Man of Steel spreads its cape in 3D and on the IMAX screen today. Produced and conceived by Christopher Nolan, the man behind the latest reinvention of Batman, Man of Steel gives Superman the Dark Knight treatment -- but replaces the good bits with noisy, lengthy punch-ups that actually look worse in 3D.
Like Nolan's Batman films, Man of Steel serves up character conflict and plausible explanations for the more fantastic elements of the big blue boy scout's mythos, in an unabashedly sci-fi tale of the last Kryptonian raised on earth.
But the biggest problem is that -- like Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, eclipsed by Bane, Catwoman and everyone around him -- Superman just isn't the most interesting character. The scenes between Russell Crowe's commanding Jor-El and Michael Shannon's glassy-eyed zealot General Zod crackle with tension and drama that the scenes with Henry Cavill's Superman just can't match.
There's so much backstory to fit in, the film has to sprint through breakneck scenes of people standing around explaining to each other other exactly what's happening, with zero wit and only the most perfunctory love story -- an episode of '90s-tastic capefest Lois and Clark has more chemistry in its little finger. Then the film lingers forever over interminable special effects-drenched fight scenes.
The set-pieces are just relentless, noisy, CGI fights between Superman and... some nameless alien guys, while the sound guy hits the speakers with a hammer. Punches pummel your eardrums. Buildings topple. Who cares? Did we learn nothing from The Avengers?
Should I see it in 3D?
No. Seriously, if you can find it playing in 2D, save your money. It's bad enough that when all we want is a bit of human connection -- blimey, a joke, a memorable line, anything -- director Zack Snyder instead piles on the CGI-addled Dolby-bludgeoning demolition-porn. But the 3D adds nothing, and may even make you feel weirder than previous three-dimensional outings.
3D is already notorious for causing headaches. And Man of Steel is filmed in this annoying jittery handheld style that, coupled with constant Firefly-style quick zooms and focus pulls, won't do you any favours if you're sensitive to the effects of 3D. None of the action set-pieces benefit -- they're all so fast-paced it's basically a CGI blur. It's a curiously flat 3D rendering anyway, with no sense of visual depth, even in the more grandiose settings.
Man of Steel is in cinemas now. Are you excited about Superman's return to the big screen? What's the best 3D movie you've seen? Tell me your thoughts in the comments, or head faster than a speeding bullet to our Facebook page.