'Man of Steel' Reviews Come In Mixed From Critics
'Man of Steel' hit theaters on June 14
Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Louis Lane, has received mixed reviews from film’s top critics – loved by some, detested by others and inspiring something like apathy from the majority.
Man of Steel, directed by 300 director Zack Snyder, endeavored to deliver to audiences a Superman rebooted to examine the idea of what a hero ‘really is’ – which basically amounts to someone (or some alien in this case) with a troubled past and tangible flaws. See: Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. The jury is still out as to whether the blockbuster rings true enough to be embraced by fans of super hero films, or too self-serious to be considered.
The New York Post’s Lou Lumenick, who gave the film 3 stars out of 4, believes that the reimagined Superman tale succeeds. "Man of Steel wipes the slate clean and begins again with a new version of the origin story, taking advantage of 35 years of advances in special effects and the bigger pool of Oscar winners and nominees available for superhero movies,” Lumenick wrote, before generously complimenting the all-star cast, which also includes Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane and Michael Shannon.
“Man of Steel soars high on its own schizoid ambition,” wrote Pete Travers in Rolling Stone magazine. He went on to comment on the film’s differences from past versions, saying that “[It’s] is all to the good, especially for Henry Cavill, the British actor who wisely takes on the role as if it's never been played before.… It's the banked fires he brings to Superman and his alter ego, Clark Kent that make his performance such a potent surprise. Cavill, square-jawed with a hip sense of alienation, doesn't let the suit act for him.”
Other critics, including the Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern, were too distracted by the film’s special effects to connect with and appreciate the performances on the screen. “Here’s one more studio extravaganza brought down by numbing action and an addiction to generic digital effects,” he wrote. “What seals the movie's doom—as inventive entertainment, though perhaps not as a commercial venture—is its surrender to the lower power of coarse-grained action and computer-generated images of inexplicable banality.”
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir seems to empathize with the director, expressing a feeling that his efforts on Man of Steel were a case of ‘too little too late.” He wrote in his review, "Man of Steel is second-tier and third-generation Chris Nolan-flavored neo-superhero material. Here [Snyder] finds himself in the impossible position of trying to put his own stamp on material that feels a lot like “Dark Knight Lite,” while avoiding the impression of serving as Nolan’s surrogate or transcriber.”
Although the critics aren’t quite sure what to make of it, Warner Brothers is confident that Man of Steel, with Cavill in the lead, will fair well enough at the box office to warrant a second installment, as they’ve already green-lit the sequel. Snyder is rumored to be returning to the director’s chair for Man of Steel 2, with David Goyer penning the script and Nolan back as producer.
Man of Steel is currently in wide release.