Ever since this movie was announced back in 2010, I have been looking forward to seeing Zack Snyder’s vision of the Superman legend. Tonight the anticipation paid off. Man of Steel is one of, if not the definitive Superman story. I’m not going to put any major spoilers in this review because I feel any plot points are best experienced while watching the movie.
Man of Steel, of course, focuses on the beginnings of Kal-El/ Clark Kent/ Superman, from his birth on Krypton to growing up in Smallville to when he puts on the suit. One thing that sets Man of Steel apart from any other Superman movie or television show is that the audience is only sees key points of Clark’s childhood in Smallville. Snyder takes a page out of the Nolan-directed Batman Begins utilizing flashbacks for Clark as a child. Another welcome change in the introductory Superman story is no Lex Luthor. Don’t get me wrong, I love Luthor but I feel the whole Lex as Superman’s first villain has been played out. It was a refreshing change of pace for the major bad guy to be someone from Krypton than a Earth man like Lex. The cast is perfectly chosen especially Henry Cavill and Amy Adams who play Superman and Lois Lane respectively. The real surprise was in Russell Crowe’s role as Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El. Unlike his bland performance in Les Miserables, Crowe shines in this film.
As much as I love Bryan Singer and his work on the X-Men movies, Superman Returns was horrible. The reason for this was that Singer tried to continue what Richard Donner and Ilya Salkind did on the original Superman movies including using the John Williams theme sans John Williams. The result was a convoluted mess that left Superman fans confused and disgusted.
As to how Man of Steel compares with Superman The Movie, there is really no fair reason to draw a comparison. Both films present a vision of Superman that is representative of the era they were filmed. Like the original 1978 film, Man of Steel is a seminal work and one that could set the stage for later cinematic outings for other DC Comics properties such as Justice League, The Flash and Wonder Woman. Early ticket sales projections have prompted Warner Brothers to lock in Snyder and company for a sequel to Man of Steel.