Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58% (Critics) / 82% (Audience)
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Written By: David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Russell Crowe
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Synopsis: A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind. (Source)
I had three things that I wanted to see in MAN OF STEEL that would make or break the film for me:
1. Henry Cavill fully embodying the spirit of Superman
2. Amy Adams’ Lois Lane would make me forget the blahness of Kate Bosworth’s Lois in SUPERMAN RETURNS
3. Zack Snyder showing Superman actually being super
Fortunately all three of those things happened. Cavill was a great Superman. He pulled off the innate loneliness and otherness that the character should always have bubbling under the surface as well as presenting a very human face to the public that makes it easy to trust him. Adams was a perfect fit as the doggedly intrepid fearless reporter and I never once thought that she was out of her depth or miscast.
Best of all Snyder showed Superman doing all of the things you expect to see Superman doing. I had grown really tired of Superman facing off against regular humans and barely showcasing the awesome abilities the character has. That was never an issue in MAN OF STEEL as we got scene after scene of Superman that showed all of his abilities plus full out Kryptonian on Kryptonian fisticuffs and they were all extremely well done.
Michael Shannnon was a really good Zod too with a very interesting motivation for all of his actions that made him more complex than just an evil alien. I actually felt bad for the guy at certain points in the film.
I also liked how the script totally circumvented the whole “why doesn’t Lois realize Superman and Clark Kent are the same person” trope that has always been one of the more ridiculous secret identity situations in comic books.
And thankfully one of these movies has finally made Jor-El interesting.
As much as I didn’t want too see Lex Luthor as the main villain in a Superman movie again I do have to admit to being a bit bummed out that we never got any glimpses of Lex at all. Even if it was just a scene or two of him being consulted by the military on how to deal with the “alien menace” it would have been cool to see old baldy on the screen.
I also would have liked to have seen more of the Daily Planet crew than what we were shown.
I was not a fan of this version of Pa Kent or his whole story arc. And it looked like Snyder spent a semester at the “J.J. Abrams Directing School of Lens Flares”…there were lens flares all over the place in this movie.
Also Marvel movies may have conditioned me to expect these things but I was annoyed that there was no after credits scene.
Final Verdict: A great cast, an interesting script, cool action scenes and awesome visuals help make this the Superman movie I have been waiting for since the last time Gen. Zod was onscreen. While not perfect by any means this is a great first step (as well as the best comic book movie of the year) and has me very optimistic for future films in this franchise.