Monday, June 24, 2013
Kal-El's smoking-hot Israeli mom was the reason Krypton was unstable and eventually blew up. Don't believe the Superman mythology that science killed it
by: Roy MacMillan
If you are either:
- Against comic book movies
- Hate impatient and quickly-paced films
- Carry an 4-digit tally counter to accurately count each of the plot fallacies so you can let the world know the total
- Are currently holding a jihad-like hatred toward Zack Snyder
Stop reading now and avoid Man of Steel because this is not the film for you.
If you're still with me, you may like the Man of Steel...a lot. This film is, at least in parts, Superman the way the comic intended it to be. This movie does not have the aw-shucks tone the original (Mario Puzo-penned) films had. Tonally, this is the gritty film you would expect in a Post 9/11 world. General Zod (Michael Shannon) commits acts of treason in Krypton to accomplish what he feels like preserving the Kryptonian race with the threat of world destruction looming. Unfortunately for Zod, he was not able to acquire the physical key to preserving life before it traveled to Earth with the last-born son of Krypton. After committing mass murder to complete their mission, Zod and his soldiers are caught, tried, and convicted to the Phantom Zone before Krypton is destroyed.
The film bounces around Superman's youth, and Snyder shows why he is conflicted and humble despite his gifts. He is confused and (not my fault) alienated in fear that his powers are discovered by the citizens of Smallville, Kansas. The expectations of his fathers conflict, and he cannot fathom why his adopted father, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), wants him to keep his powers a secret. I can divulge that it's not because of the fear of torts for Clark's superhero acts, but Kent's wishes for Clark is in direct opposition of what his birth father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), wants for him. Once he is an adult, he walks the earth like Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction. Eventually, certain events force Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill) to accept his fate as Earth's protector and the pace picks up considerably.
The acting and story is okay. I am not a fan of Brits playing so many iconic American roles lately, but Cavill is very good as Superman. I cannot tell if my personal bias affected how much I liked the rest of them. I love Diane Lane; I find Amy Adams distracting in a negative way; thought Costner's Kent was as alive as a vampire; and Shannon sucked as General Zod. The action scenes are frenetic. Superman and the other Kryptonians create a lot of property damage during their battles. There is lots of CGI, which is something I wish superhero films would be less dependent on.
Overall, if you can excuse some of the modern comic book movie issues (CGI, bad writing, etc.), this is an enjoyable film to take your inner child or kids to. There are some insults thrown around during Clark's youth that you may want to ask a friend before taking kids under ten. As a popcorn film, the Man of Steel is successful at entertaining undemanding audiences.
2 ½ stars out of five