Man of Steel, a solid reintroduction to Superman

Man of Steel

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Diane LaneAntje Traue

Let me start off by saying that I may not have always been the biggest Superman fan but I’ve increased interest of late and Man of Steel is something that I’ve been anticipating since the first leaked image of Henry Cavill wearing the suit. I’ve seen the original Superman, Superman 2, and Superman Returns (I’ve managed to avoid the disastrous 3 and 4) and they never really sparked my interest as much as Man of Steel’s trailers did. This is a completely different take on Superman than Donner’s, Lester’s, and Singer’s take on the character and I am happy that they choose to do it in a way like Batman Begins, reintroducing the audience and general public to one of the most popular superhero. Snyder, Nolan, and Goyer all do a great job getting us familiar with Clark Kent and the problems that he faces when he has the amount of power and abilities that he does and making him a lone outsider is always a much better way of showing an audience that this man is not a human but an alien that will always feel left out no matter how much he tries to be part of the human race. What always got me about Superman is that he wears glasses to conceal his identity and I personally don’t think that would be anything close to realistic given that the two guys look so similar and that the ridiculousness of him wearing glasses makes the people around him completely oblivious to his identity is just ludicrous, given that the people he associates himself with are reporters who are good at investigating these kinds of things. I’ll first off say that I like that Synder decided to remove this aspect and have Lois know who he is early on, it makes it more believable and not something that always made the character ridiculous when he is on screen.

Superman flies back onto the big screen in this Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures production directed by Zack Snyder (Watchmen), produced by Christopher Nolan(The Dark Knight), and featuring a screenplay by David Goyer (BladeThe Dark Knight). As the planet of Krypton crumbles, General Zod (Michael Shannon) stages a coup as concerned leader Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife send their infant son Kal-El to a distant world called Earth. While the young child travels through space with an object containing the DNA of his home planet, General Zod and his cohorts are sentenced to an eternity in a black-hole prison. Named Clark and raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), young Kal-El lives in fear of what might happen should his neighbors learn about his extraterrestrial origins, eventually exploring the world in search of himself. In time, Clark’s travels take him to a frozen tundra, where the American government has discovered an 18,000-year-old anomaly buried deep in the ice. Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) has just come to investigate when, after venturing out with her camera, she has a profound encounter with Clark. Convinced that his presence on Earth is proof of life on other planets, Lois finds her attempt to publish the story thwarted by her boss Perry White (Laurence Fishburne), who rejects it outright. Later, the airwaves are hijacked by General Zod, who threatens to obliterate the human race if they fail to hand over Kal-El within 24 hours. Forced to embrace his otherworldly origins for the first time in his life, Clark Kent dons the special suit from Krypton and prepares to take a stand against an enemy far more powerful than any he’s ever known.

I may be one of few to say this but I usually enjoy Zack Snyder’s work, except Sucker Punch, and this may be his best work to date. It is able to capture the spirit of the character while also showing his dark side. It makes for a much more satisfying Superman movie when you can make him seem human even though he can be considered a God. I never was able to see Christopher Reeves as Superman, Clark Kent he was great at but unconvincing as the main hero, while I believe that Henry Cavill has both the looks and feel of Superman and the human side as Clark Kent. The entire cast lives up to the hype, especially Amy Adams who manages to make Lois  a powerful yet vulnerable woman that no one else has been able to do she embodies like she does with every other role she does. It was also nice to see a Superman that is able stand his own in the fighting situations, something that we never really got in the other films and the amount of destruction is mind-blowing, on a level of Michael Bay (sorry that his name has to come up), but given that the two duking it out in down town Metropolis is are near god it works in this film more that any other blockbuster. I feel that this movie is the first movie to really take the character seriously and also make him appealing to the crowds than any other has.

SPOILERS 

Now I find that end controversy to be funny and that it is ridiculous that it is under so much scrutiny. This is a new take on Superman and that the snapping of General Zod’s neck is important to the movie. In a time of choice, Superman realizes how much life has been wasted on account of the epic battle between him and Zod and when he sees this is the form of a family of four at the mercy of Zod’s heat vision, so taking the noble route he ends his life but immediately regrets it. This may seem out of character for a Superman film but given that in the second one he kills Zod for no reason other than he did pose of threat before his powers were taken away by Superman and he also has killed for the greater good in a few of the comics shows that this is in fact part of character but not quite touched on as much in the movie as in the comic. I would have liked it show a much greater effect on Kal-El and have it define the moral decision not to kill anymore, I think it sets up great sequel potential but is somewhat lost in the end in this movie it is more overshadowed by the fact that Clark Kent becomes the man that we (as comic book readers) know him as. It personally think that the end fits the movie and also works to redefine Superman for a new audience.

Spoilers

I think that Warner Brothers has finally hit their mark when it comes to non-Dark Knight DC comics after their failed attempt to make a Green Lantern movie, that borrowed to much from Marvel successful formula. Man of Steel is able to make people care about Superman again and it would be interesting to see where they take the possibilities that they are presented with when they own some of the greatest comic book characters of all time. Personally I would like to see a Flash film next or hell even Aquaman, if you applied this formula with a storyline similar to Thor and you are sure to have a great movie there. I think everyone should give it a shot to see how Superman will work in modern day times and not rely to heavily on Richard Donner’s take before basing your opinion on this, seriously I know people who didn’t enjoy this because of Donner’s version.

10 out of 10

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