Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 59

Man of Steel (2013) William Andy Hainline Spoiler alert - you’ve been warned. Well, I have to say: I clearly saw a different film than many of my fellow comic-book nerds did, because I absolutely freaking loved Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel! From the breath-taking glimpses of planet Krypton—and its culture, society, technology, and wildlife (and the gorgeous way director Zack Snyder managed to bring it all to life)—all the way to the kick-ass, awesome, balls-to-the-wall action sequences on Earth, all the way to the way the film handles Superman’s ultimate moral dilemma, which I’ll address momentarily, I loved the whole thing. (Also: When it comes to portraying how Earth’s military might fare against an invading — and superior — alien force, as well as when it come to how to film awesome, epic action sequences, Zack Snyder could take Michael Bay to school any day of the week, all day long.) The look of the film — its general cinematographic aesthetic — is fantastic; everything from the muted colour palette to the visual textures that Snyder employs is wonderful. (Of course, anyone who’s seen Sucker Punch or Watchmen knows what an absolutely gorgeous visual style Snyder brings to the table.) In many ways, “Man of Steel” is the ultimate superhe- ro film, the philosophical inverse of Snyder’s adaptation of “Watchmen”; whereas the latter deconstructed comics and comic-book movies, just like its literary inspiration did, Man of Steel restores our faith in superheroes, because it gives us one whose motives are purely altruistic in nature and that stem from a moral centre instilled by people who were genuinely good at heart (The Kent family). Thankfully, from a visual and characterization standpoint, the “deconstructing” presence of Christopher Nolan is mostly not felt at all (at least until the final reel), which is a good thing, considering the terrible way he handled Batman’s character and his portrayal in the Dark Knight trilogy. (Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love what Nolan did with Bane, the Joker, and the general feel of those films, but I hate the way he portrayed Batman as this incapable dork who got worked-over and shown-up by every other character in Gotham, even his girlfriend ␤