The original Superman film is a classic. In 2006 we got Super Returns which was mainly an homage to those movies. At the time critics claimed the film lacked action. To me I enjoyed most of that movie besides a couple of story decisions. I couldn’t handle the fact they gave Superman a son and barely used it to be a part of the major story. That film didn’t exactly bomb but it didn’t meet studio expectations so the sequel was never green lit.
Now we have Zack Snyder’s film that essentially reboots the entire story. Russell Crowe plays Jor-El a scientific leader on the planet Krypton. He tries to stand up to General Zod(Michael Shannon) as he attempts to over throw the leadership on the planet. The one thing they agree on is that Krypton is going to be destroyed. So Jor-El sends his new born son Kal-El into space towards his new home Earth.
The telling of Superman’s up bringing is done totally through flash back as we follow Clark(Aka Kal-El) as he moves around from job to job. He tries to wrestle with what to do with his powers. His genetics on Earth makes him God like, he can fly and is super strong. Once an old ship from Krypton is found by the government Clark meets Louis Lane(Amy Adams) who is doing a story of the ship for the Daily Planet. Clark gets on the ship and learns who he really is, and gets a great suit. Everything would be awesome if it wasn’t for Zod coming back with a small army. Then the third act of the film is basically watching a fictional city get destroyed.
I was worried about this film before it opened, Superman to me hasn’t exactly been done right. I really liked Superman Returns but Lex Luthor creating a Continent from Kryptonian technology wasn’t enough for me. I wanted a little super hero action. Well Man Of Steel throws action right in your face. Superman’s show down with Zod and his people is epic on a scale of comic book action we have never seen before. This movie simply blows The Avengers away. They did things I only imagined as a kid reading Superman comics, he punches people through trucks and buildings. It’s frankly amazing.
When it comes to some of the changes they did in his origin, I liked almost all of them. Louis Lane gets a lot more to do and they wrote off the idea that she never connects that Clark is Superman. My only issue is with his suit, Kal-El finds it randomly in an old Kryptonian ship. Most of the armor Zod and his other people wear are black and silver. Yet Kal-El just finds a blue and red suit in a ship he and none of his family was ever on. This just didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Maybe I missed something. That is a minor complaint.
Some reviews online have stated that there is too much action in this film. I don’t remember this claim for last years Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises. The film is epic in scale that is for sure. Maybe for some watching building collapse is a little too much, if you’re sensitive about watching cities being destroyed then maybe stay away from this film.
The acting is fantastic across the board. Henry Cavill plays it just right as the boy scout in blue. He just nails it. He doesn’t really get to be Clark that much but I’m glad he’ll be Superman for a while. Amy Adams is just charming and really works as a modern Louis Lane. Russell Crowe is that stand out here as he really seemed to enjoy playing Jor-El. Kevin Costner plays Kal-El’s human father and is fantastic even though his screen time is limited. Michael Shannon plays Zod straight, not really over the top. He’s a man who loved his people so much he’s willing to destroy all of Earth just to give his people a chance. It might take another view before I really know how I feel about his version of Zod.
The film has minor issues but over all is a great comic book movie. It is visually impressive but if you can’t handle destruction on a massive scale you might want to avoid this movie.