There is a moment early on in Man of Steel, where a young Clark Kent locks himself in a school closet.
His mother is called. She is on one side of the door, he is on the other.
‘The world is too big Mum,’ he cries.
It is no surprise then that the character lives in a remote country home, works in a quiet local bar. Infact, much of the film takes place away from our world.
Man of Steel is about our anxieties. Sometimes the world is far too big. Our strengths can be our weakness. Should we follow our heart?
And the lack of identity in the film’s title is an indication that the ‘Man’ with the anxiety is not only Superman. It’s also Kal-El and Clark Kent. And ourselves.
Of course Henry Cavill is a fine choice for the role. His physique is what we expect of ‘Superman’. But Cavill’s strength has never been his acting. In The Tudors where I first came across him, his role never encouraged deep acting, and relied alot on his charm and seduction. Man of Steel offers him little.
And perhaps that blame lies with Zack Snyder’s direction. A bombastic display of CGI, lens flare, shaky and swift camera movement.
The film’s title may be about a man, but the film’s style is about Snyder.
There’s little from Russell Crowe and Amy Adams to be impressed with. Crowe’s fault is not his own, all his lines are constructed as though they are pivotal speeches in history. More grandiose than required.
Adams never really stands out in the film. She’s lost amongst the dark, gritty, dull, CGI, mechanical backgrounds and colours. And isn’t that what ‘Man of Steel’ is. A poster child of what blockbuster films have become. Machine over man.