I was fortunate enough to catch an early showing of “Man of Steel” yesterday so I didn’t have to write a review based on my sleepy interpretation of a midnight showing. Going in completely skeptical after reading some dismal reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, “Man of Steel” exceeded my expectations in almost every way possible.
“Man of Steel” has everything a good film should have. It has a strong origin story that gets you invested in the characters, it has drama and it has action…a lot of it. The bottom line is, it entertains. If some of the pompous writers from independent newspapers don’t understand that the film served its purpose, then maybe they should consider a different career.
The film begins on Superman’s home planet of Krypton right before its ultimate demise. In an effort to keep their bloodline alive and save their son, Jor and Laura send Kal to a planet that they believe can support the life form. Kal lands in a small Kansas town where he is found by a married couple on a farm and adopted as Clark Kent.
Since the hit TV series “Smallville” had 10 years to develop the character and this film is about 2 and a half hours long, “Man of Steel” doesn’t focus too much on Clark’s childhood. Instead what we get is a fast forward to the present with flashbacks of Clark’s past that show key moments in his development as a super-strength alien on a new world.
Clark grows to discover his powers and realize that he can use his abilities for good but not at the cost of exposing himself per the advice of his father.
We are ultimately led into one of the most epic superhero battles ever to grace the silver screen. When General Zod, a Kryptonian who survived the destruction of his home planet, finds Kal on Earth in search of a codex that will revive the Kryptonian population. Zod discovers that Kal is the key to reviving his people and decides that Earth would make a perfect home for a new Krypton.
For those who have read the comics, a battle between two Kryptonians is bound to end up in some property damage and Zack Snyder (director of “300” and “Sucker Punch”) delivers on a massive scale which leads a slow character story into what is most likely to be the best action sequence of the year.
Now don’t get me wrong, this film is far from perfect. I love Amy Adams but it took me a while to really believe her as a Lois Lane. Also, the camera was shaky through a lot of the movie which actually made me dizzy in some scenes. Snyder’s style of directing calls for a lot of quick pan in and pan out photography and it almost seems like some scenes were filmed with a high def handheld camcorder.
Another thing that got me was that the film is full of really good character development with support from actors like Kevin Costner, Henry Cavill (who did an amazing justice to the Superman character) and Russel Crowe. Unfortunately, the development of relationships seemed to lack which would have really propelled this film into greatness.
Overall, this is a great Summer movie for the right audience. When I got out of my screening, people were already lined up for the sold out midnight shows and nearly half of the people in line were dawning Superman shirts.
Superman is a beloved character with a rich American history and any “critics” who feel that this film wasn’t on par with a movie like “The Notebook” is right…but they don’t understand that every film has its own audience and “Man of Steel” is an exceptional movie to the right market.