Man of Steel: A Glorious Return For Superman!

Posted: June 28, 2013 in At The Movies
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After the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy it was only fitting to see the return of Superman to the big screen. While Brian Singer’s attempt at bringing back the Christopher Reeve version of the “Man of Steel” in Superman Returns fell just short of a colossal failure, Nolan felt that going the route of a reboot was necessary. He brought on Zack Snyder, of 300 fame, as the director and David S. Goyer to write the script. The end result was a film for the ages and a glorious return of Superman.

At first I was a little skeptical that the film would succeed. The only theories I had to back this up were the last three Superman movies. Then as Man of Steel started I was whisked away once again to Krypton, and that’s where the nostalgia kicked in. Seeing Russell Crowe taking on the legendary role of Superman’s father Jor-El was special, and seeing him fight General Zod to defend his son felt like a Gladiator moment. Michael Shannon, whom I enjoyed seeing in Boardwalk Empire and The Iceman, really took the role of General Zod to new heights. I enjoyed seeing the conflict between these two characters just as much as when the roles were filled by the legendary Marlon Brando and Terence Stamp respectively in the original movie.

While the supporting cast was brilliant, the big question centered around Superman himself. Henry Cavill had some big shoes to fill. The shadow of Christopher Reeve loomed too large for Brandon Routh to succeed in the role in Superman Returns. Cavill however had a clean slate, although there was still plenty of pressure that came with donning the suit and cape. Cavill nailed it! He was fantastic as he brought a new perspective to the character. I could feel his conflict about keeping his secret along with wanting to come out and tell the world that he’s Superman. Also his relationship with Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams (excellent casting by the way), was handled much better. I’m perfectly alright with Lane knowing that Clark Kent is Superman. It just feels more real, and also makes for some great storytelling.

So what did I enjoy about Man of Steel? Well for one thing they made Superman feel more like Superman. No more holding back just how powerful “The Last Son of Krypton” really is. Seeing Superman learn to fly and eventually break the sound barrier was awesome. He even threw punches showing how strong he was. Heat vision was badass. However, the best part was his end battle with General Zod. Absolutely fantastic! As for the supporting cast, Lois Lane was empowering. Seeing her now have to keep Superman’s secret makes for a complete role reversal. The relationship with Clark Kent’s parents felt more central to the core story via flashbacks bringing more emotion that what was sorely lacking in the original movie. Let me also add that Antje Traue was outstanding, and literally stole the show as Sub-Commander Faora.

Man of Steel is a solid reboot for the Superman franchise. It’s a well done origin story along with superb acting by the cast. With Nolan producing and Snyder at the helm the future is looking really good. However, the big question would have to be who will Superman battle next? I’d love to see Lex Luthor who can become the arch nemesis like The Joker was in The Dark Knight. Then again I can also see characters including Braniac who’s presence is quite demanded by fans on the big screen as well as Doomsday to bring in a “Death of Superman” type of film. No matter what happens expectations from fans like myself will be at an all-time high, but I’m sure the team can deliver. For now I’m just happy to see Superman back where he belongs once again.

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