Man of Steel faced a challenge: to re-tell an origin story everyone knows and do it in a fresh and interesting way.
For the most part, they got it right. The scenes on Krypton were superbly done with a real other-worldly feel and a couple touches that were reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies.
I’ve seen, heard, and read a dozen or more interpretations of baby Kal-el being placed in the rocket to Earth. This was the most emotionally engaging telling by far. The moment between baby Kal-el and Lara felt real.
I also there decision to have a Jor-el AI was great and a nice updating of the recorded Marlon Brando Jor-el.
There were some great supporting performances. Kevin Costner was perfect as Pa Kent. Amy Adams was great as Lois Lane: tough and no nonsense without being nasty. She was also genuinely heroic in her own right in a way that didn’t feel contrived.
Michael Shannon as General Zod made for a solid non-Luthor villain who provided a real challenge to the Man of Steel.
As for Superman himself, we have a return to greatness for the Man of Steel with Henry Cavill giving us a wholesome self-sacrificing hero that embodies much of the best of Superman.
The big problem that stood out in the film was the lack of regard for keeping bystanders safe. Some reviewers have described this as Superman not having a Boy Scout syndrome, but in reality, being reckless about human life is a violation of Superman’s character. Also, Superman is forced to kill in this movie. Arguably, he had no choice. But should we have that happen in Movie #1?
Also, I couldn’t quite buy Perry White wearing an earring. It was distracting and is there a male editor-in-chief of a great metropolitian newspaper in the country with an earring?
Despite my concerns both major and trivial, I’m not with comic writer Mark Waid In writing the movie off. After all that Superman has suffered, the creative team deserves credit for what they got right and there’s so much that they did do correctly.
Overall, I enjoyed it and would far rather see a Man of Steel 2 rather than some reboot in the next few years.
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