Thursday, June 20, 2013
Ever since I had watched that final scene in The Matrix, where Neo takes off in flight, I knew the special effects were there and just waiting for a good Superman script to allow it life. But, alas, it seemed as if it was never meant to be.
Enter Christopher Nolan, giving Batman new life with his Dark Knight trilogy and cementing his roots into the filmmaking ground while making tons of money for Warner Bros. in the process. He could do no wrong in the eyes of the WB execs and was allowed free reign with any project of his choosing. So when it was announced that he would “godfather” a new Superman film as a producer, I had some small hope starting to grow inside me. Little by little, over the last couple of years, we heard tidbits of info, a not-too-interesting teaser trailer that had risen doubt in my mind, and finally a full-fledged trailer that made me curious, until Man of Steel was released to us…
Yes, after over 30 years of a Superman drought, we get Zack Snyder and David Goyer’s vision—or shall I say reimagining—of the DC superhero that may be setting the upcoming Justice League movie on its way to us.
But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves. First, let’s get into Man of Steel…
…without spoilers, I promise.
To synopsize, the film is a complete reboot, starting with the origin of Superman/Kal-El, as he’s born on the alien world of Krypton. As war begins on the planet, his parents, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara (Ayelet Zurer), knowing that their planet is doomed—because of the pending destruction that led to the war initiated by Genral Zod (Michael Shannon) and his soldiers—they send their son off into space to reach the planet of Earth for a chance to live out his life. As General Zod, along with his remaining soldiers, is arrested and tried for his crimes, he’s sentenced to the Phantom Zone. On Earth, the adult Kal-El (Henry Cavill), not knowing his origin and identifying himself as Clark Kent, raised by Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), is on a journey, taking odd jobs around the country, to find out who he really is. As his journey comes to an end and he finds out who he is, he then finds himself at odds with our country’s military and a returning threat that found its way from Krypton: General Zod.
I didn’t want to give away too much about this film, which is why I went with a quick plot summary and didn’t give away too much detail on the story. But going into this movie, I was completely mesmerized from start to finish.
I felt there was a good balance while the story played out and moving to Kal-El/Clark’s adult years as he travels the country, trying to find his way on earth. I mention balance, because there are equal parts of present-day story, as well as flashback scenes to Clark growing up in Smallville.
Now I have to admit, at first, Henry Cavill, as Superman, was a concern for me going into this. When I found out the character—being such an American icon—was being played by a British actor, it sort of bothered me. But by the time we see him play out the first heroic act in the film, I was totally okay with him and his portrayal, looking forward to upcoming sequels and the planned Justice League movie.
Kevin Costner really turns in a great performance as Jonathan Kent and I actually wish we had more of his character interacting with the actors playing the 9-year-old and 13-year-old Clark Kent (Cooper Timberline and Dylan Sprayberry respectively). But the flashback scenes we get from him were stellar accomplishments and made us understand how he—as well as Diane Lane as Martha Kent—was a key character in Clark’s upbringing.
Finally, Amy Adams as Lois Lane was really interesting and the character arc was something we’ve never seen in any Superman incarnation on television or film. The chemistry between Adams and Cavill was
Rounding out the cast in Man of Steel: Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Antje Traue as Zod’s right-hand woman Faora-Ul, Harry Lennix as General Swanwick, Richard Schiff as Dr. Emil Hamilton, and Christopher Meloni as Colonel Nathan Hardy.
So, what’s my final “bit” on Man of Steel?
Watch out, Marvel…DC is making a comeback!
Thanks for reading!
You can reach me on Twitter: @CinemaBits
at 5:59:00 AM