Posted by Cassandra T. in Man of Steel, Movie Reviews on June 14, 2013
The biggest summer blockbuster of the year is here! Man of Steel is an exciting, modern take on the timeless Superman, giving him an identity crisis and a brooding take on the burden of having superpowers. The movie is also a touching tearjerker as it showcases the love and guidance that fathers have for their children, biological or not.
Planet Krypton is dying and scientist Jor-El, a.k.a Superman’s biological father pleads with Krypton’s government to take action. However, evil guy General Zod attempts to usurp the government at this crucial time, forcing Jor-El to steal a device called the Codex and launch it together with his new-born son, Kal-El, a.k.a soon-to-be Superman, to Earth.
General Zod is caught shortly after and sentenced to punishment in a pod with his insurgents. Due to its unstable core, Krypton soon implodes and kills everyone on it, including Superman’s parents. Ironically, it is the punishment pod which allows Zod to survive and come back later to haunt Superman.
In a series of flashbacks, Clark Kent’s formative years are shown; mainly his struggle to handle his special powers, his inherent goodness in helping others, and his adoptive father Jonathan Kent’s repeated urges for Clark to keep his powers secret “until the world is ready”, even at the expense of other people’s lives and ultimately, his own life.
As Clark explores the alien remains left on Earth to discover his origins, the surviving General Zod comes back to Earth to look for Kal-El with the intention of rebuilding Krypton, using planet Earth as its base. Superman is then forced to choose between two worlds, the world he was from, and the world he now calls home.
The Latest Fad: Brooding Superheroes
Superman is handsome, brooding and introspective in this movie, which is very similar to Batman in The Dark Knight. Not surprising, considering that Man of Steel was co-written and produced by Christopher Nolan, the director of the Dark Knight series. I actually really enjoy the latest fad of humanizing the superheroes, showing their flaws and weaknesses. I think that the premise of superheroes being fallible too but struggling to overcome those weakness make them more relatable in this modern day and age. The significance of the “S” logo is also explained in the movie.
Russell Crowe is awesome as Jor-E, Superman’s biological fatherl! He gave a passionate performance and fit right into the character! This is more than what I could say for his role in Les Miserables… I did NOT like him there.
Awesome as the movie is, there were a couple of weak points in the storyline though. For instance: What was the point of sending Zod off for punishment when the entire planet was already doomed to die? Also, if the aliens were so advanced as to be able to tap networks around the world to broadcast their message (in the respective languages of the different countries too!), why is their reception still so lousy with all the white noise? Note: the hacking of the television network is uncannily similar to baddie The Mandarin’s modus operandi in The Dark Knight.
Lois Lane is also introduced in Man of Steel. However, the story doesn’t show exactly what the attraction is between Lois and Superman. Rather, it simply lumps them together after their first encounter at the remains of an alien spaceship. Amy Adams feels miscast as Lois Lane – her girl-next-door looks and demeanour doesn’t bring across that confident Lois Lane personality. There is also a lack of chemistry between Amy Adams and Henry Cavill. Even the kiss scene felt lacklustre =(
What I really liked about this movie though, was that it showcased the impact that both sets of Superman’s parents had on him, biological and adoptive. I guess it’s a good reminder that you don’t need to be biologically related to have great influence on children.
There were a lot of CGI fighting scenes, too many in my opinion, which could have been cut short to make time for more character development, especially for Superman and Lois Lane. While the tone of the movie was undoubtedly serious, I felt it took itself too seriously and could have lightened up the mood some with some good injections of humour now and then. Superman was frowning 90% of the time!
Man of Steel is definitely a must-watch show so go catch it soon!
P.S. there are no after-credit special scenes, so don’t bother staying until the end of the credits!
Here are a couple of quotes I really liked from the movie:
1. “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” – Jonathan Kent
2. “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later.” – Priest giving advice to Superman
Did You Know?
1. There is a possibility of Batman and Superman teaming up in a Justice League movie!
2. There is US$160m worth of product placements in Man of Steel!
3. Actresses Kristen Stewart, Natalie Portman and Olivia Wilde were considered for the role of Lois Lane!