I wasn’t expecting much from Man of Steel. Not that I didn’t think it was going to be good, I’ve just never been a huge Superman fan (except for watching Lois and Clark when I was younger- that was a fun show). But I will say the first trailer looked like it had potential. Not only did it use music from The Lord of the Rings but it also had a bearded Clark Kent! So the other night I went with a friend to check it out.
I loved it. LOVED. IT. Henry Cavill is the best Superman I’ve ever seen even though I think it’s funny a Brit is playing such an iconic American character. This is definitely a modern Superman- the red underpants are gone and the entire outfit looks far more streamlined and able to withstand the challenges and dangers that Superman faces. (Lois Lane has also been updated- she’s a competent journalist who knows who Superman is, even when he’s wearing glasses.) I also found it interesting that Superman’s alien-ness is such a huge part of this story. I feel like previous Superman stories have focused more on his abilities rather than his origin.
There was a lot of religious imagery in this movie as well. Jor-El states right at the beginning that Kal-El will be like a god to us, Clark is 33, and the whole movie deals with sacrifice and, well, good-ness. The best movies, and the best superhero movies, deal with people overcoming the mess in their lives and their imperfections to become something better than they were. We see that a lot in this movie.
The movie wasn’t perfect of course. The fight scenes became almost cartoonish, as unfortunately happens too often with CGI-heavy action. And granted, Kryptons are far superior to us humans but that makes Superman’s defeat of General Zod feel a bit strange. After the epic fight they just went through, that was all it took to kill him? The romance between Lois and Clark seemed a bit sudden too. Their kiss seemed to be more from relief than affection but perhaps we will see their relationship develop in future films?
Overall I thought this movie was great. Uplifting and exciting, this is the type of movie that makes me love fantasy and science fiction.