Review: Man Of Steel
I woke this morning on Father’s Day with a special gift from not just my kids and wife, but my brother as well. They took me to see Man of Steel, because as my daughter and son say “Daddy, you’re the real Superman.” While I love their passion for seeing their dad as a superhero, I’m not sure I can live up to that comic book icon. That being said, I will always try my best. Now that the sentiments are aside, let’s get on to the movie. Be warned THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you want to know my rating, skip to the last paragraph. AGAIN, YOU ARE WARNED. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
This movie begins on Krypton, and honestly, I think I could have watched an entire movie the way this was done. A two hour war on Krypton movie might not appeal to the major audience, but the way that Zack Snyder and company portrayed this race of beings and their planet was so outstanding and exciting. We finally got to see some creatures, the way they lived, and their technology. Russell Crowe in my mind was a far superior Jor-El than we’ve ever had before. Don’t get me wrong, Marlon Brando was great when I was growing up, but the comics always made me think of Jor-el as something better, and Man of Steel gave it to us.
Once we get to earth, there is a lot of flash back sequences that just jump right in, and while complaints so far are that it is hard to follow, my response to that is that those people really haven’t ever paid attention to a movie. There were perfect transition points, and I am glad that they went this route. I didn’t want to see Clark growing up for a third of the movie. I got that on Smallville. No, this was a smart origin movie that focused more on the dilemnas that a man of steel would have to face. It was a moral and ethical presentation, and for that I am happy.
Along the moral lines, I understand that many people are upset that Superman killed Zod at the end. WTF is wrong with you people who complain about that? Have you ever read a Superman comic? No, he didn’t kill, but there were plenty of times where he went berzerk. Prime example? In 1992’s Death of Superman story, he tried to kill and succeeded in killing Doomsday. Of course this was retconned, and they ended up reviving the creature for further story, but that was the case. Also, in Superman the animated series, he went crazy after Darkseid killed Detective Turpin. He tried to kill Darkseid. This doesn’t mean that he was not the hero he is known to be. Look at the other factors on screen here. Superman’s battle with Zod was a losing one. Sure, he had Zod in a headlock, but look how many people already died at his hands. If Superman didn’t kill Zod, the family before him would have died as well. Superman had enough. He would not allow another death if you could help it, and one death was better than five more. He cried before doing it, and once he finally snapped Zod’s neck, he mourned more. The look on his face showed his sorrow for this, and I feel it is the perfect closing to the whole “finding his place in the world” theme. He knows now, what it is like to kill, and will make sure to never do it again.
The story was action packed and compelling, albeit a few one liners that were just out of place or really bad dialogue, but those were few and far between. Amy Adams as Lois Lane would not have been my first pick mainly because of hair color, but I’m so glad I was wrong on my first impressions. She gave a fresh take on Lois, and now we won’t have to deal with her being so dumb not knowing Clark was Superman all along, because she knows up front. (I don’t think we will be seeing a kiss like in Superman 2… that was a stupid film power that made me lose respect for the Donner films at that point.) — don’t worry, I still love the Chris Reeve films, but Henry Cavill was more convincing. He literally looks like the comic book Superman, and I hope he does Clark Kent justice in the sequel as well. I want to see him portray the clark we all know and love.
Faora and the other Kryptonian baddies were done well also, and were shown for their loyalty to Zod. I am curious as to what Snyder’s vision of the Phantom Zone is however. It was mentioned, and not that Clark knows about it, this will be interesting to see if it ever comes back.
Visually, I had two issues. Although I’m glad they were unique in the heat vision portrayal, I didn’t like that it looked like fire coming from their eyes. The glowing eyes were good enough, and that optic blast beam seemed too much to me. I also hated the shaky handheld camera in spots. Other than that, I had no problems.
The entire cast, which is too many to mention, really did a superb job, and the acting seemed flawless for me. I also really enjoyed the easter eggs. I saw the LexCorp fuel truck, as well as the Waynetech satellite, and I’m not sure if that was the intent, but Zod’s ship really looked like Brainiac’s ship, so I’m wondering if his computer’s name was in fact Brainiac. Only time will tell. I also hear that there was a Booster Gold easter egg as well, but I personally missed this.
Sequel? Well they could go many ways. I see them bringing in Lex Luthor, but I’m hoping as a man that pulls the strings. I don’t want to see the Lex’s we’ve seen in the past. if anything, the only Lex done right, was in the animated series and parts of Smallville. Brainiac? Bizarro? Those could all be taken from this movie, but who knows. Only time will tell.
I do NOT want to see them follow the exact same format as Nolan’s films. While they have their own place in history, I hated what they did… origin story, his main nemesis, and then the final film being far from comic book continuity.
We have an origin story here with Man of Steel, and he doesn’t have a name yet, so I’m assuming Lois will call him Superman in the sequel. Lex will most likely be in the sequel, but as I said, I want to see him in a new way. Don’t make him the main villain. Make him the one behind it, and only Superman knows this. Done right, this could be better than most comic book series of movies.
It is rare when I give a movie a perfect rating, but I’m giving it to this one. 10 out of 10 stars from me for this movie, and I dare say that I enjoyed it as much if not more than the Avengers. Chime in with your thoughts below. I’m eager to hear what you all think.