It is my humble opinion that no movie has more to live up to this year than Man Of Steel. There are three reasons for this thought and the first one is the fact that Superman is the ultimate comic book superhero. He is the most famous and people that know nothing about Superman know who he is and what he can do. The second reason is that Christopher Nolan is the producer and his name is all over this movie despite not writing or directing it. What Nolan was able to do with the Batman franchise set the bar so high, it’s conceivable that no comic book or superhero will ever live up to that. Finally is that the TV show and original 1978 Richard Donner movie are iconic. George Reeves in the 1950’s was the first Superhero to show up on television and Christopher Reeve was a star making moment. With fellow cast member such as Academy Award winners Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman, along with a script written by Oscar winner Mario Puzo of The Godfather fame, not to mention John Williams classic score.
That being said and noted, Man Of Steel is a fantastic movie that not only adds depth to the origin and beginning of Superman it adds, all be it small amounts of, reality to the story. Now when I say reality take that for what it’s worth. This is the story of an alien baby raised as human with powers no human could ever posses. The movie is designed to do one thing and that is set up a series of sequels and possibly a Christopher Nolan blessed adaptation of The Justice League.
Man Of Steel begins on the planet Krypton with Jor-El before the high counsel explaining what must be done to save his planet that is doomed for destruction. When general Zod attempts to overtake the counsel he is sentenced to a life of being outcast in a black hole, yet knows that Jor-El holds the key to his races survival and vows revenge and to extend his races existence. Kal-El (Superman’s given name) is cast down to earth to help the planet and because he has the ability to blend in on the surface. After he has discovered himself and his purpose and powers Superman is still unsure what he should ultimately do. When general Zod comes upon earth asking for Kal-El to surrender himself and battle ensues in Smallville, Kansas and later carries over to Metropolis. Unsure if he means well or if he means harm, the government is deployed to stop Zod. Superman does all he can to save earth from Zod’s destructive plans.
Superman is an icon and there is no one that can deny that, so undertaking a challenge like this was extremely risky but director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan do pull it off.
Keep in mind that the story of Superman is full of logical holes and therefore any film ever made will be as well. With that in mind all should be taken in by the story and effects and ability of Superman because that is what makes him so beloved anyway. If anyone chooses to pick apart the story or even compare it to it’s wonderful start in films you will be disappointed. Entertainment is goal number one with Man Of Steel and it pulls out all the stops. If you love the Clark Kent aspect and the anonymity he posses you may have to wait a while but you will see. It doesn’t have John Williams classic theme or for the most part any of the cheesy lines (although there are a few) but it none the less is truly a Superman movie that erases the terrible memory of Superman Returns and brings the ultimate hero back to the screen in a good way.
With performances by Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams and the always underrated Michael Shannon, good enough to not make you fumble and distract from the story line, you will be engrossed no matter what you feel after you will be engaged. Russell Crowe as Jor-El had large shoes to fill following Marlon Brando but he makes the character his own. More details are given origins and and things you thought you knew are given clarity.
Superhero and comic book fans will flock to the theaters to see Man Of Steel, the down side is it will be compared and dissected beyond belief instead of taken for what it is, and that is a great story of a hero and man many wish truly existed. Sit back and enjoy all aspects of Man Of Steel because it’s worth the buck it cost for your seat.