Man of Steel (2013)

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

A more modern, real Superman

Changes ot origin and questionable actions by Superman

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Man of Steel

Studio:  Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  June 14, 2013

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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I stand for trust, justice, and 7-11 Big Gulps

Krypton is dying…As the planet faces the end, a civil war erupts with General Zod (Michael Shannon) trying to overthrow the government and save his people.  Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sees the real Zod and encodes his people’s genetic code within his only son Kal-El…sending him to a planet called Earth.  As time passes Kal-El grows older and stronger.  Raised by Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and his wife Martha (Diane Lane), Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) finds himself different than everyone else.  When a ship is discovered, Clark learns of his alien past.  Unfortunately, the ship activates a homing beacon and Zod and his soldiers are coming to Earth for Kal-El.  With a reporter from the Daily Planet named Lois Lane (Amy Adams) tracking him, Clark worries that not only will the world learn of his existence but that Zod’s plans for Earth might not include the human population.

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Jor-El, please don’t sing to the baby…I saw Les Miserables…

Directed by Zack Snyder, Man of Steel is the relaunch of the Superman franchise after the failure of Superman Returns in 2006 and the end of the Smallville series in 2011.  The movie was met with mixed to positive reviews and a huge opening which help ensure that the franchise would survive.

I have loved Superman since I little like many kids.  Superman is often the first superhero anyone is exposed to.  I loved the first couple Christopher Reeve films and didn’t enjoy the later films or the Superman Returns which just had Superman as a creepy stalker.  After the revival of the Batman franchise with Batman Begins and the success of  Marvel’s Avengers films, it was obvious that DC had to try again.

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Kryptonians get the worst case of red-eye when you take their picture…

Man of Steel tries to “Dark Knight” Superman who has always been squeaky clean.  Also, Superman’s whole power is based on being in the light…something that Batman avoids.  The decision to use Zack Snyder as a director was interesting since he is kind of polarizing.  The movie however still does a good job going from scenic countryside type looks to big all-out battles.

Story wise, the film really tweaks the character’s story.  The “real” Clark Kent has less direction than the comic book Clark and the “real” Lois is much more of a reporter (and more involved in the story than usual).  Jonathan Kent’s downfall isn’t a heart attack (and despite his good intentions, comes off as a bit of a jerk in my opinion).

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Hey, wait…are you two going to kiss? I just want to say I’m totally ok with that…

Superman movies are also highly judged by its Superman.  I though Henry Cavill does a great job with the role, and I could see him continuing it.  Honestly, at points he really did look like Tom Welling of Smallville, and I loved Smallville but I don’t know that Welling could have pulled it off.  He does a good job with emotion, but he also did ok with the “scarier” Superman scenes.

Cavill is backed by a nice cast.  I generally love Amy Adams, but I’m not sure she worked as Lois Lane.  She’s pretty proactive but doesn’t get a lot of room to expand her character.  Lawrence Fishburn doesn’t get much play as Perry White, and what he does get seems out of place and forced.  I wish they had just skipped the Planet possibly…plus, no Jimmy Olsen!!!  Costner is ok as  Jonathan Kent, but I think he’s outshined by Diane Lane as Martha Kent (and he goes out like a chump).  Russell Crow gets more play than Brando and is a decent Jor-El, but Michael Shannon is a great evil Kryptonian…almost everything I’ve seen him in he’s impressed me, and he seems very intimidating here.

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If no one else says anything, I’m going to object to Superman’s treatment of me!!!

*****Spoiler Alert***** You can’t talk about Man of Steel without talking about the last twenty or thirty minutes of the film.  By the time the throw down you are ready for it.  Unfortunately, the fight with Zod period is probably five to ten minutes too long.  The ending of course is shocking…Superman breaks Zod’s neck to save a family.  The whole “Superman doesn’t kill” flag went up (though he has killed before…including Zod with some Kryptonite), but also he came down on Wonder Woman when she broke the neck of Maxwell Lord.  I didn’t mind that the character made that jump because it was done in a way to show he didn’t want to.  The only problem I did have with it is that he had been fighting through the city (plus Smallville) and probably killed a hundred thousand people before he decided to take that jump…The faceless dead apparently don’t matter to Superman.  The very end of the movie where Superman starts at the Planet also seems suspicious.  If Lois could find his identity in a quick search, surely someone else would make the connection with the attack on Smallville and everything else he did very publically…but I can accept it all for the sake of the character.

Man of Steel is a very accessible Superman.  You don’t really need Superman background to enjoy it and if you have Superman background the few violations you get in his origin are acceptable to see a real, functioning Superman in the world.  A tanker for Lexcorp hints at the next film, but it was nice to have a Superman film that wasn’t about Lex Luthor.  With a big draw at the box office, it looks like Superman will take flight again.  Man of Steel was followed by Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice in 2016.

Related Links:

Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice (2016)

Suicide Squad (2016)

Superman:  The Movie (1978)

Superman II (1980)

Superman Returns (2006)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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