Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Theater Review: Man of Steel

I don't usually talk about my theater experience, but this was a bit different for me so I will start out with that. I live in a small town - it is very rare when a theater is even half full when I finally get out to the movies. I like the intimacy though - it bothers me when I am near anyone really, unless I go with someone.

Well, I went and saw this movie in a larger area - and the theater was packed. We had to sit in the front portion of the theater, which I am not a huge fan of. But, despite being so close and not having the greatest view of the screen, the movie itself went off without a hitch. Until, the theater received a power surge and we lost sound for a key part of the movie. But, I got over it - then the movie shut off completely. Finally, they restarted it (not completely but about 10 minutes before the sound went out) - I used this opportunity to use the rest room, then finished the movie. To my surprise - as we departed we got free movie tickets - not bad for a few minutes of problems.

Now onto the actual movie.

Man of Steel is yet another reboot of the hero Superman. After four Christopher Reeve-helmed films in the late 70s and part of the 80s (not to mention many other versions like Dean Cain's on 'Lois & Clark' and Tom Welling's on 'Smallville') we received the new Superman Brandon Routh in Superman Returns - and although it did extremely well box office wise, it bombed with critics and fans alike.

So, seven years later, we get yet another reboot.

After the success of the Marvel films and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy it was only logical for DC to get its favorite (possibly second) hero back onto the big screen - and we got him in the form of Henry Cavill.

I have to admit, I have only seen the original Superman film starring Reeve, and it wasn't until a few years ago. Honestly, I wasn't that big of a fan. So, the reboot is pretty much my first real look into Superman.

Krypton is about to explode because of  years of depleting natural resources. For years, the only children born on Krypton have been manufactured - except the brand new baby of Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and Lara (Antje Traue). In order to maintain the race - and save their son - they infuse his cells with a codex of the entire Kryptonian race and ship him off to planet Earth.

General Zod (Michael Shannon), though, was banished from the planet along with those who worked with him and was able to survive the destruction of the planet. And, he promises to remake Krypton and track down Kal-El.

Kal-El, renamed Clark Kent, is raised as a regular child by Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner). Because of the sun, Clark becomes extremely powerful and needs to learn to control those powers in order to blend in.

But, after his Earth father was killed and Zod has located him on the planet, it is up to him to protect his adopted planet before it gets destroyed.

This movie was far from perfect, but it was pretty darn entertaining - and the absolute best Superman film I have ever seen. It is also a great starting out point - I can definitely see how this film sets up so many more great films in the future.

It was a pretty good origin story, but that is the problem with new movies, the origin story - most people already know how Superman came about, but it still must be told to reboot the franchise. And, it was done well - and as much as I enjoyed it and was entertained, I do think the next set of films will be even better. Including the much anticipated Justice League film.

I actually thought the acting in the film was pretty great. Crowe and Costner stand out, and Shannon was great as Zod. Cavill is pretty new to me - but I thought he looked the part of Superman and balanced his strengths with his struggles. Even the secondary characters were great - with Christopher Meloni, Harry Lennix, Laurence Fishburne and Richard Schiff all being great actors.

I have really come to like Amy Adams, and I feel she will be a great Lois Lane, but I felt in this movie she just wasn't given that much to do. And, honestly, the romance between her and Superman felt sort of forced.

Tons of action. I mean tons. Which in a Superman film about an almost unstoppable alien race fighting on Earth, that should happen. And it was great.


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