Man of Steel: My Review
I really like the Donner/Reeve’s Superman movies and still do. I even liked Superman Returns. I was disappointed that Superman Returns didn’t get a sequel. I thought Brandon Routh did a pretty good job filling the shoes of Christopher Reeve and I wanted to see more of him in the role. I did come to accept that the studio desired to move away from the Donner created Superman universe and began to look forward to something new.
However, I was not happy when I heard there was going to be another origin story! With all of the new superhero movies out in the last 10-12 years many of them had origin stories so I had grown tired of them. Plus, everyone knows Superman and I didn’t think we needed to see his origins once again. I thought they could do a movie with Superman as an already established character.
If you have been following this blog you know I have mixed feelings about Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies so I was also afraid of Nolan being attached to it. I didn’t think the serious approach would work with Superman. I began to be won over when Henry Cavill was cast as Superman. I thought he was an excellent choice. When the first picture of Cavill was released with him in the newly designed Superman suit I was thrilled. I loved the new Superman suit.
I have to report I do love this movie and I cannot count how many times I have seen it on DVD! Blu-Ray to be more precise. My worries were put to rest that the serious approach would not work. I thought it worked real well. True there is very little humor in the film but I do think the movie has a lot of heart. The heart of this story is about discovering who one is. The special effects are the best ever seen in a superman movie. The way superman flies with super speed and power over majestic landscapes is a wonderful sight to be hold.
I Will not give ways too many spoilers to the movie but I do want to speak a little bit about some of the negatives aspects of the movie. First a small synopsis of the plot. General Zod wants to save the blood line of Krypton and after an ill-fatted coup is sent to the phantom zone. Kal-El is sent to Earth as Krypton explodes. The explosion of Krypton frees Zod and his minions from the Phantom Zone and he begins his search for Kal-El who’s body contains the DNA of all Kryptonians. The movie flashes forward 33 years as we find an alienated Clark Kent trying to find his place in the world. As the government finds an ancient spaceship buried in the ice Clark goes to investigate the craft to see if he has any connection to it and any answers to his questions.
While exploring the ship he encounters investigative reporter Lois Lane. Clark also encounters a holographic image of his father who teaches him about who he is. He gives him the “Superman suit” and tells Clark to help the humans better themselves. Lois was injured in her pursuit of the alien craft and Clark uses his heat-vision to heal her. She then pursues to discover who this alien is that saved her. When Clark found the ancient ship it sent out a signal that was received by General Zod who was searching for him. Zod comes to earth looking for Clark/Kal-El forcing him to reveal himself to the world. Revealing himself to the world was something he feared. This fear was instilled in him by his earthly father Jonathan Kent.
Kal-El turns himself in to the military who decide to turn him over to Zod. After learning that Zod wants to turn Earth into Krypton and therefore killing the entire human race, two epic battles are fought. One in Smallville and the other in Metropolis. This is where much of the destruction occurs. Some critics, not all, have complained there is too much destruction. Although the battles are well done and the movie depicts great action scenes, I do agree that it could have been trimmed down a bit.
Another complaint is that in the destruction that takes place in both Smallville and Metropolis there is a large amount of lives lost and casualties. Though these death are not shown you do suspect that many people are dying. Many fans are used to the Superman movies that Christopher Reeve acted in. Those movies were true comic book movies that did not take themselves all too seriously. Any deaths or destruction were done in a lighthearted manner. Therefor it does come as a shock to some fans. Some fans were angry thinking that Superman would not allow those things to happen.
I can have some empathy for those fans even though I was not as upset as they were. I understood that director Zack Snyder was going for a more realistic approach like they had done in the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. In that vein then when you have a group of super powered aliens fighting one another with advanced technology there is going to be some mass destruction. There were times in these battles when Superman (just barely called that twice in the movie) was not in control over the situation and moving that battle to less populated areas was not an option for him in this movie. Also, the way Supes finally defeats Zod does make sense and I for one felt he had no other course of action.
This has become my favorite Superman movie. It is different than the Christopher Reeve movies. In this day and age film makers are going for a more realistic and less comic book feel to these Superhero movies. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the next Superman movie does lighten up a little.