Available on DVD

The Man of Steel

154 minutes approx
Certificate 12A

Clark Kent/Superman -
Brandon Routh

Lois Lane -
Kate Bosworth

Lex Luthor -
Kevin Spacey

Richard White -
James Marsden

Kitty Kowalski -
Posey Parker

Perry White -
Frank Langella

Written by -
Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris

Directed by -
Bryan Singer


It's five years since Superman disappeared and now he has returned just as mysteriously. A blackout affects the whole western seaboard of the States and Lois Lane finds herself plummeting to earth in a plane. Superman, of course, saves the day, but it's a different day. For one thing, Lois is a mother and has herself a new man. Lex Luthor is out on parole and causing trouble. The kind of trouble he is proposing includes the destruction of half the USA to make way for his own new country and the death of one recently returned superhero.

Kate Bosworth as Lois LaneBrandon Routh as Clark KentKevin Spacey as Lex LuthorBrandon Routh as Superman

Bryan Singer must be a happy directory. Holder of the 'best superhero flick' title twice over for the two X-Men films, he saw the title snatched by BATMAN BEGINS, but was already working on this, which swoops in and snatches that title right back from under the dark knight's nose. It's a brighter, more colourful movie than the reinvention of the Bat, but has as much grit in the action sequences and even more emotional truth in its relationships.

Taking place just after the events of SUPERMAN II (with III and IV just someone's bad dream in the shower), the film is as much about the tangled feelings of Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Superman and Richard (Lois's new squeeze), not to mention her young son. More time is given to that than to the whizzing around saving the planet from itself. Fortunately, the cast is well up to the task of dealing with the human stuff. Brandon Routh channels Christopher Reeve to a startling extent as both Clark Kent and Superman, making the role his own and even managing to get over some of the more potentially dodgy moments of emoting with panache. Kate Bosworth doesn't quite capture the cynicism and sharpness that ought to inhabit a hard-bitten and successful reporter, but is still an appealing heroine. James Marsters is enough of a hero to make the choice between the recently absent superman and his ever-present Richard never as clear cut as it might be. Finally, Kevin Spacey takes on Lex Luthor with less of the comic book zest and more driven mania than Gene Hackman's landmark portrayal. It's less fun, but more in keeping with the tone of the film. Even Parker Posey as Lex's girlfriend, manages to reign in her more over the top performances to fit the bill.

This time around, you really will believe a man can fly with not a single dodgy CGI moment to break the spell. The plane rescue is a top action sequence and watching bullets bounce of Superman's eyeballs is also a top moment. There is also some serious drmatic impact to the sequences where the Lane proto-family sink into the depths to their certain doom and Superman, shorn of his powers by Luthor's innovative use of Kryptonite, getting the living daylights kicked out of him and then being stabbed with a shard of the green stuff by Luthor. His final resolution to the threat of the crystal island is a clever use of his powers.

We all knew that Bryan Singer was the man to bring Superman back to the screen triumphantly and he has done just that, providing one of, if not the, very best superhero films of all time and the very best genre film of the year so far. It is a measure of his knowledge of the material that he knows exactly what effect he is going to make by using the iconic music from John Williams. More than anything else on show, this is Superman.

Welcome back Kal-El.







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