Movie review: Man of Steel

Superman is probably the perfect embodiment of how a superhero ought to be. He is noble, all-powerful and almost invincible. Unfortunately, these qualities make him a little uninteresting than say, Batman (I’m sorry, I can’t help comparing every superhero to the Caped Crusader). It is Superman’s villains which help enliven his character, otherwise Superman would be called Superdreary. Man of Steel is a reboot of the Superman franchise and the first Superman film after 2006’s dud, Superman Returns. Needless to say, I had sky-high expectations when I decided to watch Man of Steel. Does it manage to satisfy them? Read on to find out.

Let me get this straight. I am not a big fan of Zack Snyder. Everyone around me, though, seems to adore him. I love few of his films, yes, like 300, but his direction is a little rough around the edges, I believe. When I went out to watch this film, I expected an entertaining film with great visual effects (can’t really fault Snyder here) and good background score (Hans Zimmer. Need I say more?). I got them both… and then some.

Man of Steel was a darker-toned (literally and figuratively) movie with a more realistic approach to Superman than the previous movies. I think this has as much to do with Christopher Nolan writing the story as Zack Snyder directing it. Since it’s the beginning of the Superman’s story, the original plot is same and those who’ve read DC’s Superman comics would know it.

Clarke Kent is a boy who finds himself laden with powers no one on earth has even imagined. His friends consider him eccentric and freak. They bully and beat him but he doesn’t strike them back as then he might kill them without intending to. So powerful this guy is. He discovers that he is actually Kal-El, a native of a far-away, now dead planet, Krypton, sent by his father, Jor-El, to earth in order to ensure his survival. His adoptive parents are well aware of his superhuman powers and encourage him to use his them for the good of this world.

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Then, the foes arrive. Those were the only Kryptonians other than Superman who survived its destruction as they were suffering damnation in the Phantom Zone and the explosion, which destroyed Krypton, freed them. They are led by General Zod, a powerful commander, who is adamant to transform Earth into Krypton by murdering every earthling and building a new planet on the foundation. Superman, being noble, doesn’t share his dreams and fights with General Zod’s army with the help of his new girlfriend, Lois Lane, a journalist.

Hans Zimmer’s  score was nice, as usual. The actions set pieces were superb (I expected nothing less from Zack Snyder) and acting was also good. Henry Cavil was a pretty convincing Superman and he did very well. Among the supporting cast, Russell Crowe, not surprisingly, shone above the rest. Even after his death (he appears as a subconscious form of his true-self and assists Lois Lane).

I think this is a great start to the Superman series (I hear it is going to be a trilogy). Do watch this film. Even if you are not a Superman fan. The fight scenes are enough to satisfy even the most demanding action-movie fan in you. This movie is dark-toned and realistic so I think even the fans of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy are going to love it. Even with its quirks, it is still a great watch.

That’s it. Man of Steel soars high up in the air. In more ways than one.

Rating: 4.5/5

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