FCSyndicate's Morning-After Review: MAN OF STEEL (2013)
A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.
When news about Man Of Steel initially came out, I’m pretty sure some people had their doubts. People are always weary of remakes and reboots. And I’m not innocent of that sentiment, because I, too, worry about how a particular property is handled in its adaptation. So when Superman Returns was released in 2006, there were some mixed reactions and it obviously didn’t get a sequel. Personally, I enjoyed it since it felt it paid tribute somewhat to the classic films starring the late-Christopher Reeve.
And while some of those movies were popular at the time, I imagine it was a bit tricky to help bring back the franchise in a continuation of that story, particularly since the character and his etymology have been explored several times before in film, as well as television. Well, talk about pulling a rabbit out of a hat on this one.
Evidently, because of his alien physiology, Clark is granted superhuman abilities that Jonathan fears mankind is not ready to witness.
We also see Krypton in the film, with a much larger view of what the planet could actually looks like. We see the atmosphere, the architecture and some of the vast array of organic and artificial technology they have acquired in their existence until the planet’s last moments, which is exactly the film starts where we first meet Clark’s natural parents, Jor-El and Lara, played by Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer. Michael Shannon gives his own updated take on General Zod, originally played by Terence Stamp in the second Superman movie in 1980. He is joined by Antje Traue who plays Zod’s second-in-command, Faora-Ul, who helps lead Zod’s uprising against the Kryptonian councilmembers in their own failed attempt to save their planet from extinction.
As story/screenwriter David S. Goyer evolves, the Superman story here continues to journey into the most important parts of the story, illustrating and telling audiences only what we need to see to get the best of out of a reboot as much as possible. At times I felt it lagged and I felt stuck in Smallville, but it wasn’t a huge thing, and ultimately the story continued. Snyder’s turn at the helm doesn’t dance around the Superman mythos by trying to tell the same story here. In fact, the film is basically similar in structure, in addition to taking parts of other Superman movies that add get to the absolute meat and potato-references of the comic book and film franchises transitioned to the big screen adventure seen here.
More importantly, we also see Superman brawl with Zod in some of the sickest battles to ever hit Metropolis in a Superman movie. Punches and kicks are thrown, people get hurt, vulnerabilities are exposed, moments of pain and surprise happen with our characters, and by the third act, shit blows up, buildings are decimated into ruins, and Superman does what he needs to in order to kick that Kryptonian ass and finally save the day…or what’s left of it.
Man Of Steel was a very compelling, perilous, wonderful and refreshing experience for me when I went to see it on Friday. It is not the Superman of yesteryear. No, no…Zack Snyder‘s Superman completely undoes everything we have known in the past century about the character from Krypton, and the story surrounding him. The film is a solid reboot that pays tribute to the property created nearly 75 years ago at DC comics, and gets much to the heart of the matter that it needed to in order to tell the story. And at the end, you are not left feeling unsatisfied. Not in the least bit.
The bottom line: Man Of Steel is a must see. Especially if you are an action fan and comic book junkie who loves a good movie. I’m proud to have seen it myself…and on opening night, which is a rarity for me.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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