WHAT IS IT?
Directed by Zack 'Watchmen' Snyder and produced by Christopher 'Dark Knight' Nolan, Man of Steel is the 2013 comic-book movie which reimagines Superman for a new generation. Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, with Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Russell Crowe as Supe's daddy Jor-El.
As the first in a proposed series of movies based on the DC Comics' character, Man of Steel tells the story of Superman's first appearance on Earth, along with his encounter with the deadly General Zod. Featuring an all-star cast - including Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent - Man of Steel is a fairly serious take on the Superman mythology which offers up plenty of action, some stunning set pieces and a marvellous performance from its leading actor.
Opening to positive reviews, Man of Steel took an impressive $21 million from first day late night/early morning screenings, giving it the third highest midnight opening for a Warner Bros film...ever!!
WHAT WAS GOOD?
Superman has had a rocky history at the box-office - languishing in Development Hell for lengthy periods - so bringing a new Superman film to the big screen was always going to be a challenge. What made the task even more difficult was the fact that for most people the late Christopher Reeve was still their idea of Superman, even though he made his first Superman film was 35 years ago! Well thank Zod that Henry Cavill stepped forward to pick up the cape, because - and here's a statement for you - Cavill is Superman!
Before he even picked up the cape, Cavill's well travelled 'do gooder' demonstrated that he had exactly what it took to be a hero. Flash forward to the moment that Cavill actually appeared on screen in full cape and tights (minus the red pants) and it was obvious that this was a career defining moment for the actor.
Capturing some of the charm of Reeve's performance, but bringing a stern undertone to the role, Cavill created a Superman for the modern era; one who was still trying to find his place in the world whilst learning to put faith in people he didn't know.
Supporting Cavill was Amy Adams, who was perfectly cast as intrepid reporter Lois Lane. Adams' Lois was a slightly more reserved take on the character than had been seen previously, but it worked fantastically well, with Lois offering Superman the necessary friendship and encouragement he needed on his journey. The slow-build development of their relationship created good foundations for future entries in the series and Adams looked gorgeous as ever.
Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner also provided the required acting authority in their respective roles as Jor-El and Jonathan Kent. Their mentoring and advice grounded the often more fantastical elements of the movie, and yep in case you were wondering, Man of Steel was a full-blown sci-fi epic!
From the opening scenes set on the planet Krypton through to a chaotic showdown in Smallville, Man of Steel wore its sci-fi badge with pride! This also meant that Man of Steel was the most fantastical Superman film to date - not bad for a movie designed to showcase a more realistic approach to the character.
Highlights of the film included:
Hans Zimmer's impressive theme, which may not have been a patch on the John Williams Superman tune of days gone by, but was certainly suitable for Cavill's Superman....
....Michael Shannon's General Zod....
....pretty much every flashback to Clark Kent's youth...
....and that moment when Superman has to decide what to do with General Zod in order to protect the human race.
Man of Steel was a bold, larger than life, Superman movie and a bloomin' good one at that!
WHAT WAS BAD?
Despite the impressive fight scenes, watching almost indestructible characters beating on each other for 30 minutes does become a little repetitive at times. Oh and the film could have perhaps benefitted from a couple more laughs.
But, these really were minor quibbles.
WHY PUSH THE BUTTON?
Hey, you there. Yes, you; get your finger off the button! Man of Steel was a great movie!! Erasing it from existence would serve no purpose.
So move along and leave it be. Go on, hop it! Man of Steel does for a generation in 2013 what Superman: The Movie did for a generation in 1978.
Well thank Zod