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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

MOVIE REVIEW: Super letdown

 
 

Despite a progressive portrayal of women and minorities and some powerful acting performances, the exhausting torrent of fight scenes in “Man of Steel” crowded out opportunities for decent character development, while failing to conceal plot lines with loose ends.
Throughout the film, minorities and women are cast in positions of influence – a refreshing respite from the traditional white-male hegemony of superhero movies.
General Swanwick and Daily Planet editor Perry White are played by African-American actors Harry Lennix and Laurence Fishburne, respectively. Female actress Antje Traue plays the role of menacing Kryptonian soldier, Faora-Ul, whose strength rivals Superman’s.
Even Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, doesn’t adhere to the damsel-in-distress archetype. She goes behind her editor’s back to leak a news story about Superman and boldly explores subterranean ice caves at night.
Another high point of the film is Russell Crowe’s performance as Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El. In spite of his limited amount of screen time, Crowe brings more depth to his character than perhaps any other actor in the movie.
Unfortunately, these are some of the film’s only merits. One major downfall of the film was its failure to readdress seemingly significant plot points.
At one point in their epic duel, Faora-Ul, one of Superman’s Kryptonian enemies, tells Superman that his morality is what makes him weak. I expected this to come into conflict later in the movie, but it was never readdressed.
Another sub-plot that never resolves begins when a young Clark Kent saves one of his classmates from drowning. There are a couple of instances after this scene when director Zack Snyder shows us a shot of this classmate as an adult, making the audience think he will repay Superman in some way by the end.
But he never does. The closest encounter he has with Superman in his adult life is when Faora-Ul hurls Superman through the wall of the IHOP where he works.
With its overwhelming special effects and underwhelming character development, “Man of Steel” is only a shadow of the Superman from the comic books.
Gone is a wholesome sense of soda-pop wonder, and in its place is just another overcharged action movie with the shadow of a great storyline.

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