Man of Steel:The Dark Knight-ification of Superman

Posted by M ws On Sunday, June 16, 2013 0 comments
Have you watched 'Man of Steel'? I am watching it later this week. :-) *coughs* Henry Cavill is soooo gorgeous!!! Look at those rippling muscles!!!! Faint! The costume designer chose to get rid of the red suspender and those of you who have watched the trailer would be gulping away!

Christopher Orr of The Atlantic wrote a brilliant piece HERE.


Early in Man of Steel, we watch as a school bus carrying a teenage Clark Kent and his classmates veers out of control and plunges off a bridge into a river. As the bus sinks below the surface, its trapped and terrified occupants frantically seize what appear to be their last gasps of air. Lucky for them young Clark is aboard! He lifts the bus back up from the depths and saves the day.

But word gets around that something out of the ordinary has taken place—the parent of one of the rescued kids declares it "an act of Providence"—leading Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) to lecture his adoptive son on the need to be more discreet with his superpowers. "What was I supposed to do, let them die?" Clark asks. His dad replies, "Maybe."

Wait—what? Maybe Clark should have let a busload of kids drown rather than risk revealing his powers? Forgive me, but I thought this had been meant as a rhetorical question.

Welcome to the Dark Knight-ification of Superman. Yes, the film is directed by Zack Snyder, but it is heavy (in all senses of the word) with the imprint of co-writer and co-producer Christopher Nolan, who's followed his decade with the caped crusader by taking on the task of rebooting DC Comics' other superstar superhero. The tone is somber, the palette is grayish, and you can scarcely swing a cape without it getting snagged on some moral dilemma.

Man of Steel is an audacious undertaking, a stylistic and thematic mash-up of Avatar, The Matrix, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day, The Thing, Thor, and (especially) Bryan Singer's X-Men films. What is open to question—and I confess to finding myself uncharacteristically ambivalent on the subject—is whether the resulting heavyweight summer blockbuster is very much fun.

The story begins on Krypton, a planet of floating robotic valets and winged mounts that would make a Nazgul sick with envy. There's just one catch: Due to the government's poor management of natural resources (it has taken the "drill, baby, drill" mantra to improbable extremes) the planet is about to explode. Krypton's military leader, General Zod (Michael Shannon) responds to this news by fomenting rebellion; its top scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) opts for putting his infant son, Kal-El, in a tiny spaceship and blasting him to Earth. (In a neat inversion, what makes this savior-to-be special is that Krypton grows most of its children artificially and Kal-El, by contrast, was the product of the planet's first "natural" birth in centuries—i.e., his is a uniquely non-immaculate conception.)

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