Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Man of Steel - Review

Superman is back! The imagination and excitement that accompanies the fictitious super hero is palpable. Why? Because Superman is probably the first and purest super hero on the stage which has now become crowded with heroes.

The tale of the first and perhaps best super hero is epic. Man of Steel is a reboot for the Superman enterprise and it accomplishes the task with flair and director Zach Snyder has taken the timeless story and provided some new twists for those of us who grew up as Superman junkies. Working with a cast including Russell Crowe (Jor-El), Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent) and Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) in key supporting roles certainly helped the endeavor along, but the task of bringing Superman to life once again on the screen ultimately fell to Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Kal-El a/k/a Superman) and Amy Adams (Lois Lane).  

The movie possesses the classic Superman storyline. Kypton, the home planet of Superman's race is dying and in an effort to preserve the species, Jor-El sends his baby son off to Earth before Krypton implodes. But there is drama to this story as the spaceship containing the baby Kal-El barely escapes the attempt of General Zod (Michael Shannon) to stop its flight.  The youthful Clark Kent is shown in flash backs while the main story continues. It is the classic Superman story except it does highlight the conflict that wages within Clark about wanting to use his powers for good versus his father's fear that he must remain unknown to the human race for very practical reasons. One area where this reboot differs significantly from my remembrance of the story is in the death of Jonathan Kent which is an out growth of the fear of discovery.

I will admit, the movie has the obligatory fight scenes, which in my mind continue for a bit too long as they do in many movies. The plot is complex, yet direct and provides a solid basis for the movie which is much more than--look up in the sky . . .

I liked the movie. It was complex and the story was compelling. The acting was solid--no oscar worthy performances, but strong performances nonetheless.

RECOMMENDATION: If you saw Avengers and any of the Iron Man or Batman movies, see this movie. Although rated PG-13 (primarily for violence) it is suitable for for the more mature pre-teen crowd. I gave the movie a solid 8 out of 10.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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