After seeing the reviews for Superman: Man of Steel, I felt compelled to write my own review. This isn’t a remake of the 1978 Superman movie. If that’s what you expect going in, you’ll be disappointed. This is a much darker version of Superman’s creation story.
The movie starts with the destruction of Krypton and Jor-El sending his son, Kal-El to Earth, despite Lara’s fear that Kal-El will be killed if his powers are discovered. General Zod and his accomplices are frozen and exiled to the Phantom Zone. It then fast forwards to an adult Clark Kent who is a loner wandering from place to place.
Clark ends up in the Arctic at the same time as Lois Lane who is investigating the discovery of a spacecraft. He finds the craft and meets Jor-El’s spirit. Jor-El explains where he came from and it is then that Clark dons the Superman suit, which is really supposed to be armor.
The story isn’t told in chronological order. Flashbacks are used to tell the story of Clark Kent’s youth. The flashbacks work well and clearly show what shaped Clark into the man he later becomes. The Kents played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane do everything they can to protect Clark. Jonathan Kent explains why Clark can’t reveal his special powers. The Kents don’t want Clark to be treated as a freak and all Clark wants is to be normal.
Clark Kent has good reason for keeping his identity a secret and being cautious. Imagine what would happen today if we found out an alien was living among us and had super powers. We’d have him in a lab and would be plying him with needles. In this respect, I think Christopher Nolan and David Goyer’s story is believable. They show the real struggle Clark has in revealing who he is, which he finally does at the age of 33 when he realizes that he must sacrifice himself for the good of everyone else (anyone see the connection to Jesus).
Henry Cavill does a fantastic job portraying Clark Kent as an adult and he looks good in the suit too. Amy Adams is a very different Lois Lane. She doesn’t wait around for Superman to save the day. Instead, she tries to help him. Michael Shannon makes General Zod seem more like an antihero than an evildoer. It’s hard to hate the man when all he wants to do is find a way for his people to live on and Clark seems to understand Zod, even though he chooses the humans over his own people.
Zack Snyder uses the special effects we’ve become used to in super hero flicks well. There are explosions, buildings collapse, and Clark and Zod throw each other through countless buildings, breaking up a lot of pavement in the process. Some might say the special effects are over done, but I thought the special effects were on par with last year’s The Avengers.
Overall, Superman: Man of Steel is a great movie. My advice is to ignore all the critics and just go and enjoy this one.