Yeah, I’m still burned by Daredevil too. Some nights, I’m still haunted by images of the shockingly misjudged red S&M outfit and I lay awake trying to justify the piss soup mess that was the plot. I haven’t watched it in years but I’m fairly certain towards the start Daredevil kills a guy? I’m foggy on that so I won’t get into it, but everything else about that film sticks out in my mind like a sore thumb with a leather fetish.
It seems to me (now forgive my presumptions) that most of us are nervous about Affleck donning the iconic cape and cowell in Snyder’s sequel to The Man of Steel because of ill fated turn in Daredevil. At the very least I would say the majority of the negative reactions are because of Daredevil. While I’ve always found Affleck to be a matter of taste, I have often practiced a method of getting over not agreeing with a casting choice that actually works every time. 100% success rate.
Suck it up and don’t judge the actor until you’ve seen him play the part you’re so upset about. His stint as the man without fear was a long time ago and one would hope that he has learnt from his folly. As long as he doesn’t rock the patented Bale gravel gargling bat growl, I think we’re safe. More to the point, if he really fucks up in Man of Steel 2 I am certain Warner Bros. will yank him out and replace him with someone else in time for The Justice League so that we don’t have to suffer more than one film’s worth of indignity.
Of course no one is even prepared for what might happen; Ben Affleck might own the part in a way no one thought possible. He could be to Batman what Tom Baker is to The Doctor or Connery is to Bond. Look at what everyone said about Heath Ledger as The Joker. Look what people are saying about Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor when anyone with more than half a brain cell will know he is going to rock that part harder than a rocky rock that’s hard and rocks.
This predisposition we have for judging an actor before we see them deliver the goods is unhealthy. That fans are passionate and enthusiastic and get excited is brilliant and what being a fan of something is about it. Then we get certain news and it all turns sour. Insults and strops and essentially throwing our toys out of the pram before we have any clue or any right to judge. I don’t even like Affleck that much and I was surprised and maybe even a little let down at the news but any one can tell you that if you go into something like this expecting to find something to hate, you are going to. And where is the fun in going to see Batman throwing down with Superman on the big screen, something we have waited decades to see, if we’re just looking for things to complain about?
Suck it up kids. It’ll be fine.
I came into the cinema with one thought; Please, Christ be better than Superman Returns. I’m happy to say it was much better than Bryan Singer’s ill fated love letter to the 1978 classic. However, if you’ve seen Returns you’ll know that really isn’t saying much at all.
Man of Steel succeeds because it acts like Richard Donner’s Superman (the film that made superhero movies what they are today) never existed. This is a fresh take on a seventy fiver year old character and it succeeds in reintroducing Supes to a modern audience. The only thing you’ll really miss from the original is that beautiful John William’s score, but Hans Zimmer does a pretty good job himself.
Does it take itself too seriously? Maybe. It could do with a little (well, a lot) more humour but it’s hardly The Dark Knight. This is still Superman. This character is absolutely the same as from 1978 and if it feels different it’s because the world around has changed, not because he has.
That ending has caused some debate among the die hard fans and while I won’t spoil it here, it is completely a logical and justified move and not something that has been tacked on for the sake of grit.
The action sequences are properly impressive. We get to see Superman punching bad guys through buildings and out into space. It feels like the kind of thing you’ve always wanted to see in a comic book movie. A fight that reminds you these people have super powers, and the city looks like it’s been nuked by the end of it, as it should.
The cast is solid. Cavill is pitch perfect as both Clark and Superman while Amy Adams gives us a cracking Lois Lane. Zod was a genuinely unsettling villain with a believable agenda for wanting to lay a bitch slap on Earth. My only gripes were the absence of Jimmy Olsen and the proper, bespectacled Clark Kent (although the latter finally appears at the very end, making me fanboy harder than seeing him in costume).
Man of Steel is a strong reboot, packed with action and tense moments. The sequel will doubtless improve if only because we don’t have to go through all the origin stuff again, but then, if I do have to sit through an origin story I know like the back of my hand, at least Zack Snyder was kind enough to add in Russel Crowe riding dragons for me.