Friday, June 14, 2013
Man of Steel Review
(CAUTION: Spoilers contained)
"Look, up in the sky!"
"It's a bird."
"It's a plane".
"It's Superman!" --- Superman radio and television serial
To say that I am a Superman fanatic is kind of like saying that the Sahara is a small patch of sand. I have loved Superman for as long as I can remember, so when I first heard rumblings of a new Superman movie three years ago, I can say that I could hardly wait.
Then the announcement came out that Henry Cavill would be playing the Last Son of Krypton and the interweb exploded with negative criticism. “He’s British! He’s too short! Who is this guy?” Having seen Cavill in the Tudors (and loved his acting), I looked forward to someone trying on the red and blue spandex for the reboot of the greatest franchise of the 1980’s. I knew that no one would “replace” Christopher Reeve, but this generation needed a Man of Steel.
Then I saw the first preview trailer when the Hobbit came out and was again geeked at the reboot, but the wait seemed far too long.
Well, the wait for me to see Man of Steel finally ended Thursday night with the Wal-Mart premiere night prescreening of the movie. The local theater had four screens running the movie (three in 3D, one in regular 2D). I went to the 3D version of the film, but fully intend to go to the IMAX and 2D versions in the next several weeks.
After sitting thru previews for Prisoners, 300: Rise of an Empire (also a Zack Snyder film), Gravity, and for some reason 2 previews each of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Pacific Rim, the screen showed “Wal-Mart Premiere Night” and we were treated to a brief interview with Zack Snyder about the movie, along with sound bytes from Zack, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Shannon.
Then the main event of the evening started: the movie begins on Krypton, but this is definitely not the Krypton of the Donner Superman films: the landscape is rich and lush, and there are “dinosaurs” roaming the planet! I say “dinosaurs” because that is the closest word I have to describe these creatures. The picture changes to Lara giving birth to baby Kal, with Russell Crowe (Jor-El) and several robots standing watch. This was the first actual geek out moment of the movie for me, because the robots were similar to the ones that were in the Fortress of Solitude with Superman during the “Death and Return of Superman” story arc from the early 90’s.
The scene changes to Jor standing in front of the council of Krypton telling them about the soon demise of Krypton (which every Superman fan knows is coming), when Zod comes blasting into the chamber and kills one of the council members. He and Jor have a standoff, each of them trying to persuade the other that his way to save the planet was better. The meeting breaks up with the council being escorted out and Jor as a fugitive from Zod at this point, and actually goes thru a great fight scene as he makes his way out of the chamber. Jor escapes and sends a message to Lara, advising her to “prepare the craft.” He has to get something and would be there soon.
Jor hops on a winged lizard, and flies off to retrieve the object, and lands at his house after having his lizard shot by one of Zod’s ships. He and Lara have a little discussion about Kal and how she doesn’t want to lose him, but ultimately, the place Kal in the ship and prepare it for blast off. At this time, Zod reappears with his guards and he again confronts Jor about the future of the planet, and tries to convince Lara to abandon the blast off. She ultimately sends the ship off.
Zod and his guards are subsequently arrested and subsequently tried and sentenced to 300 cycles in the Phantom Zone. A ship containing Zod and his minions is sent into an orbit of sorts and disappears from view.
Krypton explodes and we see Kal’s ship reach earth, and as it is going for its descent, the scene shifts to an Alaskan fishing boat, where we get the first shot of Henry Cavill, dressed in fishing attire with a full beard. After hearing that an oil rig is about to explode, the ship’s captain tells “Joe” (what Cavill is known as) to go get the ship ready for any survivors, but Joe is gone…. To the rig! He climbs up on the rig and helps to save the men, and it is here that you see Superman’s strength for the first time.
After the rescue, the movie flashes back to the first time that Clark had his supersenses come out, and it shows how he “overcame” them with the help of his mom.
The scene shifts back to present day, and Clark/Joe has another flashback after seeing a school bus to his first time saving someone. After the flashback, Joe hears about something going on on Ellesmere Island and decides to go check it out. It is there that intrepid ace reporter Lois Lane makes her first appearance. There is some kind of ship that is surrounded by ice that is twenty thousand years old, and she has come out to find out what is going on. She runs into “Joe” and he saves her from one of the robots that were around at his birth.
Being the vigilant reporter, Lois writes an article about this mystery man, and tries to get it published at the Daily Planet. Perry doesn’t want to because of it being about aliens, so she gives the report to one of her blogger “friends”, and sets out to find out more about the man that saved her. She finally tracks him down at Jonathan Kent’s grave, and we are shown how Jonathan dies. I have to admit, I was crying a little at this part.
Then Zod shows up on Earth and demands that Kal be surrendered to him or the planet would face his wrath. Kal does, and for some reason, Lois is taken on board the Kryptonian ship with Kal. Jor shows up and tells Lois how to escape and how to destroy Zod.
After Lois’ escape and subsequent rescue by Superman, Zod decides to make Earth into New Krypton, which leads to the final showdown between Superman and Zod. This fight is a true knock-down, drag out that leaves much of the city of Metropolis in ruins. The ending of the fight harkens to when Superman took on Zod from the Pocket Universe in the classic Superman comics.
After you have seen this film, you will notice that I have left certain things out of the review, so the whole movie is not completely described for you here. But, I sat in silence for the entire two hours and twenty-eight minutes of the film, waiting for what the critics had panned this film for, and frankly, I didn’t see it. Yes, Jor’s reappearance on every Kryptonian ship was different, but when he explained that he had designed the ships, it kind of made sense that he could have his memory in any or all of them. But, the reason that he did appear was there, so it was not something thrown in just to further the plot.
Is Man of Steel the Superman that fans have been looking for? In this fan’s opinion, yes. Only time will tell if it becomes the start of the new Superman and Justice League franchise. But with only the violence being a problem as far as family-friendliness (there were only 5 cuss words in the whole movie), I would definitely recommend this movie for both fans and non-fans alike.
Family Friendly Language: 9.9/10
“Family Friendly” Violence: 9.0/10
Nudity/Suggestive Situations: 9.9/10
Overall Rating 9.7/10
I plan on enjoying this movie several times before it leaves the theater, as well as getting the DVD of it, possibly the collector’s edition with a iTunes ready version for me to watch when I have had a bad day and need the Last Son of Krypton to cheer me up.
As always, if you like what I have to say, please leave me feedback below or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t like what I have to say, please leave me feedback below or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
As always, be kind, please rewind, and remember two wrongs may not make a right, but three rights always make a left.