Now, I am not a Superman fanatic – I’ve seen a lot of the movies and cartoons growing up, but I never really followed his story quite like I did Batman or Spiderman.
Regardless, I knew that there was a great story of origin, and when I heard that Christopher Nolan was going to produce this film, I knew it would be awesome on the scale of his recently completed Dark Knight trilogy.
After watching the midnight premiere and getting home around 3:15 AM, (thanks to no less than 30 minutes of pre-movie trailers…) I know enough to say that Man of Steel is a movie that finally gets a lot of Superman right after many failed previous attempts.
I particularly appreciated the amount of information that the film gives the audience about Kal-El’s origins on Krypton. The audience gets to meet Jor-El, Zod, and the dying world they live on, as well as the gift that Jor-El gives to Kal as he sends him off into deep space. In addition to that, there are flashback scenes that show Kal (now Clark) growing up with his ‘parents’ in Smallville, Kansas. He has to learn to control his powers and not reveal his true form to anyone, although that becomes difficult when his childhood is rife with disasters.
As he matures, he becomes a nomad – working dead end jobs and saving people from nearby disasters, finding it difficult to blend in with society as a result. He is a guardian angel of sorts. As he works his way around the pacific seaboard, he ends up as a cargo carrier in Antarctica and eventually tracks down an exploratory ship from Krypton and accidentally sets a homing beacon off to attract an old enemy – General Zod, so-called savior of the Krypton race.
Solid performances by the cast, incredible visuals, and a powerful score by none other than the insanely talented Hans Zimmer make Man of Steel a well rounded, action packed summer blockbuster.
While there are definitely shortcomings that comic fans can point out (I myself am not well-versed on the subject) I think that one of the biggest shortcomings of the film comes from the fact that so much was crammed into this movie that I don’t know where the story can continue from here. One of the most iconic adversaries and longest plot lines in the Superman universe that I can think of was unceremoniously dispatched. Another sore spot can come from the fact that this movie pulls in plot devices from all over the subject of Superman – including Smallville and many of the cartoons.
It’s a film that’s palatable for the public, but falls short in some areas that I can’t quite put a finger on. I know the comic fans aren’t as happy with the whole thing, but I think the problem I have just comes down to the fact that I still find The Dark Knight to be the greatest superhero film to this day. Good try, good effort, and worth a watch!
Gold Squid Rating