Why I was wrong about The Man of Steel

Henry Cavill as Superman (Image: Warner Bros)
Henry Cavill as Superman (Image: Warner Bros)

OK, I admit I was wrong about Man of Steel. I expected to hate it. I wanted my Superman the same flavour I had as a kid, with a twinkle in the eye and a curl in the hair.

With every trailer, this expectation deepened. The new Superman would be too po-faced, too earnest; too cold.

But I was willing to give it a chance. This is Superman, after all.

I loved it. Yes, it is a little earnest at points and some of the religious allusions have the subtlety of a Kryptonian punch, but I didn’t find it cold. There was warmth there, there was heart. Cavill plays Supes with the touch of vulnerability which I recognise from the comics. There were even a few smiles. The grin Clark gives when he first flies was infectious.

Then there were the fights. Yup, there is a lot of CGI going on, but I liked the fact that there weren’t loads of pedestrian cheerleaders standing on the sidewalks, chanting Superman’s name. There were people running for their lives while alien  super-beings duked it out. There was truth there, as there was in the way Superman was treated by us humans too.

And at the end, the apocalyptic battle came down to a small, very human choice.

The approach was right I think. They could have aped the Christopher Reeve movies, but we saw how successful that was in Superman Returns. They could have followed the same route as Iron Man and the Avengers. Anyone who knows me with know I love those films, but I’m glad they decided to follow a different road. They went for the mythos – part epic, part disaster movie. The result? A film not afraid to stand on its own two red-booted feet, rather than pretending to be something else.

So, next time I moan about a film from just watching the trailer, hit me around the head with a rolled up copy of Action Comics will you?

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you thought of it…

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