“Man of Steel” | Movie Review

Grade: (B)

Taking the Superman story back to its origins, this reboot will help you remember why he is the iconic superhero that has spanned several decades.

Comic book movies are more popular than ever and one of the most famous heroes of all time is without question Superman. After a few disappointing showings dating back to the early 80’s, he was brought back to life in the summer of 2013 with the highly anticipated “Man of Steel”. This film is a reboot of the heroes story beginning with his birth, and continues as he grows to a man and deals with the good and bad of having the abilities he possesses. Short of revealing even the lowest level of spoilers I will leave the plot description at that.

With the roll of America’s favorite superhero on the table you could think of dozens of actors you would expect to receive the role of Superman before you would think of Henry Cavill (Immortals 2011), but in the end he delivered relatively well in his portrayal of the legendary hero. He played both sides of the split personality effectively, although not to the levels Christopher Reeves did.

The supporting cast around him is great, quiet possibly in the event Cavill would not carry the lead, the rest of the cast would bring strong performances to fill the script. Russell Crowe (Gladiator 2000), Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves 1990), Amy Adams (American Hustle 2013), Diane Lane (Unfaithful 2002) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix 1999) all gave intriguing performances.

Michael Shannon (The Iceman 2012) was the surprise of the film in the villainous role of General Zod. Some say a film is only as good as the bad guy, and if so, Shannon delivered a rage-filled performance as he set out on his mission to destroy Superman and he gave the film a true comic feel of hero versus villain. During some scenes in the film his delivery is more visual with his sinister facial expressions and posturing rather than mere dialogue and the result was a truly captivating antagonist.

Cavill in my opinion did not steal the show, but he was solid and believable as he delivered enough impact. For being a literal unknown, to take on the mass of a project such as the “Man of Steel”, Cavill delivered an enjoyable representation of Superman. A performance that ultimately brought the DC Comic film-world back to life as it attempts to pull some of the masses that the Marvel films have generated in recent years.

The special-effects in the film are top notch as you would expect them to be. Overall the destruction is on a massive scale (which drew a large amount of backlash from some faithful fans and critics) but to sit back and take it in is more than entertaining. It’s all the chaotic destruction and damage you would expect from two men with no weaknesses that wanted nothing more than to destroy one another. The entire theme of the fight-sequences between Superman and General Zod is filled with power and anger, and showcases some great scene organization. The results provide for some stunning visuals that will make able to say you saw something fresh and new, amid the standard movie action-scenes of films today.

The script did an excellent job in my opinion of weaving the sections of Superman/Clark Kent’s life into one well organized and seamless story-line. The was a smooth back and forth between the past on Krypton, his life on the farm, as well as his troubles growing up and the current day issue that was the main plot. For a film with a long run-time a good pace is a savior, and it was in this one.

Never was I bored and there were never any dull moments that lingered. The pace held steady and added doses of great action that would ultimately escalate to massive scale destruction in the climax that has you up in your seat without a doubt. Most important the films final climax did not disappoint and despite the many critics opinions, it was fun to sit back and watch the ferocity of the sequences as General Zod and Superman went at it almost turning the third-act into something more along the lines of a disaster film. On the downside I saw it in 3D and was not too impressed with the depth, or the eye-popping moments where things come alive like in other films. At times I forgot I was watching in it 3D which usually isn’t a good thing.

Overall the “Man of Steel” is a great movie and does a thorough job of re-introducing Superman to new waves of movie-goer’s. While at the same time it managed to add some differences in the same old story that made it fresh and thought-provoking. There is no doubt in my mind this is the best Superman film since “Superman: The Movie” in 1978 and I hope the quality continues. If you see this movie you will most likely not be disappointed at all and will be looking forward to the next DC release as they continue to expand a universe filled with cross-over films of their own.