Leading up to the release of Justice League, we over at SuperBro Movies will be reviewing the 4 DCEU films. I have the pleasure of giving you guys the first review for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. This film began the DCEU, it created the tone, and in my opinion is the best film in the franchise (so far). I’m actually really excited to do this review, so let’s begin!
The story begins with the birth of Kal-El (Superman) son of Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and the fall of Krypton. Many people know this story, but they don’t know the full details. Man of Steel is great retelling of Superman II by Richard Lester. The film goes into great details about the fall of Krypton, and the things that led to Zod’s banishment.
General Zod (Micheal Shannon) wanted to save Krypton by evacuating the dying planet, and taking the Codex to create Krypton elsewhere. Jor-El wanted to preserve Krypton by sending Kal-El, the first child born from a natural birth in centuries away with th Codex. The Codex is everything to Krypton, it is Krypton, essentially. Zod is a murderous, narcissistic, psychopath who believes he can save Krypton. The thing is, there was no way to accomplish his goal, and the council knew that (Even Braniac knew there was no hope for Krypton when he captured Kandor). Zod becoming angry wanted to overthrow them, and almost accomplished it; had it not been for Jor-El and Lara (Ayelet Zurer). Zod murders Jor-El and then gets captured by some Kryptonian soldiers. The council banishes Zod and many others of what we would call a revolution to the Phantom Zone, but not before Zod warns Lara that he will find Kal and kill him. The Phantom Zone is a prison in deep space. Time essentially never moves and you are supposed to be trapped forever. This completes the first act of the film, which I dub, ‘The Fall of Krypton.”
Now, I don’t want to spoil the film for the people who haven’t seen it. I want you to experience the film, and get a true feeling for the DCEU. I’m going to try to do this in the most spoiler free way that I can.
The second act of the film focuses on Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman’s (Henry Cavill) early life. We get clips of his childhood (Cooper Timberline) and his adolescent days (Dylan Sprayberry). The clips show how he learns to hone his powers and abilities. He learns that he has a purpose on Earth, and that he must wait to reveal himself to the world. These scenes all take place during the second act of the film, it’s really a beautiful thing to watch. The events of his childhood lead him into becoming the man he must be. He learns many lessons from his Earth father, Johnathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and his Earth Mother Martha Kent (Diane Lane).
We also get various clips of him as an adult leading up to his eventual workplace at the Daily Planet. He takes on an alias at each workplace before, but eventually is forced to reveal himself. He wants to lead a normal life, but he knows he’s destined for more. His father Jor-El says at the beginning, “He’s going to be a God to them.” When he peaks on the people of Earth and how they will see Kal-El. We also get introduced to Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) during the second act. The second act is Clark trying to lead as normal of a life as possible, but that all goes down the drain after the government finds a Kryptonian spaceship. We get a very amazing and new look at the Fortress of Solitude. We’ve seen many variations of it through cartoons, tv shows, and films. The way Zack Snyder presents it is amazing tho. The second act helps us understand Clark as a person, and as a human. He’s just a man learning how to live on a planet that isn’t his true home, but the place he was meant to be.
The third act is amazing. The third act is all about Clark becoming Superman. The person he waa truly meant to be. He first must accept his fate, and the he must achieve the goal. General Zod is freed from the Phantom Zone and finds Superman. He threatens the Earth, and Superman must save the planet. General Zod wants the Codex so he can destroy Earth, and rebuild Krypton. The visuals during the third act are crazy. Buildings being destroyed, body’s flying, General Zod V. Superman is the best fight scene in the DCEU by far. It’s something to behold, and if you’ve seen it in Imax, I hope you were just as amazed as I was. The ending of the film is a beautiful thing. It’s kind of a homecoming for Superman. The story comes full circle at the end. He’s figured out who he is, and what he’s meant to do. This is the story of Superman the way it was meant to be told.
Overall, I love this film. It is in my top 3 comicbook movies. I see it as he’s a refugee/immigrant from another place. He must learn the traditions/culture of his new home, while preserving the traditions/culture of his old home. He’s meant to protect people that aren’t his from birth, but his through love and compassion. This is an alien/superhero/coming of age film all wrapped in one. You get so many different angles, emotions, and thoughts. Zack Snyder is a film genius, and he proves it here. Man of Steel is what a Comicbook movie should be, but one that is rare. Rare as in, you can’t expect every movie to be as beautiful and storytelling as this. Add the score to this movie, and it’s simply brilliant. Yes, there are a few chinks in the armor, but overall this is a simply well done film. If you love Comicbook movies, Man of Steel is definitely something worth watching.
Rating – 9.5/10
With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child’s spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their own son. Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark (Henry Cavill) living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat.