Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane
I had never seen any Superman movies or TV series before and it was safe to say that I knew really nothing about the superhero. However, this movie was very much one of the most anticipated movies of the summer for me because I was stoked that Christopher Nolan was on board as well with Zack Snyder directing. This was a duo that definitely could not disappoint. And they most definitely didn’t. Man of Steel was just the dark superhero/action movie we needed after the Dark Knight trilogy ended and has me very excited for the sequels to come.
Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) has questioned his whole life what his purpose is on Earth. Always different from the others, he grew up teased and with no one on his side it seemed. As an adult, he moves from town to town either seen as a hero or an outcast by others. When he discovers a spaceship that seems to come from his home planet, he discovers why he was sent to Earth. Even more questions come up when an extraterrestrial force from his planet come to Earth and request that they hand Clark/Kal-El over to them. Now Clark/Kal-El must choose whose side he is on, the people of Krypton’s or Earth’s.
As I said before, I was not very Superman-educated before going into this movie. However, the movie did a great job of showing us the beginning of Superman, where he came from, and who he is. His background story was wonderfully told through a series of flashbacks that are tastefully placed as to not disorient the viewers. Cavill’s Superman was more serious than what I have read about other actors’ interpretations of the superhero, but I thought this fit well with the tone of the movie. Although, I think they could have thrown in a few scenes where we are able to really see who he is and make him a little more relatable. He seems just a little too distant, so the romance between him and Lois Lane feels just a little strange. I’m sure they will go on to explore his character in sequels and such and I realize a huge chunk of the movie was dedicated to showing his childhood so this was not a huge factor in my enjoyment of the movie.
Man of Steel is definitely concerned with packing as much action as it can in two and a half hours and it definitely does. The action sequences are truly amazing and the CGI is wonderfully done. My only complaint would be that I don’t feel it was necessary to have this movie in 3D. Sure, 3D is always nice, but for me personally the glasses are uncomfortable and I hate how they make the movie look darker and have those annoying reflections off the lenses. This was a movie that would have been equally spectacular to watch in 2D, as long as you see it on a big screen! I wouldn’t worry about spending the extra money on 3D, but that’s just me. The last 45 minutes or so of the movie, which is the epic fight between Superman and General Zod, is definitely impressive visually and is all that you would want in a summer action movie.
Speaking of Zod (Michael Shannon), he was a great villain and was great in the role. I almost hesitate to call him a villain, because although he was evil, you still understood what he was doing and why he was doing it. He was simply trying to preserve his own species and serve the planet that he dedicated his life to. Although Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Russel Crowe as Jor-El were also great with what they were given, I wish they had expanded on those characters. Especially with Lois Lane, being such a huge part of the Superman series, I wanted to really know who she was and see more of her.
Really though, Man of Steel was just what it was supposed to be; an introduction. It introduced us Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and what is going to be Superman’s story. It kept the action going throughout the movie all while providing a very decent background on our hero. It had all of Snyder’s amazing visual aspects mixed with Nolan’s fondness of the “darker” superhero. It definitely sparked an interest in me with Superman and has me hopeful for another great series of movies for DC comics that will give Marvel a run for it’s money.