The First Full Trailer for Man of Steel Is Oddly Lyrical

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 11 2012 1:26 PM

Trailer Critic: Man of Steel

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A still from the new trailer for Man of Steel

Back in July, when Warner Bros. put out two brief Man of Steel teaser trailers, Forrest Wickman here on Brow Beat compared the look and tone of them not only to the Dark Knight franchiseChristopher Nolan is a producer on the forthcoming Superman film—but also, somewhat improbably, to the work of Terrence Malick. This seemed especially unlikely given that the director of Man of Steel is Zack Snyder, whose previous films include the macho 300 and the maligned Watchmen adaptation.

But now the full trailer is here, and it’s clear that Malick mention was apt. This preview begins, after all, with the image of a man floating in water, and a voiceover provided by a child, who says, “The world’s too big, Mom.”

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Of course, the action has to begin some time, and so eventually we see a few explosions, the U.S. military, Superman flying next to a skyscraper, and so on. And once he has the blue tights and the red cape on, with that oh-so-familiar S across his chest, it does become a little hard to take the protagonist, always one of the more cartoonish of the comic book heroes, entirely seriously. But then Amy Adams appears, and our confidence in the movie is restored. (Did you see her in The Master? Amazing.)

Given Snyder’s pedigree, I still have my doubts. But this trailer, at least, is a striking piece of work.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog. Follow him on Twitter.