The following is a review of the Superman movie Man of Steel by Emmett Williams. If you would like to contribute a review, article, video, or anything else geek media related, just follow the instructions here!
Itʼs always an exciting and strange thing to go to the midnight premiere of a reboot of a franchise that you were never a fan of or interested in at all. Itʼs like having a fresh set of eyes, completely unbiased, watching the movie, which is something we should strive for in all mediums, whether they be games, ﬁlms, or even music, a fresh, unbiased outside look can be very useful.
Itʼs hard not to compare Man of Steel with Star Trek: Into Darkness at ﬁrst glance. They both retell classic stories from their history, both set up a human, sympathetic side to the villain, and while those are both signiﬁcant, Man of Steel turned out to be strong enough to set itself apart from the endless stream of superhero movies that is still going strong this year.
Man of Steel is actually more of a re-imagining than a reboot, presenting us with the origin story that we already know, while showing us some scenes that bring out a very “The Incredibles” vibe of hiding what makes you special until the right time. In one memorable scene, Kal-El has to struggle with data overload: he can see through skin and walls, he hears everything magniﬁed, and itʼs too much. This also introduces his parents, who remain major characters throughout the ﬁlm, providing us with ﬂashbacks to important lessons and giving comfort to Kal-El later on in the movie.
The villain this time is General Zod, a fellow Kryptonian who was born a warrior with the sole purpose of serving Krypton and ensuring its survival. Heʼs not really a BAD guy, more of a misguided antihero. This is where one of the comparisons with Star Trek: Into Darkness comes into play. Unfortunately for Man of Steel, Benedict Cumberbatch easily “outacts” Michael Shannonʼs Zod as Khan. This isnʼt really a fair comparison, though. It would be more appropriate to say that none of the acting is anything to write home about, with a few exceptions such as Kevin Costnerʼs role as Jonathan Kent, Supermanʼs adopted father.
As far as plot goes, itʼs all well done, internally consistent, layered with the sort of depth that sets up the franchise for further entries, Batman-style. Itʼs no surprise that Christopher Nolanʼs name shows up at least once in the credits. Kryptonite is reimagined as the atmospheric differences between Krypton and Earth: Superman is weaker in Kryptonʼs atmosphere, Zod is stronger in Earthʼs, putting all the Kryptonians on more or less equal footing physically. Superman is forced throughout the movie to make tough decisions, and he steps up admirably and uncompromisingly. There are no cop-outs in this movie, and thatʼs a real compliment from me, especially after seeing Iron Man 3 and Oblivion throw away their potential.
Overall, I donʼt regret the ticket price this time, and if I had to, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Itʼs the kind of movie thatʼs really a lot better in the theater.