Saturday, June 15, 2013

Movie Review : Man of Steel

DC tries once again to resurrect the Superman franchise and finally hits one out of the ballpark with this reboot.

Movie jumps right into the action with the finally days of Krypton. We see head scientist Jor-El ( Russell Crowe ) in disagreement with the government on what course they should take pertaining to their dying planet. Jor-El's opinion is brushed aside by them and then by the military leader General Zod ( Michael Shannon ). During the planet's final moments Jor-El and his wife get their son Kal-El ne Superman ( Henry Cavill ) prepped to escape and hopefully live a full life. General Zod is sentenced to space jail for his actions towards the leaders of Krypton and with Kal-El escape the planet's demise.

Kal-El crashes to Earth and is found by Jonathan Kent ( Kevin Costner ) and his wife Martha ( Diane Lane ). They take in as their own and name him Clark. We see Clark's childhood as anything but normal. He knows he is different and yet tries to blend in with the help of his parents. Difficult is the life of a super powered child. Clark grows up to be an outsider floating from job to job until something happens that requires him to use his powers which in turn makes him move on.

While the government is investigating something that is frozen in the Aortic, Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane ( Amy Adams ) shows up on scene to see what exactly the government has on their hands. Clark is also on hand and we see the connection between what is buried in the ice and his past. Clark again is pressed to help and this time it happens to be Lois. After the incident Lois takes makes it her personal mission to find out who this Clark is and what and where he comes from. Answers lead to Clark's Kansas home Smallville. At least this rendition of Superman does not insult Lois's intelligence and she knows Clark and Superman are one and the same and a pair of glasses masks everything.

Soon General Zod makes his presence known and we find out that with Krypton's collapse he escaped his life sentence in prison. He has come to Earth to acquire Kal-El to revive Krypton's race. General Zod's plan is finally revealed to be that he wants to convert Earth to able to sustain Krypton type life which would take out our race. Superman obviously confronts him and his army on each front with the help of American military who have learned to trust him. Superman, Lois and friends figure out the only way the can save their planet is to exile Zod and his cronies and that they must send them back where they came from. Metropolis takes a beating in the wake of the many air and land battles. In the end Superman is faced with the decision of having to kill Zod to preserve human life or even though someone is evil all life is to be respected. Zod's plan is stopped but at what cost to everyone involved.

Verdict: Finally a good Superman movie. I am more of a Marvel with DC characters not named Batman taking a back seat to my tastes in geeky movies. Kevin and Russell are supporting characters and give their best performances in years. Maybe a career switch like this can do both of them good. Amy well decent just didn't fit my mental picture of who Lois should be and for me just didn't click. Still like her as an actress but just not in this movie. Henry does well in his role as not much is asked of him. The star of the flick though is the main villain Michael playing Zod. Anyone that knows him from the HBO series Boardwalk Empire knows he would fit this role perfectly. In the long run we know DC is going the same route as Marvel and wants to set up all their heroes in individual movies before getting them together in one and in this case it would be the Justice League. Their version of the Avengers. I went in with lower expectations due to past failures of the character and the general less interest in DC and came out looking forward to what DC is trying to do here. The movie moves at a brisk pace and the special effects are top notch. Can't ask for more from a superhero flick. Not my favorite movie of the summer but for sure one that gets a THUMBS UP to see on the big screen.

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