Writing a review for this film is not easy. MAN OF STEEL goes against everything I grew up believing in when it comes to SUPERMAN. MAN OF STEEL is a movie you can easily hate while at the same time cheer for. Strange I know but that is how I feel about the movie. The thing to do when watching the film is to remember that this is a movie and not a comic book. As such I cannot in good conscience recommend MAN OF STEEL for family viewing if the children are small. The viciousness and violence seemed to outdo even THE AVENGERS.
I suspected that when DC COMICS owned by Warner Brothers, the movieís producer serious altered the DC comic universe turning it into a travesty of what it was that this incarnation of Superman on the screen was going to be different than any before. I suspected that this movie was the reason that Superman and other DC super heroes were becoming less heroes and more anti-heroes. WARNER BROTHERS knew that in today's culture where violence and anger and dystopian thought ruled the comics and the movie had to be a harsher reality. I guess that is what the youth audience needs to go see a movie today.
Superman wonders as Jonathan Kent did, would the people see him as a threat or would they accept him for what he is and could be. Unfortunately in comics the question has often been asked, are there super villains because there are super-heroes. M. Night Shyamalan explored this question in the film UNBREAKABLE and he came to the conclusion if there is a super hero there has to be a super villain.
Well, people as much as I have enjoyed and respected everything Superman has stood for, over my decades of reading his comics, I could honestly say that if I lived in Smallville or Metropolis or even anywhere else around the world, where this Superman existed I would want to find a way off that world. The devastation that goes on in this film between the good and the bad would leave me and everyone else in mortal fear anytime I saw this guy flying by. I would be in constant fear for my life.
Much will be said of the death at the end of the film but it seems trivial in comparison to the thousands of lives that must have been snuffed out by the battle royales that went on in Smallville and Metropolis. Even though it is skirted over and not mentioned there is absolutely no way on God's good Earth that people did not die at the hands of Superman and Zod and other Kryptonian warriors. When you destroy countless skyscrapers and they fall all over a crowded city with people running around, you canít tell anyone that people did not die. Sure everyone says Superman saved the world but the cost was enormous and this is not our Superman.
On the plus side writer Christopher Nolan's movie has an excellent story, fantastic special effects, good acting, excellent storytelling, action galore, mayhem and violence coming out of every frame of film. Director Snyder made sure there are enough connecting references to the real Superman to keep all us old time fans happy. MAN OF STEEL is worth the time and money to see, but remember it is not your grandfather's, father's or even brother's Superman, He is a Superman who, if he set his mind to it could become the world's dictator in short order. I hope you'll understand why, that after you see the movie, I felt so conflicted about the movie.
Henry Cavill makes an interesting enough Kal El/Clark Kent and his heavy workouts definitely gave him the much needed physic. Michael Shannon as Zod is very good. Someone made a good casting choice with him as he is scary-with-a-touch-of-integrity . Amy Adams as Lois Lane was acceptable but, I am sorry that nose on her distracted me every time there was full face shot of her. I feel bad about that as he makes a fine enough Lois but by far not the best, even though one could say that for this version she may be fine. Adams just lacked the romantic spark that has always been important and she looks too young... and that nose, well. Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, well I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere. I do not like Fishburne as an actor as somehow he always makes me feel uncomfortable, which is the reason I stopped watching his HANNIBAL TV series. He just puts me off. Maybe someday there will come a role for him that will change my mind about him.
Another sad thing is that with everything that went on in this version, it just leaves me perplexed as to what they can do with Superman in the future. It's tough, violent act to beat. Please for Godís sake do not make the next big villain, Lex Luthor. I think he has over stayed his welcome in Superman movies.
I refused to waste good money and my eyes in going to see MAN OF STEEL in 3D. It looked just fine in 2D and I am afraid that if I had gone to see it in 3D I would have exited with a massive headache and tired eyes. Do yourself and favour and see it in 2D. You will be glad you did.
In ending, I really hate the idea that by movies finish the character that I felt sorry for and admired the most was, heaven forbid, GENERAL ZOD. Sure he's the villain but he really wasn't the villain in the usual sense because as you will see, he only does what he does as through no choice of his own. Zod was breed in an artificial birthing chamber like all Kryptonians. They are breed to be in casts. Some are warriors, some breed to be scientists, some servants and some politicians. Free choice was not available. Kal El was the first born of actual child birth in centuries. Zod was breed to be a warrior, to protect Krypton (you'll understand when you see the film) and as such did only what he had to do, to make sure that the Kryptonian race survived. Even if he wanted to be different he could not be or even do anything else then what he did. His eventual finality at Superman's hands makes him a sympathetic character and for this alone I would recommend seeing the movie, MAN OF STEEL.