Watch Man of Steel Online Man of Steel, the latest film version of Superman, is not just any origin story, it’s the origin story. Deeply serious, it presents the grown Kal-El (Henry Cavill), the interstellar refugee from the planet Krypton who arrived on Earth as a baby, as a Christ-like figure. When exiling him to save him from Krypton’s destruction, the infant’s mother Lara (Ayelet Zurer) fears he will be considered a freak on the distant blue world, while his noble father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) believes he will be treated like a god. No pressure to deliver then.

Watch Man of Steel Online Free This 3D blockbuster was directed by Zack Snyder, whose previous films include 300 and Watchmen, but it was conceived, plotted and eventually scripted by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, the creative mainstays of a Batman reboot that gave us a stern trilogy obsessed with simplistic moral dilemmas and major cape fear.

Watch Man of Steel Movie The last attempt to relaunch DC Comics’ Superman on the big screen, Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman Returns, was shunned because it was very much in the tradition of Richard Donner’s Superman, the 1978 film that possessed a healthy sense of humour when it came to Christopher Reeve’s Kal-El hiding out as bespectacled reporter Clark Kent and getting into scrapes with Gene Hackman’s villain Lex Luthor.

There are no gags to be enjoyed in Man of Steel; even smiles are in short supply. This is as serious as a superhero movie gets - Robert Downey jnr’s Iron Man would never hang with this guy - and at a certain point you may wonder if the stoic self-regard of Man of Steel occasionally stifles the picture. Even Nolan’s Batman, played by the intense Christian Bale, had a yen for gadgets and a cover as a playboy to lighten his dark demeanour.
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Watch Man of Steel Movie Online Yet the first 80 minutes of this 143-minute epic are as good as Snyder has achieved. The digital effects are numerous, but for once Snyder has offset them with natural light and outside locations, and the film achieves a purposeful opening, with Jor-El sending his newborn son (and Krypton’s genetic tree of life, the Codex) to safety even as a military coup rages against a ruling hierarchy that has condemned the planet to its eventual destruction.

On Earth, Clark wanders from the cornfields of Kansas to various extremes, reflecting on a childhood where he was urged to hide the great powers our sun bestows on him by his adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner). They baldly reiterate themes Clark muses on later, such as how humanity will treat this messiah, but strong performances from the pair cushion the sometimes obvious material.

Watch Man of Steel Online At the centre of it all, brooding even when he’s bare-chested, 30-year-old British actor Cavill is so impossibly handsome it takes a while to appreciate how he underplays Kal-El/Clark. Superheroes can be ciphers when out of their uniform, but even when he learns about his heritage and acquires a snug new version of the iconic suit, Cavill’s character remains recessive.

As ace Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, Amy Adams brings a welcome spark to the movie (nearly all the aforementioned smiles emanate from her), but there’s hardly a flirtatious bond between Lois and Superman and they certainly don’t meet cute - he uses his X-ray vision to cauterise a wound she suffers when they explore a buried relic from Krypton’s past. This guy is literally too hot.

The concept of a superhero turning his back on his destiny is a juicy one, but Man of Steel is too besotted with the character’s mythology to explore the notion. Check the massed timpani when Superman first officially appears, and then his hand is forced by the arrival of Krypton’s General Zod (Michael Shannon), the instigator of the military coup and a zealot when it comes to bloodlines. Shannon has been menacing all and sundry on the screen for considerably more than a decade now, but this is the first time power and ideology have been attached to his villain, and it suits him. He’s a seething foil for multiple generations of the El clan, but his fury can only be expressed in the pulverising violence of the last hour, when a lot of basically indestructible Kryptonians rumble their way across the US.

Great mountains of rubble are generated, but the final act’s perpetual fighting is too loud and too desperate for the worthy comic-book movie Man of Steel initially tries to be.

It isn’t a failure, but in a movie fixated on explicitly contrasting choices, Man of Steel ends up trying to please everyone.

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