My headline says it all. I am a huge fan of Superman but I have been mostly introduced to his tale via the Christopher Reeve movies, the Max Fleisher cartoons and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Then I further fell in love with Superman after getting really into Smallville.
Now I am probably in the minority but I really enjoyed Superman Returns so was disappointed that it wasn’t going to continue with Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman.
So when I heard that Superman was going to get a re-boot I was a bit hesitant. Then I started hearing who was in the cast. We get Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent and was really pleased that Amy Adams was going to be Lois Lane. Loved that Kevin Costner and Diane Lane were Jonathan and Martha Kent and was cool with Russell Crowe as Jor-el. I was surprised that the villain was General Zod (Michael Shannon) in this film instead of the usual Lex Luthor but the film seems to set that up as we see numerous Lexcorp signs during a fight sequence in Metropolis.
Anyways, this film is an origin story. When we open up the film we are on a dying Krypton and we see Lara (Ayelet Zurer) give birth to Kal-el. It is the first natural birth on Krypton in centuries. The Krypton parts were a bit stilted for me as we see Zod and his right hand woman Faora (Antje Traue) trying to take over Krypton. We see Jor-el and Lara send Kal-el off to Earth so that he can survive and be a saviour to the people of Earth. Lara worries that the people of Earth will reject him and think him a freak when they find out what he can do. Zod tries to stop Kal-el ship because it contains the future of the planet and kills Jor-el in the process.
Anyways, Zod coup does last too long as he is captured and he and his soldiers are sent to the Phantom Zone. Soon after, Krypton is destroyed.
We see Kal-el ship crash land on a farm but instead of seeing Jonathan and Martha find the ship we instead see Clark as an adult working on a fishing ship when an oil rig has an explosion, he goes and rescues people on board.
Throughout the film, we see Clark flashback to pivotal moments in his childhood like him discovering his various powers like x-ray vision, super hearing and heat vision. We see a tween Clark rescue his classmates like Pete Ross and Lana Lang from a bus accident. This moment forces Jonathan to reveal that Clark is an alien but he must keep his secret for fear of what people will think of him or do to him. We also see a young adult Clark see his father die in a tornado in order to protect his secret.
We see Clark throughout the film struggle who he is and feelings of loneliness as flits through odd jobs until he overhears something that perhaps would lead him to discover who he truly is. But also at this air force base comes Lois Lane who is also chasing a story about a discovery of something that is 20,000 years old. Lois and Clark do meet as Clark helps her unload her equipment. But they get a further introduction when Lois follows Clark to this something, a ship that acts like Clark’s Fortress of Solitude as it contains the AI Jor-el, who does explain to Clark who he is but before Clark can hear that, a nosy Lois gets injured by one of the Fortress’ guard and Clark has to use his powers to save her.
Lois wants to publish a story about her mysterious saviour but her editor Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) does not want to run the story. Lois does her own investigating and eventually discovers her mysterious hero is Clark Kent.
Zod eventually escapes the Phantom Zone and comes to Earth in search of Kal-el. All you pretty much need to know is that Zod wants to take over Earth and form New Krypton. A lot of fights ensue, we see Smallville and Metropolis almost destroyed. Lois helps Superman save the day and not be a damsel in distress and we end the film with Clark joining the ranks as a reporter with the Daily Planet that allows to hear about situations without arousing suspicion.
Let’s say this again. I loved Man of Steel. Henry Cavill was absolutely perfect as Clark and Superman. He is so hot in this role and I loved how this film conveys his loneliness and him searching for who he is since there is no one else like him on Earth. I think it is right to portray him like that. Smallville did it so successfully for 10 years. I also love that Lois right off the bat knows that Clark and Superman are one in the same while others want to discover his secret identity. I always love it when Lois knows Clark’s secret. I love it how Lois knows in Lois and Clark and in Smallville. Clark needs someone to know other than his parents and one of the scenes that I loved in this movie is [spoiler alert] when Superman kills Zod, you can see that he didn’t want to but had to. Lois is there and goes to him to comfort him and Clark takes this comfort like he really needs it. Adams and Cavill have a nice chemistry that is really shown after Superman rescues Lois when falling from an airplane and they share a passionate kiss. And as I predicted when I reviewed the third trailer of the film, I also loved when we see Clark Kent in his disguise start his job at the Daily Planet and we see Lois and Clark share a knowing look while still maintaining that they just met. I can’t wait for the sequel to see where they are going to take their relationship next.
As with Smallville I really loved Costner and Lane as Clark’s Earth parents. They are just the kind of parents that Clark needs and offer him the support too.
However, I did feel that the Krypton stuff was a bit stilted and Shannon was over the top as Zod. The fight sequences too were a bit over long.
Also this movie is chock full of people that were in Smallville. Let us start with Amy Adams who appeared in season 1’s “Craving”, then we have Mackenzie Gray who played one of Zod’s henchmen in the film, he was the Lex clone in season 10’s “Lazarus”. Then in the scene where Pete Ross’ mother mentions how the “Fordman” boy saw what Clark could do. Fordman could be Whitney who was Lana’s boyfriend in season 1. In the military control room, David Paetkau is there. He played Dan Turpin in season 8’s “Bulletproof”. Tamhoh Penikett who was part of the military expedition in the early part of the film appeared in Smallville twice. Once in a season 3 episode I believe but was in season 6’s “Prototype” as Wes Keenan, an old boyfriend of Lois’. But absolutely my favorite Smallville cameo has to be Alessandro Juliani (Emil Hamilton) as a science officer on this expedition. Why is it my favorite? Well because you have Richard Schiff in the same scene and he plays the film’s Emil Hamilton. So you had Emil and Emil in the same scene. I am sure there are more references but I may not have caught them all.
Overall, Man of Steel has brought the Superman franchise back on track and it doesn’t hurt that the new face is Henry Cavill who is hot in and out of the suit.