Man of Steel – Despite lack of balance, this reboot soars

     Hello, everyone! I know it’s been a while but we all get busy from time to time. As I promised, I’m back with a review of one of the biggest financially successful movies of the summer, possibly of the year.

     We all remember Superman Returns, right? Bryan Singer (X-men and X2) had left the franchise that helped make him a highly sought after director to help resurrect the franchise of the greatest and most recognized superhero of all time. We were all jumping for joy, ready to see the red caped alien soar across the silver screen once again…and then the movie came out. I’m not saying that it was bad and by no way am I blaming Singer at all but the acting sort of seemed uninspired, besides Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor. Brandon Routh was made to look too much like Christopher Reeve. While I have nothing against the green screen or special effects, I felt like the movie didn’t have the emotion that another DC movie had in 2005: Batman Begins. I think that’s what audiences were looking for because the new Batman raised the bar.

     So, trashing the idea of continuing the original Superman film series, Warner Bros. decided to reboot Superman. Enter Zack Snyder (300 and Watchmen) to direct this superhero vehicle. But with a new direction, the groundwork has to be paved with good writing. Enter Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy director) and David S. Goyer (Screenwriter, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Jumper), who wrote both the story and screenplay. Once the cast was rounded out by a who’s who of Academy Award winners such as Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, who all played Jor-El, Jonathan Kent, and Martha Kent, respectfully, and respected newcomers such as Amy Adams (Enchanted, Doubt, and The Muppets) playing Lois Lane, the main role needed to be filled to see who would fill the red boots of Superman. Enter Henry Cavill (The Tudors). With these pieces in place, Man of Steel was ready to fly.

     The film begins on the planet Krypton with Jor-El (Russell Crowe) pleading with the council to evacuate the planet, that was facing imminent destruction. General Zod (Michael Shannon) staged a coup and eliminated the council. Jor-El and his wife, Lara, launch their newborn son Kal-El in a spaceship to Earth, infusing a genetic codex into his DNA in order to preserve the Kryptonian Race. The film continues through Clark’s time growing up in Smallville, being raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), and how he learned to master his powers. After learning the truth of his origins and losing his father some time later when he was a teenager, an adult Clark lives as a nomad, not living in the same place for long and helping people when he can with his powers. In the Arctic, he comes across an ancient Kryptonian ship that allows him to speak to the consciousness of Jor-El, preserved in a key that came with him in his ship. Learning of his origins and assuming the Kryptonian suit bearing his family crest, Clark becomes Superman as he fights to defend his adoptive home from General Zod and his crew.
     From the previews, we could tell how epic this movie was going to be and it did not disappoint. The film was able to do something that Returns did not do and that was humanize Superman the best you can. I know it’s hard to humanize someone as powerful as Superman but if anyone could tug at the emotional strings of this superhero, Christopher Nolan is the one to do it. He revealed the hardship that Clark Kent/Superman go through to be accepted by society, the difficulties of being one of a kind with his powers and being alone in the world, and making sense of it all. Despite the fact that they changed some of the elements that helped Clark become Superman, the story line and the human element was excellent for the film. 
     However, I feel like it was sometimes overloaded by the supercharged, explosive fight scenes, especially when Zod’s crew arrives on Earth. This film was also more serious than the other films, lacking humor to balance out the action and the drama. The main problem that I could see was the balance between the wonderful storytelling and the directing of the film, especially with the fight scenes.
     With the financial success of this film, I don’t believe that there will be another reboot of Superman anytime soon. With Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer’s emotional and soul-searching writing staying on board, I believe that Man of Steel is the reboot that the franchise needed in order for DC Comics to compete with Marvel Studios. With another planned Batman reboot and rumors of a Justice League movie swirling around Hollywood, Man of Steel might just be the start of something greater. 
     I hope you all enjoy this review. I will do my best to return with another review of either This Is The End or World War Z. I hope to make another update that won’t be a movie review in the next two weeks. Until next time, stay cool and enjoy the movies! 

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