Neither bird nor plane
Don’t look to the sky. The new Superman was made to look better on your iPhone. Ben Child writes.Updated: Apr 18, 2013 23:36 IST
If the popcorn pundits are right and Man of Steel really has fallen behind Iron Man 3 in the race to be this summer’s biggest superhero movie, the latest trailer for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot has arrived in the nick of time. Up until now, Snyder has teased us with snatches of storyline and dialogue from the film without giving away too much about its tone and pace. The third trailer, by contrast, gives us a real sense of where this reimagination of the world’s first and most famous superhero is coming from, and what he will look like on the big screen.
Much has been made of Christopher Nolan’s ‘godfather’-style producer role for the film, and the attendant realism that the British film-maker supposedly brings with him from his Dark Knight trilogy of Batman films. And yet Man of Steel looks like a Zack Snyder movie. The trailer’s opening sequence, in which (a suspiciously Australian-sounding) Russell Crowe’s Jor-El sends his only son on the long journey to Earth presents a heavily stylised Krypton drawn through the severe yet pleasing-to-the-eye tan and teal filter that seems to be modern Hollywood shorthand for “comic book” (and which Snyder used to great effect on Watchmen and 300).
Elsewhere, the frenetic pace of the action (with all those sudden jump-cuts and immersive camera angles) also echoes the director’s past work, though there is little slo-mo this time around. Hans Zimmer’s rapturous score makes for classy, stirring accompaniment, tugging gently at the senses with lilting piano before blasting off into orbit with determined horns and soaring strings.
What do we learn that’s new? Well, it appears (in line with screenwriter David S Goyer’s aim of delivering a “naturalistic” Superman) this new man of steel doesn’t just turn up fully formed and start rescuing people. Fittingly for the iPhone generation, he’s the source of urban legends that have been permeating the media for a number of years.
Amy Adams’s Lois Lane meets him in what appears to be a military bunker (rather than on a rooftop garden) and there doesn’t seem to be much chance of a nice “getting to know you” flight over Manhattan in cynical 2013. The “S” on our hero’s chest is revealed to be a Kryptonian symbol of hope, rather than an indication of his god-like powers.
We also catch a glimpse of Michael Shannon’s General Zod, the villain of the piece this time around. Is that Supes’ Kryptonian parents he is warning at one point, or could it be Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Ma and Pa Kent who are bearing the full brunt of the megalomaniacal tyrant’s anger? Are those spaceships that appear to have permeated Earth’s atmosphere? In which case do Zod and his friends arrive to conquer the planet with plenty of logistical firepower this time around? A viral video shown at the MTV Movie awards on Sunday suggests the supervillain might be willing to spare mankind if we give up Superman. But can anyone with a haircut like that really be trusted?
Guardian News Service
First Published: Apr 18, 2013 23:34 IST