I’m not a die hard Superman fan. While I’ve enjoyed the previous “Superman” movies (yes, I even slightly liked “Superman Returns,” although it is still the weakest “Superman” presentation on screen) I can’t say I know much about the comic book hero. I’m familiar with Christopher Reeve’s performances as well as Dean Cain’s from “Lois & Clark” (if any of you remember that one!) and Tom Welling’s “Smallville” adaption, but I’ve never seen a Superman like the one depicted in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel.” This Superman is an edgy, moody outcast who’s unsure of what to do with his abilities, so he lives his life in hiding. Henry Cavill brought his A-game, as well as Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, and the rest of the cast to deliver a full-throttle movie that will have your heart pounding until the very end.
“Man of Steel” tells the genesis story of Superman (Henry Cavill, Immortals) and shows us how Clark Kent became one of the world’s greatest heroes. Sent by his father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe, Gladiator) as an infant in the hopes of one day restoring his home planet of Krypton, Clark Kent is forced to live on earth, where he has special abilities which include incredible strength, speed, flight, and so on. Being that he was an infant when his home planet was destroyed, Clark is unaware of the reason for his abilities and casts himself out of society, drifting from place to place as he looks for ways to use his abilities in secret and build a life of his own. It is while he’s working as a miner in the arctic where he meets Lois Lane (Amy Adams, The Fighter) a spunky reporter for the Daily Planet in search of her next big story. When Clark saves her life and subsequently disappears, Lois sets out to find her mysterious hero to thank and expose him. Meanwhile, General Zod (Michael Shannon, Premium Rush), one of the only survivors of Krypton, discovers Clark’s existance and sets in motion a plan to restore Krypton and exact his revenge on Clark for his father’s treachery.
Zack Snyder put his own personal flavor onto the Superman story, and it is incredibly present throughout the film. While the previous Superman films have been light hearted and fun, this one is dark and complex. Snyder’s goal was to answer the question of “what if this really happened?” Obviously there’s a decent amount of science fiction in the film, but I think Snyder got exactly what he was looking for by focusing on the how the world would be affected by the presence of an alien lifeform such as Superman. He brings in military aspects that had never been considered for film until now and the result was a spectacular film. The action sequences are outstandingly well-done and the acting is top-notch. This film will entertain and amaze you until the jaw dropping end.
“Man of Steel” is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, action and destruction (some creature violence, military-style action, and close-combat fight scenes typical for a Superman film) and for some language (scattered profanities and religious exclamations. No uses of the F-word.) While not noted by the MPAA, there is also a nude scene involving a male infant in which genitals are visible. It is in no way sexual, but those planning on bringing young children should be aware.