Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its the man of steel, my review.

Posted: June 23, 2013 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film
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Here is my review of “Man of Steel” which I saw at the Odeon Cinema in Stoke today (Released on 14th June 2013).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

I have been looking forward to this reboot of superman for a while. For me Christopher Reeve is Superman so I was keen to find out what director Zack Snyder would do.  And in fact it was the first time I have taken my 5 (nearly 6) old son to the cinema. Like me, he is a huge fan of super hero movies. So, I will also tell you what he thought as well.

The film starts on the the planet Krypton. It faces imminent destruction due to its unstable core, and its ruling council is under the threat of rebel General Zod and his followers. Scientist Jor-El (played by the brilliant Russell Crowe) and his wife save their naturally conceived newborn son Kal-El by placing him on a spacecraft to Earth, infusing his cels with a genetic codex to preserve the Kryptonian race. After Zod murders Jor-El for stealing the codex, he and his followers are captured by Kryptonian soldiers and banished to the Phantom Zone. However, peace is short as Krypton explodes afterwards while the mourning Lara helplessly watches before dying with her planet.

The infant Kal-El is raised as the adopted son of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent, who name him Clark. Clark’s Kryptonian physiology gives him superhuman abilities on Earth, which initially cause him confusion and ostracization, but he gradually learns to harness his powers to help others. Jonathan reveals to a teenage Clark that he is an alien, and advises him to not use his powers publicly, fearing that society will reject him. After Jonathan’s death during a tornado, an adult Clark (played by Henry Cavill) spends several years living a nomadic lifestyle, working different jobs under false names.

He eventually infiltrates the scientific discovery in the Arctic of a Kryptonian scout spaceship. Clark enters the alien ship and it allows him to communicate with the preserved consciousness of Jor-El in the form of a hologram where he finds out about his origins. Lois Lane, a journalist from the Daily Planet who was sent to make a story on the discovery, sneaks inside the ship while following Clark and is rescued by him when she is injured by the ship’s automated defences. Lois’s editor Perry White rejects her story of a “superhuman” rescuer, so she traces Clark back to Kansas with the intention of writing an exposé. After hearing his story, she decides not to reveal his secret.

Having been freed from the Phantom Zone when Krypton exploded, Zod and his followers seek out other colony worlds only to find the Kryptonian inhabitants all deceased. They eventually follow a Kryptonian distress signal that was sent from the ship discovered in the Arctic, and triangulate it to Earth. Zod demands that humans surrender Kal-El, who he believes has the codex, to him or humanity will suffer the consequences. Clark agrees to surrender to the U.S. military, who  in turn hand Lois and Clark over to Zod’s second-in-command, Faora.

Zod reveals that he intends to use a terraforming “world engine” to transform Earth into a new Krypton, eradicating the human population in the process, and to use the codex inside Clark to repopulate the planet with genetically-engineered Kryptonians.

Clark and Lois manage to escape Zod’s ship with the help of Jor-El’s spirit. There follows a mammoth battle between Clark and General Zod’s followers leaving a trail of destruction in their path. Clark manages to defeat Faora in Kansas and convinces the military that he is on their side.

Zod in turn deploys the world engine and initiates the terraforming in Metropolis and over the Indian Ocean.

Clark, now dubbed “Superman”, manages to stop the world engine in the Indian Ocean. And the military uses the spacecraft that brought Clark to Earth in an aerial strike on Zod’s ship over Metropolis, returning Zod’s crew to the Phantom Zone. However Zod escapes, and he and Clark engage each other in an amazing battle across Metropolis. In the battle Superman is forced to kill General Zod to stop his rampage.

Some time later, Superman continues to earn the U.S. government’s trust, although evading their efforts to spy on him to uncover his secret identity. To create an alias that gives him access to dangerous situations without arousing suspicion, Clark takes a job as a timid, bespectacled reporter at the Daily Planet.

So what did I think?

Well, this was a fantastic film. Russell Crowe was excellent in his role. He portrayed the perfect elements of poise, honor and compassion that one would expect from Superman’s father. Also Kevin Costner was also really good as Mr Kent. It was very sad when he sacrificed himself to protect Clarks Identity.

Michael Shannon was brilliant as Zod. He was extremely villainous and ruthless. And, in the end we were able to understand his motivation. In one short scene, he was able to make everyone understand the culture of the Kryptonian people, which was missing from the original Superman movies. Before we never understood Zod as anything more than a monster.

Laurence Fishburne as Perry is great. Amy Adams as Lois is ok but doesn’t really get a whole lot  to do. And the rest of cast did a superb job.

But I loved Henry Cavill as Superman.  He was brilliant and stole the show as he rightly should. Not only was he dashingly hot and sexy (according to my wife) with his bulging muscles, but Henry was able to portray his character as an innocent, caring, and people oriented person. And at the same time, he was amazingly strong and courageous. He has taken this role as his own and I can’t wait for any sequels. My only gripe is that Superman’s infancy and arrival on earth is mostly told out of order, which at times can be confusing. However, in doing so it reveals a bit more at various times of Superman’s life.

The effects were jaw dropping.  They were truly awesome. I really enjoyed watching the action sequences, explosions and the battle sequences between superman and the other Kryptonians.  It made you realise just how “god” like these beings were.  The choreography is stunning, making for some brilliant bone crunching fight sequences.  Snyder has seriously raised the bar for superhero films and provided much needed competition to the Marvel superhero films.   And unlike the original superman films the violence is real and people die.

Don’t get me wrong I liked the old Superman films, but there’s no denying how dated they have become when compared to this. I have covered this previously. Read my blog, rebooting classics. So in my opinion the “Man of Steel” has successfully reinvented Superman for a modern audience.

In summary, I loved it.  It was a brilliant brilliant brilliant movie :). What more can I say?

But most importantly my son, Oscar, thought the movie was BRILLIANT too. He was transfixed in his seat for the duration of the film, which was well over 2 hours, so it must have been good.  He couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards and when I asked him what he thought the best bit was he said it was when Superman killed Zod. So there you go, a film enjoyed by all the family :).

Oh, and there definitely isn’t a post-credits scene which is a shame. So don’t wait around during the credits as we did.

Anyway, what do you think?

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