I like (despite my hatred of the overuse of CGI) Zack Snyder. Watchman was a decent attempt and the effects heavy Sucker Punch is a guilty (and slightly nuts) pleasure. Man of Steel has lots of fans, and I find parts of the film very good, at least a third of it works for me, but what don’t I like?
9/11 and the attacks on New York have totally fucked the mind of a lot of American directors. The last half hour of Man of Steel is basically trying to out-do the terrorists who attacked the world trade centre and the news outlets who covered the tragedy live. Do the yanks even realise this?
CGI can do good things for filmmakers, but since 9/11 they seem to be determined to blow up cities and destroy tall buildings in ways that echo the terrorist attacks. My wife and I watch these films and comment to each other that ‘it’s all gone 9/11 again’. There are countless films with this trait (get over it please).
It’s also true that at times of war and unease in society that historically super hero fantasy films become more popular. People know the world is fucked and secretly hope for some figure in a cape or a bat suit to come and sort this shit out. I’m a bit more realistic than that and that’s why when I watch Man of Steel I tend to turn it off before the last half hour, there’s basically nothing to see here.
Russell Crowe is good and the casting and performances are fine, there’s some good character work but essentially it all gets a bit too stupid (and very boring) in the end.
So, 36 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.