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Man of Steel is a 2013 American superhero film directed by Zack Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan, and scripted by David S. Goyer. It employs non-linear storytelling. Based on the DC Comics character Superman, the film is a reboot of the Superman film series that portrays the character’s origin story. The film stars Henry Cavill in the title role with Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Russell Crowe as Jor-El. Man of Steel is intended to launch a shared fictional universe of DC Comics characters on film.
Man of Steel is the latest incantation or retelling of the Superman character developed in the late 30’s by DC comics. This version is a lot more serious and darker than any previous Superman movies. Although it is 90% CGI special effects that are out of this world literally and 10% character development it is still excellent and is the biggest movie opening ever in June.
The story is basically the same, a newborn Kal-El (Superman, though they barley mention his title in the film) is placed in a rocket to be launched to earth as his home planet Kryton is about to explode, by his parents Jor-El played by Russell Crowe and mother Lara (Ayelet Zurer an Isreali actress who has appeared in Isreali movies and TV). Jor-El places the codex DNA into Kal to preserve the Krytonian race. A meglomaniac member of the ruling council, General Zod demands Jor-El turn over the codex. When he refuses, General Zod kills Jor-el. The council then sentences General Zod and his henchmen and woman to the Phantom Zone. Kryton explodes shortly thereafter.
Kal lands in a farm area in Missouri and raised by Ma and Pa Kent played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane who name him Clark.
Clark grows up very conflicted with his new powers and wonders why he has them. We follow Clark as he grows and learns about his past. A reporter, Lois Lane, from the Smallville newspaper tracks him down thru his mother and learn she has these super powers. There is no nerdy identity to hide him here as he is fully exposed to her who he is.
Having been freed from the Phantom Zone when Krypton explodes, Zod follows the codex to Earth, where he demands that Earth surrender Kal-El to him or humanity will suffer the consequences. Clark agrees to surrender to the U.S. military, who hand Lois and Clark over to Zod’s second-in-command, Faora. Zod reveals that he intends to use a terraforming “world engine” to transform Earth into a new Krypton, eradicate the human population, and use the codex to repopulate the planet with genetically-engineered Kryptonians
What follows is a knock down, dragged out, super crashing, building tumbling fight between Superman and General Zod and his bad girl sidekick Faora-ULas they proceed to destroy Smallville to bits since they have the same super powers as Superman. Actually Clark/Kal/Superman does more damage than they do as he crashes thru an IHOP at super speed and other buildings, but all do tremendous damage starting in Smallville and continuing on in Metropolis.. It seems every action movie that comes out now has to top the previous one in CGI effects and this one certainly does that.
I didn’t think there was much chemistry between Clark and Lois as the producers intended. At one point when Lois is sitting across a table from Clark in jail after he surrenders to General Zod, he explains to her that the ‘S’ on his chest is a symbol of hope and peace on his planet she says, ”It is still an ‘S’.I think it should stand for Su-” and then she’s interrupted by the cell guard.
Another time when the military is tracking the fight between Superman and General Zod, a soldier at the computer screen tells his commanding officer, ”That’s superman sir” in a very soft manner. When the officer says “Who?” the soldier replies, ”Well that’s what they are calling him.” See what I mean by barley mentioning his name. Even when he is in his superman outfit he is called Clark by Lois.
I actually liked the villains a lot better than the good guys this time and General Zod’s female sidekick is a real hard to beat, serious fighter and equal opportunity destroyer. She is played by a German actress Antje Traue who has appeared in many German films and shows.
Henry Cavill makes much better Superman and Clark with a buff and solid muscular build than Christopher Reeves who I thought was a mamby pamby superman portrayal.
There is a plan for three sequels in the works and a Justice League of America film in the works like they did with the Avengers and Marvel characters.
Check out Man of Steel. The kids will love it too.