A film which I had no real desire to see was Man Of Steel. I was never a huge fan of the Superman character as he was too perfect and I like my comic book characters to have a little more darkness to them, I’m a huge fan of Judge Dredd, The Punisher, Batman and Blade. I also like what Marvel have done with their characters for their movies which despite being generally positive expose the characters to the daemons and the flaws they have.
So I didn’t really take to the perfect Superman/Clark Kent character that we have seen in the movies. I will just point out that I have not read the comics at all and most of my knowledge comes through the movies and tv.
I could easily watch the Christopher Reeve Superman movies but I was never a fan enough to buy them for my collection. Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns is one that I did buy, but I had not seen it and I brought it more for the fact that Singer had directed it. I’m a fan of Bryan Singer’s work. His Superman Returns isn’t a bad film but it did not really change anything about the world it was set it and I think that is why I never really took to it much, it was still generally the same old Superman.
Now we come to Zach Snyder’s Man Of Steel. I initially saw this at the cinema and on first viewing did enjoy it, especially the beginning of the film but I didn’t fall in love with it. Owning it on Blu-Ray though is where I have truly discovered this movie. This is a whole new film, even though it tells the origins of Superman it did not once make me think of its predecessors. Yes, its telling me the origins of Superman but its doing it in a much more gritty and real way.
The story tells us the journey that Clark Kent goes through from a child struggling to cope with being able to do things that others cant and trying to discover who he is and where he comes from.
At the start of the film we see how his home planet is destroyed as he is still a new born baby and the circumstances that surround his escape from the planet he was born on. This sequence alone is one of the best pieces of filmmaking I have seen in a long time. Russell Crowe plays Jor-El, Superman’s father, and he is really good here. He takes the character and puts a lot of depth and determination into it. What I really enjoyed seeing though was this different world with a different culture and the complexities of its social structure. If I had the money I would go to the Man Of Steel producers and have them make a film out of this prologue because it is a fascinating world they created here. Having not read the comics I don’t know if they ever looked at Krypton in any depth.
Then we see Clark Kent discovering who he is. I’d not seen anything with Henry Cavill in before this and I thought he played Superman and his alter ego of Clark Kent really well. He shows strength, humility, weakness and a sense of humour. The actors that play the younger Clark do a very believable job as well.
The rest of the film is mainly focused on seeing how the U.S. Government, in particular the military, react to Superman and the alien spaceship which has appeared in orbit demanding that Kal-El (his birth name) is handed back to them and the big epic fight to save the earth from these aliens.
A giant epic battle at the end of the film is to be expected with a movie like this. It’s the style of the movie and the fresh take of this character and world that finally made me a fan of Superman. In Man Of Steel we see what a struggle Clark Kent had as a child and the difficulties he faces when he has to step up and become the hero that we think of when we hear the word Superman.
Man Of Steel does have its flaws but none that are really stand out, aside from it being very loud at times. Trying to find a decent volumn when watching at home is difficult. Too low and the dialogue is difficult to hear and if you turn it up the sound effects can be a little too much.
Amy Adams as Lois Lane is very convincing, she shows a lot of determination, even to the point of irritating early on. Michael Shannon as General Zod eats the role up and dosent apologise for doing what he thinks is right. I thought he made Zod a very strong and determined character. I really enjoyed seeing Kevin Costner on the big screen again, he is very humble and clear thinking as Jonathan Kent. I wasn’t as convinced by Diane Lane as Martha Kent but she was okay.
We didn’t get enough of Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White but there was a lot of story that was put into this movie so I understand why he didn’t get much screen time. I’m hoping we see more of him in the next film. There’s a character called Colonel Nathan Hardy in the film, I don’t recall hearing his name mentioned but he plays a military, air force I think, officer who we see early on and throughout the film. He is played by Christopher Meloni and I really liked his character. He was very likable and was not just a random military officer. Antje Traue played Faora-Ul, Zod’s second in command and she was very good. Each time she was on the screen she all but stole it.
Zach Snyder led a production which lead to a very good movie, we don’t see the Superman we have seen before. The character feels a lot more real and I’m looking forward to seeing the sequel and where they take Superman and the world he lives in.