Man of Steel Review (Non-Spoiler)

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Movies
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Man of Steel is DC Entertainment’s reboot of the Superman Franchise. It has no ties to the previous Superman films. It opens with a planet Krypton that is not cold and lifeless like the first Christopher Reeve film, rather abundant with life yet still a civilization in decline. Scientist Jor-El has warned of the danger of tapping the planet’s core for energy, General Zod attempts a coup, and for the first time on film we get a Superman origin that kind of makes sense in regards to why it was only baby Kal-El who was sent of into space.

Interestingly enough we do not see the moment when Ma and Pa Kent discover baby Superman in the rocket. The next scene cuts to an adult Clark Kent rescuing people from an exploding oil rig. Sporting a beard he’s been wandering from place to place helping people along the way. During these sequences we get flashbacks to Clark’s childhood, where he discovers where he came from, and how his powers and abilities made him feel alienated from other people. The scene where his super senses kick in is good, as it shows how horrifying the experience must be for a child, and how it further isolates Clark from his peers. It also shows how his mother helped him to focus and control his powers which was a good touch.

Johnathan Kent plays up more the angle of fear regarding what if Clark is discovered. However in the end he teaches that Clark was sent hear for a reason, and he must decide what kind of man he wants to be.

The adult Clark soon finds a relic from Krypton in the Arctic which introduces him to a holographic image of Jor-El. There’s some info dump hear but also some extra things of Kryptonian history are revealed. (Though they still never explain why they look human and speak English)

This event gets Clark his Superman suit and also draws Zod to Earth where the big showdown starts. For years fans just wanted a Superman movie where he punches something. We get it here as Superman has massive battles with Zod and his minions. In the process the city of Metropolis is pretty much wiped out. There’s so many scenes of skyscrapers collapsing it actually gets kind of ridiculous. There’s also something involving how Superman foils the plot I didn’t get. Though it was interesting to see that Superman did not stop the villains without help, and also Lois Lane got to see some action.


Zod is a distinctly different kind of villain than the Zod of Superman II. Zod and Jor-El were actually once friends, and his main goal isn’t actually to kill Superman. He’s the type of villain that truly believes what he is doing is right, that he was born for a specific purpose and he is acting it out. This leads to a now controversial ending wear Superman must make a tough choice, and anguishes in his decision which in my opinion worked well.

All in all it was an enjoyable experience, though some parts felt rushed, such as Jor-El’s scene with Superman and the relationship between Clark and Lois. There is also a totally different dynamic between Clark and Lois than in previous films (Though it’s been done in comics before).

The big question for me and many others was what references to other DC properties outside of Superman would there be. While watching the movie I didn’t see any. Afterwards I learned I missed a few. A supporting character from Green Lantern briefly appears, there’s a backhanded reference to Booster Gold, and the Wayne Enterprises logo appears on a satellite. None of these are enough to get me excited or regret missing. At the time of this writing Man of Steel has had moderate box office success. It is my hope that this leads to a DC Cinematic Universe to compete with Marvel’s. It certainly is a job for Superman, but time will tell if Superman can save this dream for us.

  1. lindsymoran says:

    Finally saw Man of Steel last night. I agree that the buildings collapsing was out of hand! I really liked the ending. I was not expecting it to be like a sad feel good movie- if that even makes sense.

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