Review: Man of Steel / Cert: 12 / Director: Zack Snyder / Screenplay: David Goyer / Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner / Release Date: December 2nd
Now available for your home viewing pleasure, Zack Snyder's Man of Steel tale looks to re-energise Warner Brothers’ seemingly dead Superman franchise. With no ties to any of the Superman films of yesteryear, Snyder’s movie acts as fresh introduction to the last son of Krypton.
Yes, you may have heard the basic story of Superman at various times in various formats over the years, but this latest effort looks to attack things from a different angle. Before we even get to the space adventure of the baby Kal-El heading for the fields of Smallville, we’re given a fantastically magical and mystical look at Krypton. With Jor-El (Crowe) engaged in battle with General Zod (Shannon), the patriarch of the family El is trying to give his son a future away from the imploding Krypton. It's action-packed and stunningly-beautiful, and that’s before we even get to the meat of story.
Picking things up years later with the now-adult Clark Kent (Cavill) channelling his inner hobo, CK moves from place to place, job to job, trying to keep his extraordinary powers from the world. Of course, if that was the case, we’d never get to see the big, blue Boy Scout, Superman. In this retelling of the Superman mythos, the coming of age of Clark Kent to Superman is as a result of General Zod coming to Earth to find the son of Jor-El. Having been banished to the Phantom Zone for crimes against Krypton, the vengeful Zod is back. Adding a suit and cape to his powers, Clark Kent is finally ready to embrace his destiny as he has to face his biggest challenge yet.
As Superman, Henry Cavill is simply brilliant, particularly in his earlier ‘finding himself’ moments. Taking on a role made infinitely harder by the Christopher Reeve blueprint – just ask Brandon Routh – Cavill delivers a Superman fitting to his time. Opposing him, Shannon’s Zod is clinical, thorough and unforgiving, with Shannon impressing. That said, it’s Antje Traue’s Faora that threatens to steal the show with her electric one-liners and imposing actions. Not to be outdone, Lois Lane (Adams) also gets to showcase her typically acerbic wit, even if certain parts of her relationship with Superman don’t sit well with many. Similarly, there are certain elements – here’s looking at you, destruction of Metropolis – to Snyder’s film that lay uneasy.
As real as you can make the ‘alien baby lands on Earth, flies around in cape, with X-ray vision, ice breath, and heat rays from his eyes’ story, Snyder has delivered a film that sets the tone for a new world for Warner Brothers, a world that our young Superman is slowly discovering and coming to terms with.
Extras: Strong Characters, Legendary Roles / Planet Krypton / All-Out Action