When it was first announced in early 2010, the idea of a new Superman movie prompted a mix of eye-rolling and excitement. On the one hand, didn't we just do this in 2006? On the other, Christopher Nolan.
It's fitting, then, that the movie it became, the
So what does it mean that one of the most beloved characters in the history of moviedom received this particular reception? A few nuggets worth contemplating about Superman redux, redux.
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Kneel before Zack. Snyder hadn't had a mainstream hit in six years, a period of futility that included commercial misfires such as "Sucker Punch,”
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Expository powers. Many superhero franchises in recent memory have begun at the beginning -- that is, before or just as the hero is acquiring his superpowers. Snyder's Superman goes in a bit of a different direction, showing his parental origins on Krypton but not his boyhood in Kansas as he learned his powers. Instead, we join Clark Kent as an adult as he's already aware of what he can do. (Another exception to the no-midstream rule is "Watchmen," also from Snyder.) Some critics questioned Snyder’s style of nonstop action. But the start-in-the-middle idea, for characters whose back story has been well-plowed, proved a success. Expect more where that came from.
Rebooting a reboot. "If at first you don't succeed try, try again" is usually good advice for band auditions, not Hollywood properties. But lately it has, of course, been happening with the biggest movies, especially superhero ones. One example -- a take on the Hulk after it had been tried just five years before -- didn't work. But last year "The Amazing Spider Man" restarted a franchise just five years after it appeared to end, generating big money and a sequel. "Man of Steel" is headed in a similar direction.
A different heavy metal. "Man of Steel" is a bona fide success and a much-needed new (sic) franchise for
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