Staring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Christopher Meloni
Director: Zach Snyder
Genre: Action, Adventure, Superhero
Distributor: Warner Bros
In Theaters: June 14, 2013
On Video: November 12, 2013
Superman is a historic and iconic figure in American pop culture. The pinnacle or heroism, the titan of truth, the guardian of justice, the vanquisher of villains, the templar of integrity and so many other descriptions.
On the heels of the Batman trilogy, writer Christopher Nolan brings a new vision to the story of Superman with Man of Steel. Krypton is a planet in a distant galaxy where children are not born, they are engineered. One brave couple, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van have a son of their own, a natural birth child. Krypton is controlled by a council and an attempt to over-throw that council happens when the defender of Krypton, General Zod, and his army try to take control. Jor-El knows that Krypton will be coming to an end soon, and in an effort to save the existence of the people of Krypton, their live birth son is jettisoned into space. Jor-El fuses a skull with Jor-El’s body which General Zod wants returned and vows to get back. Jor-El’s son, Kal-El, lands on Earth and is taken in by a couple living in Smallville, KS. This couple raises Kal-El, aka Clark Kent, as their own. Clark knows he’s different but doesn’t know why and spends most of his childhood restraining his super human abilities despite countless provocations from bullies and situations which arise demanding his abilities or lives will be lost. Eventually Clark isolates himself in obscurity by traveling and getting odd jobs in very remote parts of the world. General Zod and a portion of his army finds Earth and give Earth an ultimatum that if Kal-El is not handed over to General Zod, that Earth will be destroyed. Kal/Clark surrenders himself to the US military, who turns him over to Zod for judgement. Zod has an alternative agenda of course and then a series of epic fight sequences occur.
What I Like About It
Superman is a legendary character that has been very successfully re-invented. It’s like trying to re-invent the story of Sleepy Hollow… oh wait, that happened. Anyhow, there are a number of things that I like about Man of Steel. First of all I like Henry Cavill cast as Superman, he’s incredibly buff and tall, he has the all American look and he has the black hair and spit curl which is iconic of Superman. I like that many of the names and places all remained the same; Smallville, Metropolis, Daily Planet, being from Kansas and product with Lexcorp printed on it. I liked that Kryptonite was never brought up or used against Superman despite his home atmosphere being what removes his powers. I very much like the presentation of his abilities, namely Superman’s strength is not limitless and he strains at times; the occasional sonic boom during his flight; the ground trembling just before taking off; and the almost radiation like emitting of his laser eyes. Lastly, I like the wide variety of special effects and CGI in Man of Steel; from the massive fights scenes to Krypton’s destruction to the Krptonian weapons and vehicles. I like that his costume, or perhaps suit is more acurate, is actually a Krptonian garb rather than an Earth originated look. I don’t honestly remember if from the comic it meant the same thing, but I like how the symbol on Kal’s suit was a symbol from Krypton rather than an “S” for Superman.
What I Didn’t Like About It
Honestly, there was very little that I didn’t like about Man of Steel. I didn’t like how Michael Shannon (General Zod) always looks like he might have at least a small wad of chewing tobacco in his lower lip. I felt like the story moved forward very, very quickly. Speaking of moving, there is a scene transition with Superman and Lois, where they go from one place to another and the scene just seems to snap to the next scene, it was a very odd transition and I wasn’t a fan of it. I also didn’t like how Lois goes from a reporter, to a private investigator bordering on stalker, to lover of Superman. I felt like their relationship happened in Man of Steel because it was supposed to and I’m very much not a fan of that. I really think that in this re-invention, Lois and Clark should not have become lovers, rather should have become friends and associates. Above I mentioned the great special effects and CGI, however there were several times where Superman, Zod and members of Zod’s army looked very rubbery during some of the fight sequences. It actually reminded me heavily of how the characters/actors looked in The Matrix Revolutions, rubbery and obviously computer generated.
All in All
I am not a big fan of DC Comics characters, but I am a big Christopher Nolan fan so I kind of went into Man of Steel with a little bit of bias. Unless this had been a clear bomb, I was destined to enjoy it. Even though it had it’s flaws like I opinionated above, I really liked it and I recommend it to anyone who isn’t completely opposed to super hero movies.