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MAN OF STEEL

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, but whatever it is, it’s damn hot.


Having already given the Caped Crusader and everyone’s favourite neighbourhood webslinger makeovers in recent years, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood decided to dust off the DC Comics dreamboat again. The good news is that this splashy reboot soars far more than it stalls.

Most of that is down to the perfect casting of Mr Henry Cavill, who has finally shaken off the shackles of being showbiz’s nearly-man – he was this close to being Batman and James Bond. The late, great Christopher Reeves made Superman his own, but Cavill does a mighty fine job of filling the appreciably snug suit, forgoing Reeves’s dappy charm for the subdued, almost majestic. Not to mention the chiselled cheekbones, those pecs, that chin dimple, oh, the list goes on.

His co-stars, though, don’t quite measure up. New look Lois Lane is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a bit of bore, with the chemistry between Amy Adams and Cavill barely flickering when it should fizz. Similarly, Michael Shannon brings bug-eyed intensity at the expense of fun to General Zod, the grumpiest of grumps intent on exterminating everyone on Earth, reeling off one long-winded speech after another about bloodlines and some thingamajig called a codex. Plus, the maniacal military leader sports a dip-dyed goatee, which is just a big no-no. Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, meanwhile, playing our hero's biological and earthbound daddies respectively, are saddled with drippy pep-talks accompanied by plinky plonky music.

So, there are a few wrinkles in the crimson cape, however what Man of Steel lacks in wallops of the emotional variety, it makes up for in mind-blowing action. Director Zack Snyder, whose CV includes 300 and Watchman, shoots the heck out of the film, showering the screen with retina-burning eye candy, rattling from one breathless, flashy set-piece to the next as Supes and Zod smash each other through this building, that building, and not forgetting that one over there.

Minor quibbles aside, there is no doubting that this is an exhilarating new chapter for the Last Son of Krypton.

3/5

Words: Thomas Stichbury

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