Pre-View: Man Of Steel

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve never been a fan of Superman. He just seems too uninteresting as a character, with his only inner turmoil being his fish out of water last-of-his-kind predicament, that I’m sure would become annoying and whiny if dwelt on for too long. My disinterest with him also stems from the fact that I’ve spent so little time with the character. I have technically seen Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman, but I can’t remember a single thing about it (literally nothing), and my hatred for Superman Returns is well documented. I also wasn’t much of a fan of Smallville, barely making it halfway through the first season, and I doubt I’ve seen more than a couple of episodes of Lois and Clark, although I did like Ben Affleck’s performance as George Reeves in Hollywoodland. As such, I can’t say I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Man Of Steel, despite the interesting trailers and general buzz over it all.

Man of Steel does have a few things going for it that may drag me into the cinemas. The first is the director, Zack Snyder. I love 300, Watchmen and his Dawn of the Dead remake, but I haven’t seen Sucker Punch or that business with the owls, because they sounded potty and/or rubbish. A big-budget superhero blockbuster sounds more up his street, as long as he keeps a handle on just how much green screen he uses. Christopher Nolan on producing duties also bodes well, what with his previous experience on a certain stellar superhero trilogy, and generally not knowing how to make bad films. And then there’s the cast. Amy Adams is an interesting choice for Lois Lane, but I’ve yet to be disappointed by her appearing in a film, so I have no issues there. Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as the Kents all seem like good fits too, and Richard Schiff is in there somewhere too! Yay! Love some Schiff. More of him, please. I’m only unsure about the central casting of Henry Cavill, as the only thing I’ve seen him in is Stardust, and his admittedly small role as Humphrey, the rival for hero Charlie Cox for the hand of Sienna Miller, didn’t leave much of an impression, and his latest leading role in Immortals wasn’t terribly well received. Either way, he looks the part.

There’s one small detail that I forgot to mention that will absolutely guarantee that I will definitely see this film at some point. Michael Shannon. I’ve just finished watching the first season of Boardwalk Empire (literally 90 minutes ago, I’m pretty consistently behind on my TV-watching, I’m about to start watching season one of The Wire) and undoubtedly my favourite aspect of the series was Shannon’s performance as devout lawman Nelson Van Alden, more specifically the way he talks without actually moving his mouth wide enough for any words to possibly escape. It’s not like he was even stacked against a weak cast, overshadowing the likes of Michael Stuhlbarg, Shea Whigham, Stephen Graham and Michael Kenneth Williams, all of whom are on particularly spectacular form as well. And Steve Buscemi, of course, but then he’s the lead, and therefore cannot possibly be the most interesting character. Plus, it’s Buscemi, so no-one really doubted his awesomeness beforehand, whereas Shannon seems to have burst from much lower down in the cast. I’m aware that he’s cropped up in a fair amount of smaller fare before – Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Runaways, Revolutionary Road, even Groundhog Day – but this seems him stepping up to the big time in arguably one of the biggest films of the year, and as the lead bad guy Zod no less, as formerly portrayed by the almighty Terrence Stamp. 

I’m not signing off on definitely seeing Man Of Steel in the cinemas – I’ll wait for the initial reviews first – but if they’re good, well then count me in.

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