Dog Movie Reviews Special: “Man Of Steel”

What do Maxim’s movie-loving dogs think of the new Superman flick?

What do Maxim’s movie-loving dogs think of the new Superman flick?

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Man Of Steel

Out June 14, Rated PG-13

Holly’s take:

“Wwhhooaaaarrrrgggghhhholy fuck. If there is one word to describe this movie, that word is huge. Forget those slow, thoughtful trailers that made Man Of Steel look like an art-house take on Superman – this is pure spectacle, a relentless, non-stop action-fest that actually left me physically exhausted just from watching it. While it’s definitely a darker tone than, say, Avengers – everything seems to be in shades of grey and muted blues – it’s not the brooding, Batman-like Superman people were worried about. This is a Superman who trusts and is trustworthy in turn, a Superman who will always, always put himself in the firing line to save you, a Superman who can charm you with a classic hero smile, and a Superman who, when riled up, will smack a bitch halfway across the planet and then maybe suplex them through a passing satellite for good measure. There’s angst aplenty too, as a young Clark struggles to come to terms with who and what he is, but all of the origin stuff is told in efficient shorthand to the extent that even his most important, defining moment with his step-father happens during a natural disaster. It’s all coming at the screen, all the time – the opening 15 minutes see Supes’ dad (an entertainingly badass Russell Crowe) fight spaceships from the back of his pet dragon, and that’s nowhere near the craziest thing that happens. In short, if you go expecting action, you will not be disappointed, and anyone still feeling bitter about the slow, plodding Superman Returns is going to be overjoyed to see the world’s original superhero smashing through tall buildings in a single bound, swatting away speeding bullets, and getting hit in the face with a locomotive (all these things actually happen). In short: You will believe a man can kick ass.”

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Dexter’s take:

“I’m going to start with a warning: I’m far more of a comic book nerd than Holly, so I’m approaching this from more than just an action movie standpoint. And I have to say, I approve. People will no doubt wonder what happened to the cheery, primary colors of the Christopher Reeve era, but if you’ve picked up a Superman comic in the last 20 years, all of this will seem pretty familiar. It is, of course, an origin story, beginning with Jor-El sending his infant son to Earth as Krypton explodes, but from there we leap almost immediately into adult Clark, roaming the Earth, helping people, flashing back to his childhood on the farm with Ma and Pa Kent only now and again. And when a ship full of Kryptonians – led by Michael Shannon’s suitably unhinged General Zod – show up to take over the Earth, the movie kicks into even higher gear, exploding in every direction at once. It’s epic, and honestly, it might take a couple watches for the quieter moments to sink in. I’m no ardent fan of director Zack Snyder – I found 300 enjoyable, but Watchmen was horribly mishandled and Suckerpunch was just cinematic garbage – but he’s found a good balance here, with beautifully shot moments free of editing gimmickry that hold their own amongst the rest of the chaos. There’s one shot that involves a couple of whales, particularly, that I just adored.

There are nits to be picked, of course: The opening scenes with Jor-El’s flying dinosaur seem to be included largely to sell action figures, and by the fifth time a Nokia phone was waved at the screen, I was only prevented from face-palming by the fact that my paws don’t bend that way. Also, as good as I thought Henry Cavill was as Superman, I found it very odd that his chest hair poked out the top of his suit. Character development in Man Of Steel is minimal, but the cast do well with what they have, and honestly, these characters are so familiar to most viewers that a little shorthand can be forgiven. And while some critics will heap scorn on something so overblown (and occasionally hit on a fair point), the truth is, this thing is going to make a ton of money.

And now for the fan boy nerd-out: This movie sits very, very neatly in the same cinematic universe as Nolan’s Batman trilogy. If Warner Bros stopped trying to get a Justice League movie going and instead, green-lit a Superman/Batman movie with Cavill and Bale, they would make themselves several billion squillion dollars. Forget Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the rest: Just give us Supes/Bats in IMAX. I’ve peed on the floor just thinking about it.”

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Billie’s take:


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