannot be erased from my memory. This film is no different; the casting is such that I found the actor playing Superman to be much more good looking than Amy Adams playing Lois Lane. Yes, I may have a bit of a man-crush on Henry Cavill. Let’s move on.
The film consists of three acts. The first act is the death of Krypton, and heavily features Russell Crowe as Jor-El. The setting and the visuals actually reminded me of David Lynch’s infamous Dune film, which he directed after The Elephant Man. Lots of bangs and booms help to accentuate the rather complicated reasons for Krypton’s destruction, so the audience is unlikely to be bored.
The second act is mainly exposition, interspersed with scenes of Clark Kent growing up and discovering his powers. Weirdly enough, they show his X-ray vision power near the beginning, but he never actually uses it for anything useful in this film. In fact, it’s shown as a weakness. Clearly, I was never going to like this part as much as I liked Smallville, but the last scene with Clark and his father was actually rather moving. The relationship between Clark Kent and Lois Lane is a bit rushed and seems unnatural, probably one of my least favourite aspects of this film.
The third act is, you guessed it, explosions. Bang, smash, crash, wallop, boom, etc. If you’ve seen a Christopher Nolan movie before, you’ll know exactly what to expect. While I know that there’s nothing very philosophically exciting about the carnage Nolan wreaks on screen, it cannot be denied that it is very exciting. With lots of invincible beings punching and shooting each other, there’s a lot of action to be gained, and countless buildings to be demolished. Action junkies will love it.
It’s not a terribly thought-provoking movie, and it’s ‘epicness’ is only simulated by the large budget, terrific visuals and booming soundtrack. Nevertheless, it’s immensely entertaining, and should keep action fans pleased. Apparently this’ll be the beginning of some DC Comics universe series, perhaps to rival the success of Marvel’s Avengers. I won’t be following it that closely, that’s for sure.