Film Review: Man of Steel (2013)

My rating: ★★★★½

VERACIOUS REBIRTH OF THE MOST POWERFUL SUPERHERO OF ALL TIME.

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What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a child aspired to something greater?

Man of Steel is bigger than I first thought, a darker and grittier attempt at bringing the best and most powerful superhero of all time back to life proves to be successful (not at the box-office just like I expected but still, it’s doing pretty good). Hats off to Warner Bros., Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder for making this project possible. When I first heard about the reboot and that “Christopher Nolan won’t be directing the film, instead Zack Snyder will,” I felt a little deceived that what have they done, why they chose Snyder, why couldn’t just Nolan direct the film, my expectations went down the drain, to be honest. But I’m now more than satisfied after experiencing this action-packed, gripping and a powerful superhero film that matches and somewhat seems bigger when compared to other superhero films.

Making a Superman movie has always been hard for everyone. No one has ever been able to capture the real essence and transform it into the movie efficiently but this time, ture justice has been done to Superman. This is the Superman origin movie I’ve been waiting all my life to watch. Yeah, yeah, I know people are going to be like it can’t compete with the original 1978 production and I kinda agree because things were different that time and making that movie in 1978 is a feat in itself, but honestly, I like this one more. It has everything I wanted, it has that darker soul I love to see in superhero films, it captures the human part of Kal-El and moreover it tells the origin story of Kal-El properly (no one has ever done it before) and I’d like to congratulate the screenwriter David S. Goyer, Nolan and Snyder for that.

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The plot is obviously typical but what I love about it is how the screenplay has been written, Goyer focused more on the human part of Superman and his difficulties to survive on Earth considering the fact that he always had to conceal his true identity because people would have rejected him but when they need a saviour, that man, the Superman comes to help. There are some really good dialogues especially for Jor-El, Jonathan Kent, General Zod, Martha Kent, Lois Lane and of course, Kal-El and what makes them more is the amazing cast members, i.e. Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Amy Adams and Henry Cavill respectively. If I had to judge this movie on the basis of only this factor, I’d give it a perfect 10, that’s how phenomenal everyone is.

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The planet Krypton is facing imminent destruction due to its unstable core, resulting from years of exploiting Krypton’s natural resources. The ruling council is deposed by the rebel military leader, General Zod, and his followers. Scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara launch their newborn son Kal-El on a spacecraft to Earth. The infant Kal-El is raised as the adoptive son of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who name him Clark. His Kryptonian physiology affords him superhuman abilities on Earth, which initially cause him confusion, but he gradually learns to harness his powers to help others and that’s where General Zod comes in after detecting the signal that Kal-El is residing on Earth so he invades and starts making things difficult for the planet Earth as well.

The action sequences with the support of cinematography by Amir Mokri and beautiful CGIs are just too damn brilliant, near-to-perfect and perfect at times. People seem to dislike the cinematography but I actually love it, I admire it for being too similar yet too different for a superhero movie. The shaky cam thing works perfectly fine for me, that’s how I was actually imagining it before watching the movie and it made me really happy to see that they didn’t shoot with the same predictable angles. I’d like to praise the action sequences again because I was on the edge of my seat when the choreography was happening, Snyder really knows how to shoot an action sequence and make it more astonishing with his camera work. Additionally, everyone would notice that there is a lot of destruction, almost everything gets destroyed in order to save the world and its people. What I find really annoying is that people know there is an alien invasion happening and the buildings would fall on them and they would die, but they’re just standing there, seeing how the world is ending and they won’t move, not even an inch. It’s like they’re being attention whores and they want Superman to save them. I mean, come on, let the man fight the ultimate enemy, move the hell away and run for your lives.

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Of course, there are a few disappointing things, i.e., there should have been more screen time for Lois and Clark, I was hoping to see more romance between them and maybe, I’ll get to see more in the sequel, since it was a origin movie and they had to focus more on where Clark came from and whether the world would accept him and it does when General Zod and his army attack the Earth, the U.S. Military realizes that Clark is an ally, he is a God to them and only he can save them. Another little disappointment is Zack Snyder‘s direction; it feels like a mess at one point and you can’t figure out what the hell is going on and what comes after what. But it gets better as soon as you put your mind into it. I must say that this still is Snyder‘s finest so far, he has proved himself that he can work hard and handle something so huge like Superman. I really wish he’d overcome his flaws in the sequels and learn from his mistakes. Sometimes I also wish that Christopher Nolan had directed this movie, it would have been totally different and possibly the best Superman film of all time just like The Dark Knight Trilogy. But I’m satisfied that he was involved in the production of the movie and I hope he will carry out his role even more and guide Snyder in the future if they decide to work together. Another thing is Henry Cavill‘s Superman, I love darker elements of superhero movies but a superhero should be a little funny, he should have a sense of humor, like Christian Bale‘s Batman, we can see it throughout the Dark Knight Trilogy and that’s what should have been present in Man of Steel as well. I think they will work on it in the sequel (my expectations from its sequel keep getting higher).

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Finally, I’d like to say that if you think Man of Steel sucks before watching and even after watching it, then you should check out all the superheroes’ origin movies, i.e., Iron Man 1, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Hulk, Hancock, The Punisher, Hellboy, Jonah Hex, Dredd, Watchmen, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Blade, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Amazing Spider-Man, Green Lantern, and Batman Begins. In my opinion, Batman Begins is the best film in the sense of origin storytelling and Man of Steel comes after that and I know a lot of people are going to agree and even more people are going to disagree especially Marvel fanboys but I’m not here to judge this film as DC Universe or Marvel fanboy, I’m only judging this movie on the basis of what I saw and what I liked and what is solely my opinion. You might think the same or you might think completely opposite, that’s not my problem. I love Man of Steel just like I love Batman Begins and nothing in the world can change that.

CREDITS:

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Produced by: Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Deborah Snyder
Screenplay and Story by: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Mackenzie Gray
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Cinematography by: Amir Mokri
Editing by: David Brenner
Studio: Legendary Pictures, Syncopy, DC Entertainment
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

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