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Man of Steel

Man of Steel

USA 2013 - mit Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe ...

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Originaltitel:Man of Steel
Genre:Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Regie:Zack Snyder
Produktionsland:USA 2013
Laufzeit:Ca. 142 min.
FSK:From 12 years
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superman! Again? Yes! Bryan Singer did not try to revive the franchise in the cinema until 2006 with "Superman Returns", but was unable to meet the high expectations. And so now "Watchmen" director Zack Snyder with the support of the team of "The Dark Knight" tries to help the "Man of Steel" to a cinematic flight of fancy again. The odds are not bad. Although much of what is told in "Man of Steel" is already known from other cinema and TV incarnations, Snyder manages surprisingly well to blow a breath of fresh air under the cape of the somewhat dusty superhero.

The story is not really new in its core: after his home planet Krypton exploded and his parents (Russel Crowe & Ayelet Zurer) sent him to earth at the last moment, Kal-El grows up there as Clark (Henry Cavill) with his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner). Even as a young boy, Clark always had the feeling of being different from the other children, unaware that he came from another planet and had superpowers due to the sun's radiation on Earth. As a young man, he tries to learn more about his origins and destiny. Although he completely disappears and moves from one place to another like a phantom, the reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) gets on his trail. But even her boss Perry White (Laurence Fishburne), who otherwise always stands behind his star reporter, doesn't believe the crazy story about an alleged "Superman". But all doubters soon learn better when General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his trusted Faora (Antje Traue), other survivors of Krypton, appear and use the earth to resurrect Krypton and his people. Now it's up to Superman to decide where he belongs and use his powers for the right fight - the fight for his home…

"Man of Steel" superficially presents only the familiar in a new guise. Already earlier movies have shown the end of Krypton, Christopher Reeve (in "Superman II") and Tom Welling (in "Smallville") had to fight against General Zod and also the way Clark Kent learned everything about an origin through a kind of hologram of his father Jor-El has already been implemented quite similarly several times. So it was to be feared that a new film, which tells about the beginnings of Superman, could only build up a certain kind of tension through its action sequences and special effects.

That is fortunately not the case with "Man of Steel". Small but subtle changes in the familiar concept, such as the first encounter between Clark and Lois Lane, make the story itself as interesting as the non-linear narrative chosen by Snyder. Especially at the beginning the events jump back and forth between Clark's childhood, the current events and the last days of Krypton. The mixture of quieter, character-oriented moments and action-packed scenes works extremely well and prevents even a moment of boredom. Where Bryan Singer simply stayed too long and so slowed down the pace of his story, Snyder's way of staging provides enough tempo to keep even those viewers at the same level for whom the basic framework of the plot is not new.

The film can also profit from its cast. While Henry Cavill remains a bit stiff overall, which this role brings with it (after all, he is the man of steel!), especially Amy Adams as really good Lois Lane and Michael Shannon as wonderfully crazy villain can convince. Kevin Costner and Russel Crowe are only allowed to play their father role in a few short moments. But both actors get everything they can from their scenes in terms of emotionality and strength. Even smaller supporting roles, such as Antje Traue as Kryptonian fighting amazon Faora or Laurence Fishburne as choleric editor-in-chief, are perfectly cast and also make "Man of Steel" a real pleasure in acting.

The first 100 minutes of the film offer superhero action on a pleasantly high level. Special effects, story, actors and the music of Hans Zimmer - all this can convince here. The last 40 minutes Snyder dedicates almost completely to the fight of Superman against General Zod. And he's making it really big. That's dramaturgically gripping and technically first-class staged, but in the long run it's also a bit tiring. The extremely fast tempo makes "Man of Steel" seem like "Transformers" on speed in these moments, smaller details are in danger of drowning completely. Especially in the once again (almost) completely unnecessary 3D, the somewhat excessive destruction orgy is just exhausting. Great to look at, but simply too much of a good thing. Here a little less would have been more in any case.

But apart from that "Man of Steel" can be regarded as a very successful restart. Dark and almost completely without any humor, but also far away from the realism Christopher Nolan's "Batman"-movies have been through, this "Superman"-Reboot is a great comic-strip, in which the characters at least at the beginning aren't completely killed by the action and which dramaturgically lays a solid foundation for (very likely) sequels. If you appreciate great fantasy adventures with lots of action, but also a neat character and story structure, you will certainly enjoy this new Superman a lot. Absolutely worth seeing!

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