I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive screening of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel last night! I am very excited to share my first movie review with you all! Will you be seeing Man of Steel today? Did you go to a midnight screening? Read my thoughts and let me know if you agree in the comments below!
Man of Steel has all the ingredients to become the successful summer blockbuster Warner Brothers has been pushing. The strapping male lead, the strong female lead who later becomes the damsel in distress, the terrifying and evil villain, and tons of action. When thrown together, these ingredients made for an enjoyable viewing experience. However, there were a few things about this film that were not as enjoyable and took away from the overall experience.
As I am not a huge sci-fi or comic book fan, I must admit I did not know a ton about the story of Superman. With a strong and unique narrative pattern, crafted by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, the film was very interesting and effective in revealing the story of Superman without an overload of exposition. We begin on the planet Krypton, where Superman (Henry Cavill) or Kal-El is born. The people of Krypton, however, are in grave danger as their world is coming to an end. Kal-El’s father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) finds a way to protect his son from the destruction of Krypton and plans to send him to Earth where he can live a normal and safe life. Or so he thought.
This is where the villain, General Zod (Michael Shannon), comes in. Zod does not agree with what Jor-El is doing and is focused on preserving the Kryptonian race. The high council of Krypton realizes that Zod and his followers are dangerous and treacherous people after they murder Jor-El and sentence them to the Phantom Zone. When Krypton is finally destroyed, Zod and his followers end up being released from their sentence and begin to search for a new planet to call home.
We then cut to Superman as Clark Kent and an adult living amongst the human world. This is where his hero’s journey begins and we see the first heroic act of the film. He is a greenhorn on a crab fishing boat and one day while out fishing, the boat receives a distress call from an oil rig nearby. Of course, being Superman he silently slips away and heads to the rescue. This incident, however, could expose him so after he saves the men from the oil rig he then leaves his job as a greenhorn. From there, he heads up to the Northern Territories of Canada.
Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is then introduced as she is investigating some news leads at a US military base. The US Army has found an object buried deep within the ice and is trying to find ways to get it out. But Superman is doing some investigation of his own. He uses his powers to get deep into the ice and discover the object is actually a Kryptonian spaceship. Lane becomes curious about a mysterious man working at the military base and starts doing some investigation into who he is. This is when their relationship begins to form.
Lois follows him into the spaceship and finds herself in a bit of trouble. Superman then has to jump in and come to the rescue. Lane passes out after Superman uses his powers to try and save her from injuries she has sustained. He then moves her to a safer location and flies away in the ship.
After this incident, she wants to discover more about whom this mystery man is and why he has been very secretive. She finds out that he grew up as Clark Kent and was raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane). Lane also learns that as an adult, he has been moving between the United States and Canada. In his travels, he has held various jobs and covered up his tracks along the way.
Little does Superman know that rebooting the spaceship will cause a lot of trouble for him and his beloved Earth. Zod and his followers receive a signal back on their ship that another spaceship has been rebooted, which then leads them to Earth and Superman’s location. From here, there are some ominous scenes as Zod sends a warning message to Earth, requesting that they turn in Superman. When his request is fulfilled, Zod and his Kryptonian followers make their way back into space with Superman and Lois Lane. However, their safety is in jeopardy so they must find a way to escape. When the Sups and Lane finally do escape, Zod returns to Earth and unleashes his fury, attempting to reclaim Earth and turn it into another Krypton.
Man of Steel did have downfalls in some areas. I felt that some of the product placement was quite blatant, which took away from the story. I would be engrossed in the scene and then a sign for Sears would become the focus, taking me away from the moment and the world of Superman. There was also too much action and it felt like there was an action overload. However, the action scenes were beautifully shot and well choreographed.
Overall, Zack Snyder is a talented director who knows how to create visually stunning worlds and work with all of the aspects of film. From beautiful set pieces and costumes, to stunning lighting and cinematography. Hans Zimmer’s score was very well done, as always, and fitting for the film. The casting choices were also well done and Henry Cavill makes a perfect Superman. Personally, I think all of the actors did a great job with the roles and the universe they were given to work with. Man of Steel was a strong film with a few downfalls, but this project will definitely be launching Henry Cavill into Super-stardom.