There’s no denying that the footage looks epic. Superman is the cornerstone of the DC comic universe and there’s no which way in hell they’re going to nickel and dime this thing.
The trick is going to be nailing the stuff you can’t throw money at.
The brief snippets of performances look good. Kevin Costner seems to have aged nicely in to the prototypical Blue Collar dad. And I really dig Russell Crowe’s rumbling thunder from God voice he’s using for Jor-El. I’m already on board with Amy Adams as Lois Lane but I haven’t seen enough of Michael Shannon as Zod to form an opinion.
And Henry Cavill as Supes?
Well, he doesn’t have the “Anointed by God to play Superman” look that Christopher Reeve had. But he comes damn closer than anyone has a right to. He’s got the build, he’s got the ernest look and delivery down. And most importantly, he sells the suit.
That last part can’t be overstated.
Yeah, Christian Bale had to wear a suit for Batman. But it was functional as body armor and to hold the gadgets. Superman’s suit on the other hand, is just freaking spandex.
I would imagine the hardest part of the role is to wear the suit without feeling like a schmuck.
(Digression. In his book “Which Lie Did I Tell?” William Goldman talked about when the Salkind’s were making the first Superman movie, they tried to cast a big star in the lead at first. And nearly every big star of that period including Paul Newman and Burt Reynolds were approached. When they got to Warren Beatty, he actually took the suit home. He tried it on, went to his pool in the backyard and started running around it with his arms outstretched. Like kids do when they play Superman. Just then, he saw his maid looking at him as he’s running around.
And he stopped.
And he said, “Yeah, I can’t do this”.
The suit is a bitch. End of digression.)
The other big X factor is the score.
Hans Zimmer is a terrific composer but John Williams’ work in the original film is as iconic as anything he ever wrote. It’s second only to his work on “Star Wars” and it continues to flow through the Pop Culture bloodstream. Seek out Petra Haden’s album “Petra Goes to the Movies” and you’ll see what I mean.
If Mozart was preserved in Amber and cloned Jurassic Park style and given this gig, I promise you, he’d be shitting his pantaloons.
To Zimmer’s credit, it sounds like he managed to not only keep control of his bowels but also deliver themes worthy of Williams without falling into pastiche.
Again, I’m waiting until I see the movie to pass judgement.
But the fixings seems to be there.