The Buzz

Buzz-worthy trailer for Man of Steel

Categories: Movies

All right Zack Snyder. I'm going to give you one more chance.

Watchmen was a travesty and Sucker Punch just bizarre.

Yes, the director who gave us 300 and ushered in the golden age of the green screen is taking on DC's most iconic hero -- Superman.

Warner Brothers is hoping Man of Steel will swoop in and end the box office slump. Up until now, the early trailers have been heavy on atmosphere and light on details. We've seen Superman/Clark Kent as a bearded loner, bent under the burden of his awesome abilities. The Terrence Malick-like naturalistic imagery hinted Snyder was going for something different here.

Now we're getting a better sense of what we're in for. Clark Kent is still very much an outcast -- a refugee from another world, possibly one torn apart by civil war. With Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Ma and Pa Kent, Warner is following the lead of the recent Spider-Man reboot, giving us the origin story all over again.

Although the 2006's Superman Returns performed respectably at the box office, it was widely seen as a failure. I'm one of the few who enjoyed it and Brandon Routh's take on the Kryptonian but I understand the problems with director Bryan Singer's reverential tone and with Routh's eerie similarity to Christopher Reeve.

And so now we have the Man of Steel with a Dark Knight makeover, written by The Dark Knight scribe David Goyer and executive produced by Batman director Christopher Nolan himself. Like Goyer/Nolan's recent Batman trilogy, the Man of Steel seems to be an attempt to answer the question "What would a real-world version of such a hero look like?"

In the comics Superman has remained for the most part DC's most idealistic icon. He's the corn-fed boy scout who fights for truth, justice and the American way. (Don't talk to me about DC's New 52 reboot, I'm in denial.)  This movie appears to skew closer to something like the modern version of the heroes Marvel comics has explored in its Ultimates line of comic books.

It seems strange that of all the modern heroes zooming onto the big screen, it's been Iron Man, the depressive alcoholic, who brought a sense of fun back to super cinema. But if the mean and gritty makeover helps director Snyder get over the fetishistic fanboyish take that plagued Watchmen, that could be a good thing.

Plus with Michael Shannon appearing as General Zod, Supes will finally face villian worthy of Big Red. While I remain a little concerned about Amy Adams as Lois Lane, as the man says "The S stands for hope."

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