Synopsis: Get reacquainted with one of America’s first superheroes as Clark Kent /Superman (Henry Cavill) faces off against his first foe, General Zod (Michael Shannon).
Review: With Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) producing and co-writing Man of Steel, it was well known that this reboot movie would be darker than any Superman movie that we have ever seen. We also knew that with Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) directing the film, the special effects and cinematography would be top notch.
This film begins with a great back story that involves Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) and how Krypton ended up being destroyed and how Zod (Shannon) was sent to the Phantom Zone.
After that the film jumps to an adult Clark Kent (Cavill) with flashbacks throughout his childhood. These include many scenes involving Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), that also show a little bit of a different take on Clark’s upbringing that wasn’t portrayed before. Instead of being a jock like in the normal canon, Clark is a social outcast and the Smallville residents know something is different about him.
We then see Clark working in some arctic location with Colonel Hardy (Christopher Meloni) and Dr. Emil Hamilton (Richard Schiff) when he finds a Kryptonian ship that helps him find out who he is from the hologram of his father. This is also when he meets Lois Lane (Amy Adams) for the first time. However, because Clark re-enacts the Kryptonian ship, it allows Zod to find him on Earth.
Zod demands that Clark (or Kal-El, his given Kryptonian name) surrender to Zod and that Earth will remain free. It is then that Clark takes his Superman persona and that the epic battle happens.
WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW
Man of Steel is a much more grounded film than Superman Returns or anything else from the previous incarnations. There is still some of the trademark humor and the playfulness that you would expect, however this origin story does work well as a companion to Batman Begins.
The film changes a bit of things. Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) is now played by an African-American. That isn’t too big of a deal. But instead of Jimmy Olsen, we get his sister Jenny.
And the biggest of big changes is that Superman kills someone. Superman doesn’t kill people. This might be the first kill that leads him to never kill again, but it was something that no one expected in the film.
While the film is leaps and bounds (get the reference?) over what many expected, the film does seem to have been done in a 3D gimmicky way, that gets a bit distracting. But overall, the film is epic.
Final Grade: 9.0/10