Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

'Man Of Steel': 5 Key Moments In The Trailer

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist April 17, 2013 at 1:21PM

Are Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer the best thing to ever happen to filmmaker Zack Snyder? An amazing visual stylist that deserves full credit there, Snyder's films like "Watchmen" and "300" look fantastic, but... how do we put it? They're often lacking real characters, heart and soul (or in the case of "Sucker Punch" just look like a bad video game meets a music video with little substance). But last night's "Man Of Steel" trailer looks as though Snyder may have turned a corner, perhaps thanks to the script, tones and world set up by Nolan and Goyer. Yes, it's only a trailer, but as far as mainstream tentpoles go, it's certainly the most impressive one in recent memory (perhaps since "Prometheus" last year, and yes, we realize that one didn't turn out the way we hoped).
18
Man Of Steel trailer

Are Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer the best thing to ever happen to filmmaker Zack Snyder? An amazing visual stylist that deserves full credit there, Snyder's films like "Watchmen" and "300" look fantastic, but... how do we put it? They're often lacking real characters, heart and soul (or in the case of "Sucker Punch" just look like a bad video game meets a music video with little substance). But last night's "Man Of Steel" trailer looks as though Snyder may have turned a corner, perhaps thanks to the script, tones and world set up by Nolan and Goyer. Yes, it's only a trailer, but as far as mainstream tentpoles go, it's certainly the most impressive one in recent memory (perhaps since "Prometheus" last year, and yes, we realize that one didn't turn out the way we hoped).

Simply put, "Man Of Steel" looks rather epic -- a mix of deep-rooted character development and incredible action that points to full-on war on Earth. Also, Henry Cavill, something of a question mark as he’s never quite impressed, doesn’t seem completely out of place here, thankfully. The world and context of "Man Of Steel" is unfolding, and much like Nolan's "The Dark Knight" films, it seems to be rooted in a pragmatic reality, with plausible reasons for elements of the Superman cannon to appear while less plausible lore seems to have been jettisoned completely. We thought we'd take a deeper look, so here are five key elements from the trailer. Note, some minor spoilers are ahead, but it's stuff that's already out there if you've been paying attention.

Man Of Steel, Russell Crowe, trailer,
1. An Epic War On Krypton Brings Superman To Earth?
In previous iterations of the “Superman” movies (and many of the comic origins), Krypton is seen exploding as a result of a nuclear chain reaction caused by the planet's unstable radioactive core. Knowing their planet will be destroyed, Superman’s parents send him to Earth in a type of escape pod ship. However, one iteration of the Superman origin features what is known as the Clone Wars (no, they have nothing to do with “Star Wars”) during which Kryptonian science was turned to warfare and several super-weapons were developed and used. And this appears to be exactly what Nolan, Snyder and Goyer went for. A recent issue of Entertainment Weekly reveals that children are not born -- “they’re engineered.” Goyer said, “People were bred to be warriors, or scientists or what have you and there’s a whole element of the movie about nature versus nurture.” While it’s not spelled out, based on Goyer’s comments and the trailer, the Clone Wars do break out and create a war that destroys the planet.

And so, much like the original Superman narrative Jor-El (portrayed by Russell Crowe) saves his infant son and sends him to Earth. His mother (Ayelet Zurer) worries that Kal-El will be “an outcast, they will kill him” but the more confident Jor-El says, “No, he’ll be a god to them.” Later on, Jor-El says, "What if a child dreams of becoming something other than society intended?” hinting towards Goyer's earlier comments. "What if a child aspired to something greater?"

Man Of Steel trailer
2. Thematic Noise -- "You're the answer to 'are we alone in the universe?'"
We’ve already discussed the themes of “Man Of Steel” thanks to that awesome Entertainment Weekly article. They include, among many others, alienation, wondering where one belongs, fear of being discovered, reluctant heroism, and a world not ready for super humans. Zack Snyder described it all as “emotional kryptonite” (as the radioactive element won’t be present in these films). Previous trailers had Pa Kent (Kevin Costner) warning his son that he should never reveal his powers because the world would fear him, and while that theme is once again expressed, there’s also inspirational themes of discovery and eventually blossoming into the hero Superman was born to be. "I have to believe you were sent here for a reason," Pa Kent says. "And even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is."

Jor-El adds, "You will give the people of earth an ideal to strive for. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time you will help them accomplish wonders."

One must add....is this Hans Zimmer’s score? Because whatever it is, it’s wondrous, inspirational and crescendoing (and it does seem like his score). Also, like Zimmer has said, it sounds nothing like his work on “The Dark Knight” films.

Kevin Costner, Man Of Steel
3. Emotional Character Building Vs. Action
There’s a lot of incredible looking action in the trailer in its final third, but what’s encouraging throughout is the time spent on character building and emotional depth. There’s a pretty devastating moment where Pa Kent reveals that Clark is not his biological son and he comes from another planet. Clark looks brutally pained and afraid. "Can't I go on pretending I'm your son?" he says, voice quivering. Pa holds him close. “You are my son,” he says. It’s a brief but excellent moment demonstrating that Goyer, Snyder and Nolan have put in the work -- just like they did with the Batman films -- to make you invest emotionally and care about the characters beyond the explosions and sure-to-be astonishing visuals. Which leads us to General Zod (Michael Shannon) and the last third of the trailer (and presumably the final third of the movie).

This article is related to: Man Of Steel, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, Zack Snyder, Features


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates