by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Much like Star Trek, I grew up with Superman. I used to watch reruns of the old Adventures of Superman TV show starring George Reeves with my dad when I was a kid, and I watched various Superman cartoons–including one that featured Clark as a boy and of course Superfriends in the 70s. I really didn’t care for the campy Superman movies starring Christopher Reeves, but found my love for the character again in the 90s with Lois and Clark and then again with Smallville. I do have to admit I have never read the comic books.
I somewhat enjoyed Superman Returns, but as with many people there were parts that just didn’t seem to work and I have never been a fan of the silly, campy Lex Luthor–I prefer my Lex strong and interesting. So needless to say I was very curious to see what the latest incarnation of the Superman story would be like.
While I definitely enjoyed Man of Steel–there were parts I loved and parts that I would have liked to see done differently. Once again we have the origin story of Superman/Kal-El–which I could have done without, however it was nice to once again see a Russell Crowe I could enjoy (he was not right for Les Miserables), he was well cast as Jor-El. From the whole story of Clark being sent to Earth to be saved from a dying Krypton, we jump way ahead to Clark as a young man searching for his origins–going from place to place changing names after saving someone and having to cover his tracks. He has the misfortune of sorts of running into Lois Lane (Amy Adams) at one of those points and she becomes determined to find out who he is–I won’t say anymore on that as it will give away too much. We do see bits and pieces of Clark’s younger days in flashbacks and the casting of young the Clarks was perfect.
In Man of Steel Clark faces one of his most challenging villains from the Superman story–General Zod, who was wonderfully played by Michael Shannon as chillingly evil, yet conflicted at times. He finds Clark on Earth after searching for him for 33 years, and is determined to turn Earth into the new Krypton. There are some great action scenes with Superman battling Zod, who physically is his equal.
I was fine with the casting of Martha Kent (Dianne Lane) but not all that thrilled with Kevin Costner as Jonathon Kent–who happens to be one of my favorite characters. This brings me to another thing I didn’t like about the movie–how very little we get to see of his parents and the “Clark” part of his life. I also didn’t like the “version” of some of the storylines (in TV and movies there are many variations on parts of the Superman story) that they used–but again won’t say anything more on that.
While I felt like they tried to put way too much of the story into one movie–missing a lot of the good stuff and character development, Man of Steel was definitely enjoyable. They could not have found a better Superman/Clark Kent than Henry Cavill–he was perfect! And Amy Adams makes a good and sufficiently spunky Lois Lane. As to their chemistry, we didn’t get to see a lot of that, but we will see how it develops in future movies. One choice they made regarding the Lois Lane story was radically different from any past versions I’ve seen or heard of, so we will see how that affects the future story.
If like me you are a TV fan, you will enjoy all the different TV stars who are peppered throughout the movie–including a couple of Dollhouse actors and one from The West Wing!
If you enjoy action, there was definitely plenty of that in this movie. There was also a lot of set up for future movies, so I’m hoping those happen as I think I will enjoy them a lot more. I like seeing more of the Clark side of Superman and a little less Kal-El.
So if you are a Superman fan, go in prepared to keep in mind that this is a reboot and while much is familiar, much is also different. If you are new to Superman, I think you will get a crash course in the character, but miss a lot of character development that the rest of us already know about–so I’d be interested to hear what you think of the movie. Either way, it’s a fun action film and Cavill is perfection!
Also, if you are a Superman fan already, watch for a hint of things to come that only we will get 🙂
This movie did leave me wanting more–so I’d say that is the true measure of a successful film!
Man of Steel is currently playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6, also in 3D. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.