For the most part this will be a spoiler free review, with a few specific spoilers at the end of the post, but you will be warned. For the bulk of the post however I will be talking about stuff seen in the movie trailers and previews leading up to the film. So there will be some characters and plot points referenced, so if you have been holding out completely on finding out anything about the film there may be some spoilers for you. But I will not get into plot point specifics, and will generalize as much as I can. So here we go:
I really liked this movie. I would go so far as to say it is my favorite Superman film ever made. Henry Cavill was excellent as Kal-El/Superman. Russell Crowe was phenomenal as Jor-El/Superman's 'real' Dad. Kevin Costner was superb as 'Pa' Kent. Amy Adams made an excellent Lois Lane, red hair and all. And finally Michael Shannon made for an excellent General Zod. All in all the casting was amazing.
This is an origin story and they did a great job telling us where Superman came from. Problem is the writers and Zach Snyder should have kept this a origin story, instead of turning the last half of the movie into a knock down super battle. Not that theres anything wrong with a cool super hero battle movie, but it was just too soon.
Lets back up a bit. From what I remember the first 2 Christopher Reeve 'Superman' films were actually written as one movie. First half was to introduce Superman, Krypton, Zod, Lex Luthor and the second half was to be the big battle for Earth. But for budget and timing reasons they split the story into two films which worked. But for this film the filmmakers put both elements together (minus Lex Luthor) and as a result we have a film that was great to start, then turned good (and cluttered) for the second half.
Again it seemed like the filmmakers were trying to put too much into this first film. No doubt under pressure to perform in a big way to ensure a sequel and perhaps a lead up to a JLA film. It again was still a good film and a feast for the eyes, but at times it was almost too much to follow and felt too heavy.
All in all I loved this film. It could have been better, but overall it was a satisfying return of Superman to the big screen, with a sequel from what I understand has already been green lit.
**** 4 stars out of 5 is the rating I give 'Man of Steel'. Go see this film. Seeing it on the big screen was definitely awesome!
SPOILER ZONE: NOW I WILL BE GETTING INTO SOME SPECIFICS ABOUT THE FILM ITSELF.
I did have a few nitpicks I wanted to get off my chest:
- Too much story for an origin film: Again this film should have focused on the rise of Clark Kent and his eventual role as 'Superman' and defender of the Earth. But no sooner does he get the suit and he's fighting off a Zod invasion. Again Zod should have been saved for the sequel and only seen in the flashbacks on Krypton. Lex Luthor should have been the big bad for an origin story.
- Smallville and Metropolis sure do take a beating in these films. Superman's battle with Zod saw skyscrapers taken down to the ground...what about the people in the buildings??? I know there was supposed to have been an evacuation but still there had to be someone left in them or near them that would have been killed. Yet Kal-El & Zod battle and buildings are crushed all over the place and your telling me there are no casualties? In the comics Superman would have went out of his way to ensure the safety of innocents. He would have led Zod away from civilians, not engaged him in battle. True this is a rookie Superman, but you think at the end of the film the death toll would be front page news and people despite being saved by Supes would be questioning how he went about saving them with little regard to human life. At least that is how I felt watching this battle of titans.
- I liked how Lois used her investigative instincts to actually find Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent. It never made sense to me that Lois would never figure out they are the same person, with her being this world famous investigative journalist and all. So I was happy they threw that out the window. However at the end of the film 'Clark Kent' decides to work at the Dailey Planet. Why? If you really were Superman and you wanted to help people why would you not make being Superman your fulltime job? When not battling villains he could use his powers to bring food to the hungry, stop people with nuclear weapons, put out forest fires, etc. Why waste time pretending to be a regular person at a regular job? It's an outdated notion that I was hoping the filmmakers were getting away from.
Well that's all I got folks. It is a good film and worth watching for sure. I will be watching 'Pacific Rim' & ' The Wolverine' later this summer, so expect reviews on them. Till next time, see you in the future!