In a lot of my posts I talked about Man of Steel, so I figured I should give my thoughts on this adaptation of the greatest hero of them all.
I first saw the actor for Kal-El and thought he looked okay, the shot of him in front of the vault looked off but then I saw Henry Cavill in the first trailer for the film and I was blown away on how much he looked like Superman. Henry Cavill combined with Zack Snyder, my all time favorite filmmaker, along with David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan, made the perfect combination. Also what really intrigued me was Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner, two of my favorite actors, both as the fathers of Superman... by that point I was sold. I consider Superman to be my favorite fictional character and I'll explain later why but I bring it up here because it was the reason I was excited for this movie, I went to the theater the day after if premiered and when I walked out of that theater it completely blew me away. This movie is one of my all time favorite movies now if not my favorite.
I usually don't care if the CGI is good or bad but I have to give props here, the CGI of this movie is absolutely stunning. Everything from Krypton to Kal-El flying all over Earth looked real and that's not something I say a lot. The designs of the Kryptonian technology would make H.R. Geiger weep with jealousy from how great it is.
Before Man of Steel, my definitive Superman was Tim Daly's version from Superman the Animated Series but that spot has been usurped by Henry Cavill; this man astounded me on how perfectly he played Kal-El (yes I call him Kal-El because the name Superman is mentioned once through the entire movie). What made a large majority of this movie great was the combination of Cavill's performance and the writing of the character; see, the reason why I love Superman so much is because the character is meant to be a kind hearted man who can destroy planets if he wanted to but instead speaks for peace and tries to refrain from fighting. But if his planet is threatened he will fight to the death to protect the people that he loves: humans. Man of Steel handled this perfectly in my opinion, when Kal-El is on his journey he learns that some people aren't perfect but he'll fight for them anyway and even teach them a lesson. This is shown in a funny scene in the movie:
Kal-El is working at a bar when this drunk trucker insults him then pours beer all over him. Now most people with that kind of power would kill that man or leave him to die but instead, Kal leaves then busts his truck. You can make the argument that Kal made a bad move there but I see like I said is that he teaches him a lesson not to be a jerk to people.
Now in most versions of the character, Kal is already a great man and hero, so he didn't need to go on a life finding journey to discover if humanity is worth protecting. I liked what Snyder and Goyer did, they took a character that was morally straight and gave him layers; he questions why he should protect humanity and why he should be the symbol of hope, all the questions are answered on his journey. Henry Cavill performed this greatly showing these emotions and doing all this work to make himself like the character.
Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner did great jobs in my opinion, both made great speeches; in fact Jor-El makes one of my favorite movie speeches of all time: "You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders." That line is the character of Superman in a nut shell. My only gripe with these two was the obligatory death of Jonathan Kent, the scene wasn't terrible it was just handled poorly. If you've seen the movie then you probably know why, most people agree that his death was done poorly.
Amy Adams was an okay Lois Lane, she proved to be useful. Sure she gets saved by Kal a few times but hey that's inevitable. She was funny, sarcastic, sassy, and pretty cool. I only have one problem with her and it was the romance between her and Kal. I think Goyer doesn't know how to write romances because in both Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel the romance just comes out of nowhere especially in Man of Steel. They should have waited and the built up the romance through the series but oh well.
Michael Shannon was freaking amazing as General Zod, a character like Loki was a villain you could understand why he was being evil, he had reasons. He's not sympathetic like Loki or Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness but he is one threatening power kryptonian who I wouldn't mess with. I have no problems with him, he goes in my favorite villains list.
Diane Lane had me both laughing, smiling, and tearing up as Ma Kent, I thought she was handled perfectly.
Antje Traue played Zod's main lackey named Faora Ul and holy crap this woman was awesome. She has quite the cult following, some even like her more than Zod. Me? I like her just a tiny bit less than Zod, Zod is still the best of the movie for me when it comes to the villains but Faora was great, too bad we won't be able to see her again. So thats pretty much all of the main cast I'll talk about. The rest of the cast did fine in their roles as well.
Hans Zimmer's score should win an award, its such an epic sounding score and I like the theme just as much as the original John Williams theme.
So lets talk about certain things people have talked about this movie, one being the ending. Almost everyone hated the ending because they brought back the whole glasses disguise Superman thing and honestly I wasn't that angry about it as much as everyone else was, I kind of saw it coming. The death of Zod got people roaring with anger but not me because I knew that if Kal-El didn't kill Zod, the battle would have destroyed the Earth drastically because Zod and Kal are equal. I already talked about Jonathan Kent's death scene. Let's talk about the last half of the movie which is pretty much two huge fight scenes: I LOVED THEM! Both battles were phenomenal, I liked them better than the Avengers battle of New York. People complained that Kal destroyed too many buildings in Man of Steel and all I have to say to that is: "Grow up." It's a bunch of Kryptonians fighting each other, what do you think is going to happen. You can make the argument that Kal could have taken the battle somewhere else but I have an explanation:
- 1. This is an inexperienced Kal, he can't predict how bad the destruction would be yet.
- 2. Kal was thrown into the battle so he had no choice but to fight in Metropolis
Also to all those people who said that Kal destroyed buildings, I re watched the movie and I counted that Kal himself destroyed only one skyscraper and one small building. The rest was all carnage done by Zod so get over it; I didn't hear anyone complain about the destruction of buildings in the Avengers. I had no gripes with the battles, I thought they were some of the movie's greatest feats.
I love the actors, I love the story, I love the action, I adore the score, I love the director and writer, the characters were memorable, and it ended on a great note. Overall I give this movie my highest rating: a High Platinum.
If you didn't love this movie, I'd understand but as a person who looks up to the character of Superman as both a fantastic character and an inspiration I can definitely say this is my favorite movie and I am definitely looking forward to the sequel: I trust Zack Snyder and I hope that that trust isn't betrayed with the sequel. Now I leave you with what I nicknamed the Song of Hope.