The long awaited, and much anticipated reboot to the Superman franchise has finally been released to the world. “Man of Steel” has been hyped up since the first teaser trailer was released a year ago, and the hype kept building with each incredible trailer that was released since then. Warner Bros. made every effort to make sure that the people knew from the start that Christopher Nolan (producer) was involved with this film, as most fans know him as the God who revitalized the Batman franchise. Although Christopher Nolan did have a say in the making of this film, this is very much director Zack Snyder’s film as he converted the writing of David S. Goyer into a visual masterpiece.
Before I continue with my review of “Man of Steel,” let me address a couple of things that I keep reading from critics who are not pleased with the film. There are a couple of points that the critics keep throwing out there that seemed to have ruined the movie for them. The first is that there is too much action. Too much action, you say? Please. After years and years of complaining that the previous Superman films didn’t have enough action, the critics have the nerve to now ask for less? The critics and the fans have been craving for a Superman film that would allow us to see what power he’s truly capable of displaying. Superman is, well, super human, and any confrontation that he has with a being of equal strength will certainly be a violent and disastrous encounter. Superman versus several super villains? Even more destructive. What the critics don’t seem to understand, and what Snyder, Nolan and Goyer have been telling people since day one, is that this is a “what if” movie. What if Superman appeared in a realistic world and had to fight off a super army in order to protect mankind? Would there not be destruction and death? Of course there would. Superman can’t save everybody, and as much as some critics like to think of Superman as being almighty and not letting a single soul perish, the reality is that in the heat of a battle, it’s just impossible.
The second thing that I keep hearing from critics is that it’s not wholesome and campy like the Donner film of 78. Well, duh! This isn’t a Donner film; it’s a Zach Snyder film and his take on this legendary superhero. This is its own movie. Any comparison with this imagining and the Donner film is just ridiculous and should really be ignored. Again, you wanted action? You got it. And now that you got it, you don’t want it? Hmm, I’m so confused.
Snyder makes use of visual effects very well, and completely immerses the viewer in a world (Krypton) that completely awakens the imagination. This new depiction of Krypton is something I’ve never seen before (besides a couple issues in the comics), and really captures some of the culture and technology of the Kryptonian world. One could get the sense that Krypton could really exist in our reality, and that perhaps Earth may look similar (in terms of technology) one day in the future.
The story is told in a non-linear fashion as it uses a great deal of flashbacks, and this works perfectly in getting the story of Superman across to the audience. It allows for a certain flow to the movie that prevents it from dragging and helps keep the viewers to follow along in its entirety. It’s a creative and refreshing new way of storytelling for a superhero movie.
Man of Steel is full of suspense, drama, and of course it packs a lot of action into the two and half hours of film time. The action, as I mentioned, is a welcome addiction for any hardcore Superman fan that’s been drooling at the mouth for a good Superman fight for decades. With Superman Returns leaving much to be desired, the fans have finally received what they’ve been asking for. Superman takes on Zod and his army all by himself, and takes a pretty good beating in the process. A couple of times throughout the movie, he takes on three of Zod’s soldiers at once and gets punished for it as a result. The destruction that ensues during the fight scenes is exactly what one would expect to see when God-like figures do battle on Earth. Sorry critics, buildings aren’t made of rubber. There’s mass destruction, so deal with it.
There are a couple of moments in the film that seemed awkward, or forced, but it’s nothing too bad and definitely doesn’t take anything away from the film. Overall this is a very solid Superman movie, and definitely a great way to start the new franchise. The potential to build from this movie is so great that it’s exciting to see what they do next. Rumor has it that both Snyder and Goyer have already signed on to do the sequels, so that’s definitely great news.
I give “Man of Steel” a solid A.