Sunday, 18 May 2014

How about... Superman?

I just watched Man of Steel. I've been keen to watch this for a few reasons. They're all called Henry Cavill. With that face and those arms and... ooh everything.
No, I jest. Well, a bit. That was a big reason. Since my Tudors binge I've been in love with him. These days that's as deep as my love for a man goes. He has to be on screen and playing a fictional or dead character for me to be into him.

Just look at him. Hair. Beard. Hair. Thighs. Face. This is in the Tudors. 

And this is him in Superman. I realise I've left the iconic costume out but that's because this was better. 

In The Tudors, he plays Henry's buddy, Charles Brandon. He marries Henry's sister then treats her like shit while loyally killing anyone Henry tells him to kill. But man, he is perfect with the chin and the beard and the eyes and the everything. He even gives Brandon a tiny bit of depth. A depth that I don't think the real one actually had.

I also wanted to watch Man of Steel because the Christopher Reeve films were a seminal part of my childhood. I grew up with that comic book Superman. With the silly hair lick on his forehead and his ridiculous costume and his bumbling Clark Kent. I liked Margot Kidder's Lois because she isn't conventionally gorgeous, and was funny and sharp. I loved Stamp as Zod. But they were all quite shit, those films. In an 80s way. Shit but iconic, like a lot of the rest of the 80s.

Man of Steel, though. Fuckin hell. It's a chore. It's the same feeling as watching the Matrix sequels. Somewhere in the middle of it you suddenly become convinced that you're never leaving this film. The fight scenes, explosions and collapsing buildings will actually go on forever. Zod will never die. Superman will never get over it. It will never ever end.

It takes itself almost incredulously seriously with at least five hours of set up before he even gets sent to earth. We see Russell Crowe proclaiming his lines like he's doing Shakespeare at The Globe, acting like a hokey old dude with an inexplicable English accent. He booms on for ages and rides on the back of a dragon thing for yonks.

I'm no expert but I'd guess that a lot of the extraneous detail is from the  original comics so the fan geeks can argue about it online, but it really stripped the fun out of the whole deal.
The plot is wildly different from the original films and it's far more about the dichotomy faced by Cal in a world in which he can never fit. Not helped by his dullard father, ably and dully played by Kevin Costner (I know. Where has he been?) going on and on about how he's different and the world will reject him. One of the highlights of the film is seeing Costner's annoying face getting sucked away by some tornado.

The end brings you up to the point where Clark starts at The Daily Planet. So it's all a sort of prequel I suppose. He has glasses on so no one apparently recognises him. Which is a moment of ludicrous levity totally at odds with the rest of the film. A film far more about cod philosophy and painted expressions than action hero fun.

To summarise. Henry Cavill is hot. Look right for him in the Superman outfit. The S, by the way, doesn't stand for Superman. It means hope. Obviously. Needs more beard. 

Russell Crowe is ridiculous. Kevin Costner has to be one of the most over rated actors of all time and Amy Adams is just there.

You should watch it if you like things exploding, buildings collapsing and looking at Henry Cavill. It will help to know that you can disappear to make a cup of tea and miss absolutely nothing.

One day I will share my thoughts on a new film. Probably. If it has Henry Cavill in it. 

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