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Man of Steel

Man of Steel 2013

More than any other movie this summer, the one I’ve been looking forward to the most was Man of Steel, and at least right now just getting home from the theater, it did not disappoint. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but my hopes were high coming off of all the glorious trailers and the incredible cast. Even though it was treading on yet another origin story, I was willing to go with it. With Zack Snyder behind the helm, I was hoping for some visually amazing battles, and with Christopher Nolan overseeing the story, I was hoping for some real character depth. In my opinion, I got both. There may be some problems that come into my head after the fact, but at the moment I just had an amazing time at the movie theater, this review will likely have some spoilers so if you haven’t seen the movie. Go see it! Then come back and read my thoughts on it.

Man of Steel

The opening sequence starts off with a bang, spending a lot of time on planet Krypton before it’s destruction. Russell Crowe as Jor-El is absolutely fantastic as the Kyrptonian scientist warning the council of the planet’s impending doom and even has a few great fight scenes. The visuals on Krypton itself are gorgeous. I loved the not-so-little creature designs and the look of the floating metal computers. Crowe’s later portrayal as the pseudo-holographic Jor-El was also just as great both with his moments with his son as well as the funny sequence in Zod’s ship with Lois, and his sort-of showdown with Zod at the end.

In these superhero movies, the strength of the movie is often determined by the strength of the villain, and this movie has two great villains. Technically there is essentially the same three generals as there were in the first two Superman movies. But instead of being named Ursa, the female second in command was name Faora, and Non was essentially just a large Kryptonian who was never even seen outside of his armor, he was just much larger than Faora. And like in Superman II, I think I enjoyed Faora more than Zod, especially the little face-offs with the Colonel. But Zod, while a little over the top at times had a great presence about him, and his actions felt justified based on the way Krypton was presented in the movie. Zod was born and bred to protect Krypton and its people as a soldier. I initially thought that the entire plan of terraforming Earth to become more like Krypton was an odd choice considering that it would reduce their abilities. But as a soldier with a singular focus, it makes sense that he would want Krypton back as close as possible to the way it was, because that’s what he knows and that is what he was sworn to protect.

The one thing that this movie gets right head and shoulders above any previous movie, and even many superhero movies in the past several years is the fight scenes. This is how Superman rolls yo. The super speed effect used here looks beautiful and feels more accurate. There’s no long motion blur, and yet there’s still a sense of movement from one place to another, it doesn’t feel like they’re teleporting, it looks like they are movie as fast as a Kryptonian should. On top of that, the level of collateral destruction is that of a Roland Emmerich disaster film. But where those movies were just about the spectacle, this movie has the spectacle as well as the story and characters to back them up.

There are a few changes to the Superman mythos in this movie, and I have to say that I agree with them. At least at this point in time. The first big one is that Lois Lane lives up to her star reporter title immediately. She tracks down Superman’s secret identity before he even has his superhero identity. I really like the way that the early part of the movie handled his young adulthood as a drifter who can’t resist helping people in danger with his abilities thus forcing him to move on. There was also the matter of Jonathan Kent, which was hinted at during the moment in the trailer where young Clark asks if he should have just let the kids in the bus die rather than reveal his strength to them and he says “maybe”. For this Jonathan Kent, the most important thing is to protect his family, and in order for him to do that, Clark must keep his secret at all costs. And that even comes into play during a later emotional flashback which I thought fit perfectly with the way Pa Kent was set up.

There is a bit of non-linear storytelling, though I felt it was kept to a minimum. It’s generally just several flashbacks at various points in his childhood. I also really liked all the little touches that fans of Superman can spot, like his childhood friends Pete Ross and Lana Lang, as well as various Lexcorp trucks in the background. I even recognized Lumbard as one of the reporters at the Daily Planet who was also in All-Star Superman. There were also a few other names that sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place my finger on them. I really hope that this movie does well at the box office, because I feel this is a very strong start for a franchise. I loved it and can’t wait to see it again. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.

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About Bubbawheat

I'm a comic book movie enthusiast who has watched and reviewed over 300 superhero and comic book movies in the past four years, my goal is to continue to find and watch and review every superhero movie ever made.

Posted on June 15, 2013, in 10's movies, DC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. For me, this film had some flaws that kept it from being a truly great Superman film… but I definitely enjoyed it. You’re absolutely right about this film getting the spectacle right, and I also liked the change of Lois knowing about Clark before he’s even hired by the Daily Planet (loved the “Welcome to the Planet” line at the end, too.)

    It’s a good film, and I think it does a good job of laying the foundation for sequels and — finally — the DC Cinematic Universe.

    • I can see some flaws for people coming to the movie from different backgrounds. It is a different take on Superman, but it’s one that I completely enjoyed. And I think it makes a great foundation for the new DC Universe, especially the way they handled the Sci-Fi aspects, which DC has in abundance.

  2. I forgot to write about the metallic computer thingys on Krypton. I meant to because they were great. I also agree about Lane being an actual reporter rather than damsel in distress.

    Glad you liked the movie. Of the reviews I’ve read, the ones who seem to be enjoying the movie most are those who have a history with the character. It’s nice then that the film makers were thinking of them. I still can’t say I enjoyed it though.

    • But at the same time, a lot of people with a history with the character take offense at the decision made at the end with Zod. I like my mythologies to be loose, and I appreciate when people take a new look at the same characters. If everything was the same, what’s the point of doing it again?

  3. Glad you liked it Bubba. I enjoyed this movie for all the reasons you mentioned. Despite the flaws that everyone, (myself included) noticed… it’s still a god movie, and probably the best live action Superman adaptation we could’ve gotten.

    I also mention in my Review how they respected the character of Lane and led her to finding out the truth. I loved that they got rid of the whiney, back and forth love story elements of ‘will they won’t they’ in this movie. It was great!

    • I’m not a fan of drawing out the relationship longer than needed, but I also thought this movie went a little too far on the other side of things and didn’t think they needed to kiss already. Just a minor thing in the grand scheme of things though, still totally loved it.

  4. Glad you liked it man and you know my thoughts 😀

    Good review, bring on the sequels 😀

  5. I’m afraid I disagree with you about Lois, I thought her portrayal was pointless. Take her out of the movie and I don’t think it would have made any difference. I did like the story on Krypton and the film certainly was spectacular, however I did get bored with the endless destruction of buildings with no thought to the death of innocents; not very Superman I thought.

    • See, I don’t have a problem with all the destruction, though I can see that it’s partially the problem with it trying to be more realistic, and yet it wants to keep the comic book/animation mass destruction that happens constantly in other mediums. I didn’t have a problem with it at all.

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