, Port Arthur, Texas

June 14, 2013

Superman flies again, but doesn’t soar

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

— Superman flies again, in the form of “Man of Steel.” This reboot of a movie gives us an intriguing rehash of the Man of Steel’s origin story and features some truly remarkable action and special effects work. That being said, the film is also a bit too long and desperately needs some lighter moments to help audiences cope the deadly serious nature of the film.

A pop culture Superman comic book movie should not be so tough to sit through.

The story follows Superman from the days when he was just a baby on the planet Krypton. His father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sends him to Earth where he hopes he will serve as a beacon of good for humanity. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane pick up the story as the Smallville farmers who adopt the little space boy and watch over him until he grows to Super-manhood.

It’s a story that we all know by heart, having seen it played out in multiple comic books, television programs and previous movies. The difference is that this time around, Superman’s two fathers are given expanded roles and the new film really emphasizes the character’s science fiction origins. Superman is such an iconic American figure that sometimes it’s difficult to remember that he’s really an extraterrestrial spaceman hiding out on our planet.

The story pivots into standard blockbuster territory with the arrival of a fellow Kryptonian known as General Zod (Michael Shannon). Things quickly digress into an all-out fight between these two indestructible heroes, with Smallville and Metropolis taking on massive amounts of collateral damage.

Those fight sequences are top notch; filled with great special effects work and a relentless battle that will leave you drained. It’s everything you hope to see in a blockbuster.

Despite all of this, “Man of Steel” wasn’t quite the super movie that I hoped it would be. The tone of the film is so serious that it feels like it should have been in one of the “Dark Knight” movies. That seemed a bit misguided in a movie where the leading man is indestructible and gets to fly. A little bit of joy and humor would have gone a long way toward making this into a more enjoyable movie.

That’s shown by the inclusion of Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Her bright charisma elevates every one of her scenes whereas Cavill’s brooding seriousness becomes a bid tedious by the end of the film.

All things considered, there is still plenty to like about “Man of Steel,” and now that the origin story is out of the way, I look forward to catching up with Superman on more straightforward cinematic adventures. This new Superman movie does fly, but it falls short of soaring.


Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at